A resolution by Assembly Republicans Nancy F. Muñoz and Alison Littell McHose commemorating the life-saving contributions of women in the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps earned unanimous approval of the Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee today. The resolution (AR-129) designates July 1, 2015 as U.S. Cadet Nurses Day.

“The Cadet Nurses Corps changed the face of nursing in this country,” said Muñoz, whose mother was a member of one of the final Corps classes. “World War II was still going on, and she became a nurse through the program.”“Cadet Nurses were World War II heroes on the home front,” said Munoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “During the war, with so many nurses committed to military service, there was a critical shortage of skilled nurses for the nation’s hospitals. Within two years of the formation of the corps, Cadet Nurses accounted for 80 percent of American nursing care. We should celebrate their efforts and preserve their memory.”

American nursing schools, which previously only accepted white students, were integrated by the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps, which recruited thousands of African-American women nurses.

The Corps developed more than 124,000 desperately needed nurses, and was responsible for increasing the educational standards of many of the country’s nursing schools. While war waged overseas, the U.S. Cadet Nurses battled polio and tuberculosis epidemics, and after the war, many continued to work in the nursing field.“The Corps provided opportunity, scholarships and stipends for many young women who could not have otherwise afforded the education,” said McHose, R – Sussex, Warren and Morris. “And without the addition of these young caregivers, the nation’s hospitals would never have been able to meet the patient demands. They were tireless young women who responded to the challenge and exceeded expectations.”