Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Lucille Petry, 1946
Not on view
The Cadet Nurse Corps was created by Congress in 1943 to help alleviate the nursing shortage at home and abroad during the Second World War. The passage of the Bolton Act (named for Ohio congresswoman Frances Bolton), which established the corps, was followed by an aggressive recruiting campaign that emphasized the program's benefits: expedited training (thirty months instead of 36), full financial support and free "smart" uniforms. The uniforms were considered an important recruiting device and were designed by a process that included leading fashion designers and editors. A luncheon held in New York City in August 1943 included a fashion show of suggestions for the official Cadet Nurse Corps outdoor uniform. The winning design, adapted for use by the Corps, is the figure-flattering wool uniform seen here. This example, manufactured by J.C. Penney, was given to the collection by Lucille Petry, RN, former director of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps.