Celebrating Women’s History Through a Timeline of Nursing

Celebrating Women’s History Through a Timeline of Nursing

Women’s History Month celebrates the innumerable contributions of women to American society. Given that 91% of nurses are women (and an even higher percentage historically) – it seems fitting to honor women’s history by looking back on how the nursing profession began and grew in the U.S.

This profession has been and continues to be built by a legion of extraordinary women who helped shape modern health care as we know it today. These pioneering figures fought for the care and treatment of the sick; developed a rigorous educational and professional nursing practice; invented new techniques, technologies, and systems; advanced gender and racial equality; and brought their skills and expertise to bear on many other fields.

Those advancements and achievements are evident in this abbreviated timeline of nursing in America – with some surprises along the way!


A Nursing Timeline

1800 – 1900

1820 – Florence Nightingale is born in Florence, Italy. She will become a social reformer, statistician, and founder of modern nursing. She trained as a nurse in Egypt, Germany, and France and also worked in Turkey before returning to the U.K.

1841 – Dorthea Dix testifies in legislature about the poor treatment of patients with mental illness. Her work as an advocate of the mentally ill would eventually create the first mental asylums in the US. She would go on to serve as Superintendent of Army Nurses during the Civil War.

1859 – Florence Nightingale publishes her views on nursing care in “Notes on Nursing,” which informs the tenets of modern nursing practice.

1861 – 1865 – During the Civil War, the American Army Nurse Corps triages and treats soldiers.

1873 – 1889 – The Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing is founded in New York City as the first nursing school in the United States. Shortly after, training schools are established in Connecticut and Boston.

1881 – Clara Barton founds and becomes the first president of the American Red Cross.

1886 – “The Nightingale,” the first American nursing journal, is established.

1896 – The Nurses Associated Alumnae holds its first meeting, with an early goal of improving nursing care for American soldiers. It would later be renamed the American Nurses Association and become one of the largest nursing organizations in the US.


1900 – 1950

1901 – The United States Army Nurse Corps is established.

1902 – New York City Board of Education hires Lina Rogers Struthers as North America’s first school nurse.

1908 – The United States Navy Nurse Corps is established.

1908 – The University of Minnesota School of Nursing awards its first bachelor’s degree in nursing, setting a new standard in nurse training.

1918 – Lenah Higbee is the first living woman to be awarded the Navy Cross for distinguished service.

1918 – Frances Reed Elliot enrolls as the first African-American in the American Red Cross Nursing Service.

1918 – Viola Pettus, an African-American nurse in Texas, garners fame for her care of Spanish Flu victims, including members of the Ku Klux Klan.

1919 – 1923 – Mary Breckinridge, founder of the Frontier Nursing Service, rides 700 miles on horseback to survey the health needs of rural Kentuckians.

1938 – The Nurses Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery is established, created to honor nurses who served during World War I. Over 600 nurses are buried there.

1941 – 1945 – More than 59,000 American women serve in the US Army Nurse Corps and over 11,000 women serve in the US Navy Nurse Corps during World War II.

1943 – Delaware is the first state to admit African-American nurses to membership.


1950 – Present

1951 – The National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses merges with the American Nurses Association.

1951 – Vocational Nursing standards for education and the LPN / LVN level of nursing is established.

1954 – One of the country’s first Ph.D. programs in nursing is offered at the University of Pittsburgh.

1955 – Elizabeth Lipford Kent becomes the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in nursing.

1955 – The US Army Nurse Corps admits Edward L.T. Lyon, its first male nurse.

1955 – The nation’s first master’s degree in nursing is granted at Columbia University School of Nursing.

1959 – Dee O’Hara becomes the first aerospace nurse to NASA’s first astronauts, laying the groundwork of the field of Space nursing.

1963 – Ruby Bradley retires from the US Army Nurse Corps with 34 medals and citations for bravery.

1965 – The first nurse practitioner (NP) role is established.

1965 – The US Navy Nurse Corps admits its first male nurse.

1974 – Florence Wald, dean at Yale Nursing School, founds Connecticut Hospice, establishing the US hospice movement.

1977 – The M. Elizabeth Carnegie Nursing Archives is established in Virginia, serving as the only archives in the States dedicated to minority nurses.

