AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EDUCATION
OFFICE-309 MUNSEY BUILDING, WASHINGTON, D. C.
To the Presidents and Faculties of Colleges and Universities:
T HE American Council on Education has just received from the Surgeon
General of the War Department a letter expressing his hearty approval
of a suggestion contained in a telegram from the President of Vassar
College urging the establishing- of intensive pre-nursing courses at
higher educational institutions for the purpose of assisting the civilian and army
hospital training schools to meet the overwhelming demand for adequately
trained nurses. In transmitting this telegram to the Council, the Surgeon
"I desire not only to express my entire approval of the plan pre sented through this telegram but my conviction that it will provide a
most effective means of meeting a great emergency. The establishing
by all institutions equipped to carry on the scientific courses of the three
months' intensive preparation in nursing as presented by the Vassar
plan would make available a group of highly prepared young women
who could be rapidly advanced in the practical nursing field; and nott
alone in the civil hospitals, but through the recently established Army
School of Nursing, in the military hospitals in this country, and if the
need increases, overseas. We could immediately place many hundreds N
of such students, if otherwise qualified for admission, in a valuable field
of experience for them, and where they could at once render a much
needed service to our sick and wounded men.
"It is my understanding that through the machinery of the Council, o
the necessary information can be issued to the Universities and Colleges
that might be interested in this project, but if in any way this office can
further it, I beg you will command me, for I believe no field at this
moment can more justly command the services of our young women,
especially those young women whose mental ability and character have
been subjected to the testing and development of college life.
"I have the honor to be,
"Very sincerely yours,
"WILLIAM C. GORGAS, Surgeon General.
"By Robert E. Noble,z
"Brigadier General, M. C. U. S. A." 0
PRESENT EMERGENCY IN NURSING
The Surgeon General has called for 50,000 nurses for the Army by January,
1919. It is estimated that there are probably not more than 80,000 fully trained
nurses in the United States at the present time. The effect on the nursing profession of conscripting considerably more than half of the total number will be disastrous if effective measures are not immediately taken to meet the situation.