Public Health Nursing: An Autonomous Career for World War II Nurse Veterans

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The 1944 G. I. Bill increased accessibility of higherEducation to male veterans. Less is known about how its availability affected opportunities for female veterans. The purpose of this study was to examine nurse veterans' use of the G. I. Bill at one large public university. Primary sources included archival documents of one large public university as well as articles published in professionalNursing and medical journals of the 1940s and 1950s. Secondary sources addressingNursing andNursingEducation history, and the history of the G. I. Bill provided further context. Historical research methodology was conducted. Findings demonstrate that nurse veterans desired more independence in practice following the war. Archival documents of one large public university show that nurse veterans used G. I. Bill funds to seek degrees in public healthNursing. The specialty of public health provided increased independence and autonomy of practice not experienced in hospital based care. G. I. BillEducational funds provided these nurse veterans the means to attain degrees in public healthNursing, providing them the opportunity for more autonomous practice.