1979 – The first clinical doctorate – a nursing doctorate (ND) – is established at Case Western Reserve University, OH.

1980 – Viola Davis Brown is the first African-American nurse to lead a state office of public nursing in the U.S.

1990 – The Department of Health and Human Services creates a commission to address the national nursing shortage.

1992 – Eddie Bernice Johnson is the first nurse elected to the U.S. Congress.

2010 – The Institute of Medicine issues a critical report, The Future of Nursing, which contains evidence-based recommendations to lead change for improved health care.

2014 – The Affordable Care Act becomes law, resulting in an estimated 8 million new health insurance enrollees. This spike in health care utilization leads to a demand for travel nurses that reaches a 20-year high.

2019 – The number of registered nurses (RNs) crosses the 4 million threshold, with a total of 4,096,607 in the U.S. as of October 2019.

2020 – The World Health Organization (WHO) declared 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic showed the world that nurses are the cornerstone of health care.

Celebrating Women’s History Month wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging nurses’ immense contributions to the medical field, public health, and gender and racial equality. In just 200 years, they’ve gone from a role primarily of “caretakers” to highly skilled and trained professionals who are advancing health care in broad and exciting ways.

What’s next for nurses? Hard to tell, but we know that whatever it is — it’s going to be amazing!


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

Nurses – Protect Your Well-Being Too

Nurses – Protect Your Well-Being Too

If you’re a nurse, America owes you a debt of gratitude. Since early last year, you have been on the frontlines of COVID-19 – treating the sick, caring at the bedside, teaching us how to stay healthy, advocating for your patients, and serving as liaison to their families.

We know you’re stressed, you’re tired and you’ve been running on fumes for months. But we also know that you’re strong and incredibly resilient! You’re that bright light of compassionate care and humanity during a scary time. You’re the ones we trust implicitly.

And for that reason, we ask that you remember to take care of yourself, too. Not surprisingly, pandemic stress is affecting nurses’ mental and physical health at unprecedented levels. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or depleted, here are some resources and steps you can take to protect your health and well-being.

    1. Nurture your immune system. Your immune system is taking a battering right now. Do what you can to soothe and strengthen it so it can keep you healthy. Nourish yourself with healthy foods, regular exercise, and enough sleep (when you can!).
    2. Get out in nature as often as possible. Studies show that spending time in nature improves mental health and reduces blood pressure, stress hormones, and muscle tension.
    3. Check out the Well-being Initiative for free resources such as video calls for peer support, self-assessment tools, hotlines, a “happy app” and writing-as-therapy. The Initiative was developed by the American Nurses Foundation in partnership with a number of nursing organizations.
    4. Practice mindfulness and/or meditation, which can help lower stress levels and keep you tuned into your physical and psychological state. There are plenty of books and free apps to get you started.
    5. Breathe. By learning breathing techniques for stress relief, you have a powerful tool you can use anytime, anywhere.
    6. Get support when you need it. Talk with friends, family, peers, or even a professional, depending on your level of needed support. If your workplace has an Employee Assistance Program and you could benefit from the support, sign up!
    7. Stay connected. Humans are built for social connection. Even if you’re an introvert, make time for periodic phone calls or web chats with cherished friends and family.
    8. Read positive things. Avoid doom-scrolling, and start your day with inspirational reading or anything else that uplifts you.
    9. Advocate for your and your colleagues’ health. Make your voice heard in terms of safety protocols and support at your workplace.
    10. Take time and space to process your feelings. You may feel nothing or all the things. If the latter, when appropriate, take time to process, meltdown, cry, whatever you need to do. No human is equipped to carry this much grief and stress.
    11. Lean on your nurse leaders. Getting the right support is more important than ever. Collaboration, support, and community will get you and your colleagues through.
    12. Reconnect to people and things you love. Joy does amazing things for health. Try to find time for small joys and delights – this could be something you love doing, seeing a loved one, or returning to a long-forgotten hobby.
    13. Lean into your community. Show up for your co-workers and give them support when your “wellness” tank is filled up. Every health care worker knows the struggle right now, so sometimes just an “I know what you’re going through and I’m here if you need anything,” can make all the difference.

