Illustration of an army nurse in blue with a wide brim hat in a white circle on a black background with a ribbon across the bottom with blue text on it.
The United States Congress established the Army Nurse Corps in 1901 after contracting nurses during the Spanish-American War in 1898. The Navy Nurse Corps was created in 1908. When the U.S. joined World War I in 1917, 403 army nurses and 160 navy nurses were on active duty. During the country's participation in the war from 1917 through 1918, the military recruited more than 22,000 nurses for military and navy duty. Hundreds of nurses lost their lives while in service. Army Nurses Day 1919, the first year after WWI, celebrated the women’s contributions.