Clara Barton 2016: From Civil War to Red Cross to Today

Oil painting of Clara Barton by Mathilde Leisenring, 1937.

Oil painting of Clara Barton by Mathilde Leisenring, 1937.

One woman’s desire to serve during the Civil War eventually led to the founding of the American Red Cross. Based on the humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, unity, independence, voluntary service, and universality, the American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, which provides protection and assistance to people affected by disasters and conflicts. It has always drawn to service both nurses and nursing students alike.

Red Cross nurses and other health professionals continue the work of Clara Barton today, providing leadership and service across the organization. The vast majority are volunteers.

AJN is hosting a series of blog posts by nurses on a tour tracing the footsteps of the founder of the American Red Cross, Clara Barton. In the Washington, DC, area (Sept. 26 to Oct. 1), the Clara Barton Study tour will visit sites such as Antietam and the American Red Cross National Disaster Operations Headquarters. The second part of the tour, in Geneva, Switzerland (Oct. 1 to Oct. 6), will explore the ongoing work of the International Red Cross and other humanitarian and health organizations.
arc-logoJust as Barton was moved to action during time of war and long thereafter, it is my/our hope to bring you along through regular blog posts from tour participants on a journey studying Barton’s life’s work, the organization she started (at a time when only men were able to vote and pursue their dreams and careers), and its international counterparts. We hope to similarly engage and motivate you to not only learn more about Clara Barton and the Red Cross, but about opportunities to engage through volunteering and donating to this ongoing mission. Welcome aboard! Plan to follow on Twitter with the hashtag #ClaraB2016. New posts will be added below as they appear.

  • Susan B. Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) senior advisor for nursing, and director, Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, American Red Cross volunteer national ambassador
  • Linda M. MacIntyre, PhD, RN, chief nurse, American Red Cross |Volunteer Services | American Red Cross National Headquarters