Often, it’s those who do so much for others who put their own needs last. Ask for help and support when you need it – and let family members, friends, neighbors, and others know what they can do to help (because they want to!). The world needs its health care heroes right now – and we want you to be healthy, strong, and safe!


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

Memes ALL Nurses Can Relate To

Memes ALL Nurses Can Relate To

Nursing is a high-pressure profession that can lead you on a rollercoaster of emotions (especially in 2020). Some days you bawl your eyes out and want to quit, other days you witness miracles happen right before your eyes and you can’t imagine doing anything else.

To be a nurse you need to be mentally strong, especially during the middle of a pandemic. And what better way to cope, and get yourself back in a positive headspace after a long shift, than with some really relatable (and hilarious) Nurse Memes?

Check them out below!


Trying to chart like…

nurse memes



Nursing Memes



memes for nurses








When it’s time for shift change


nurse memes



memes for nurses



memes for nurses



funny nurse memes






And a few more for our night shift warriors


nurse memes



nurse memes



nurse memes



Nurse Memes






And finally some overall good (and a bit morbid) nurse humor


Nurse Memes



nurse memes



nurse memes



Nurse Memes



Nurse Memes



Nurse Memes



Nurse Memes



nurse memes



nurse memes



Nurse Memes



Nurse Memes






But at the end of the day


Nurse Memes




Want to keep laughing? Check out our Pinterest board Nurse Memes”. While you’re there, don’t forget to give us a follow at California Casualty to stay up to date on every new memewe discover! Scan our Pincode with your Pinterest camera to follow:



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. California Casualty does not own any of the photos in this post, all are sources by to their original owners. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

We Protect AmeriCAN Heroes – Together We CAN

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Together We CAN.

During these trying times, it’s important to know that you are not alone. You have a community of people behind you, encouraging and fighting for you.

Nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals are leading the fight on the frontlines against COVID-19, stepping up heroically in the face of incredibly long hours, heartbreaking care cases, and increased personal risk. Peace officers, firefighters, paramedics, and other emergency personnel are on the frontlines risking their own lives to keep our communities safe and in working order during this public health crisis. While teachers, school administrators, and education support professionals have completely changed their teaching strategies to accommodate students so they can stay safe at home and finish out the rest of the school year virtually.

We have never been more thankful for our everyday heroes than we are right now.

The coronavirus pandemic has turned our daily lives upside down, but when we come together as a community- as neighbors, as family, as friends -we are unstoppable. We CAN get through this and we WILL. Together we CAN.


We’d like to extend an extra special thanks to the Firefighters, Police Officers, Teachers, and Nurses who took the time to participate in our Together We CAN video. It is a privilege to hear about your daily experiences throughout the pandemic, firsthand. We appreciate your courage and dedication to helping keep us safe now, more than ever. Thank you.


This video is brought to you by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com. Be sure to check out our Heroes series at https://mycalcas.com/leoheroesvideo/ or visit California Casualty’s YouTube Channel.

The Heroes Video Series was filmed and produced by Wide Awake Films.
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At California Casualty, our mission is to provide trusted, personalized auto and home insurance protection.  exclusively for educators, law enforcement, nurses and firefighters—those who protect, strengthen and enhance the quality of life in American communities.

Celebrating Nurses, Our Front Line Heroes

Celebrating Nurses, Our Front Line Heroes

Even before the coronavirus began its swift spread across the globe, the World Health Organization had declared 2020 the ‘International Year of the Nurse and Midwife,’ and the American Nurses Association (ANA) named it ‘Year of the Nurse.’ The annual observance of Nurses Week—from May 6-12—has been extended from one week to the entire month.

These designations underscore something we’re acutely aware of these days:  Nurses are an incredibly important pillar of our health system, and we rely on them every day for compassionate, skilled, expert healthcare.

We also trust them immensely:  For 18 years in a row, the vast majority of Americans have rated nurses as the most honest and ethical of professions.


The Many Ways Nurses Keep Us Healthy

Most people know nurses as the trusted health professional they see for health exams, emergency visits, chronic conditions, and life events such as maternity and cancer care. However, many don’t know the vast range of roles nurses play throughout the health care system—or that, numbering almost 4 million, they comprise the largest segment of health care workers in America.

This annual observance celebrating nurses is a great opportunity to highlight some of those many roles that nurses play in advancing the health and well-being of individuals, communities, and our country at large.

