The subject I have been asked to discuss is one which has been of great concern to the nursing profession in the United States for many years, but this interest has been accentuated by our recognition of the vulnerability of every part of the world in modern warfare. The nurse has traditionally been the personification of those who care for the sick, and the helpless. Her very presence gives the patients a feeling of security and comfort. The public, the physicians, and the patients expect nurses to have an important role in national defense. Therefore, nurses must be prepared and willing to carry out their responsibilities effectively.
Before telling you what we are planning to do to prepare nurses to function adequately in national defense, it will be necessary to review the milieu in which we work as each country has its own framework in which activities are carried out and, therefore, the pattern of action may not be the same for every country. Further, I recognize that there are countries represented here that have had much more experience with the problems inherent in planning for national defense than we have in our country.