Direct patient care — Every day across the country, nurses care for and treat patients in a range of care settings. Although there’s no such thing as a “typical” day for a nurse, their job entails administering medications, managing IVs and other interventions, observing and recording patients’ conditions, advocating for and educating patients and their families, and providing advice, guidance and emotional support. They work in inpatient care settings, primary care, prenatal care, schools and universities, outpatient settings, palliative and hospice care, skilled nursing facilities, community clinics, and more.

Research — Nurse researchers are scientists who design and conduct studies looking at health, illness, and healthcare, aimed at improving health outcomes and delivery of care. They work in hospitals, medical clinics, and research laboratories, as well as in academic settings where they often teach.

Informatics — In this unique field, nurses blend nursing science with expertise in information technology and analytics to improve nursing practice and patient safety. Nurse informaticists are health tech innovators who create and maintain the digital health systems used by consumers, medical professionals, and public health officials.

Population Health — Population health focuses on the ways that health systems, organizations, and local agencies collaborate to drive better health outcomes at the community level. Nurses, with so much time and experience in direct patient care, readily see the patterns of health behaviors and disparities. They leverage this expertise to positively influence their patients and communities’ health in roles such as health coaches and educators, care coordinators, care navigators, and care managers.

Administration and leadership — As leaders and executives, nurses are advancing improvements to healthcare at the highest levels. Bringing their clinical expertise and management experience to bear, they are transforming care delivery and improving patient safety through their leadership roles within healthcare facilities, hospitals, institutions, government agencies, non-profit organizations, health systems, and private companies.

As the nation honors and thanks nurses throughout the month of May (and beyond!), join the movement and thank the nurses in your life for their many contributions to our health, well-being, and safety. For ideas on how to help them out during this time of crisis, check out these tips.


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

How to Help Nurses in Your Community

How to Help Nurses in Your Community

Nurses, doctors, and health care professionals are our frontline heroes in the fight against coronavirus. With almost 4 times as many nurses as physicians in the U.S. (3.8 million vs 1.1 million, respectively), nurses are the largest segment of providers seeing, treating, comforting and providing ongoing care for the patients that are and will continue coming into hospitals and clinics.

Nurses know they will be hit hard, yet they are stepping up heroically in the face of incredibly long hours, heartbreaking care cases and increased personal risk. So, it’s time for the rest of us to step up and support them by doing our part to keep our healthcare workforce strong, healthy and resilient, we can help turn the tide on the crisis.

Here’s how you can help nurses in your community.

Stay Home

Across the country, various forms of shelter-in-place and social distancing orders have gone into effect. The basic idea is that by limiting exposure to others, we can significantly limit the spread of coronavirus infections. That will help us “flatten the curve” and prevent our hospitals from getting swamped beyond capacity. What you do matters. Stay updated on your city’s instructions by visiting its website, TV channel or social media channels.

Donate Supplies

Many facilities are in need of gloves, goggles, N95 masks, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, gowns, and other PPE. Look through your closets and garage and see if you’ve got extras (new and unused) you can donate. Check your local news pages, public health agencies or health care provider’s social media pages for specific needs and drop off instructions. Some are even asking crafters to sew masks!

Follow the Care Protocol

If you feel you might be sick, contact your doctor or advice nurse about your symptoms, then follow their instructions. Given the pressure on the health system, they are working hard to provide high-quality, personalized care to their insureds via telehealth, while also ensuring that high-risk and vulnerable patients have access to emergency and hospital services. And if you haven’t done so already, cancel or postpone any elective or routine care appointments.

Be a Good Neighbor

Many of us know nurses and health care workers personally. Whether they’re in your family, friend circle or neighborhood, make a point to reach out (virtually) and check-in. See if there’s anything you can do for them or their families. This could be something like picking up groceries, walking their dog or picking up their takeout. They are and will continue to be overwhelmed—physically, mentally and emotionally. Let them know you’re there for them.

As nurses and other healthcare professionals treat more and more patients, their risk of infection increases. That’s a real danger—both to their own personal health and to the number of providers that will be available to take care of patients in the months ahead.

Never in our modern lives have our personal choices made such an impact on the health of our greater community, that is why it is so important that you help do what you can today.


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com

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