By Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief
In 1909, Jane Delano was chair of the national committee of the Red Cross nursing services, superintendent of the Army Nurse Corps, and president of the young American Nurses Association. The Red Cross was to serve as the reserve for nurses for relief services and for the army and navy nursing services.
At the outbreak of World War I, Delano mounted an aggressive national campaign to recruit thousands of nurses to attend to the troops in Europe and to provide services here at home during disasters and the 1918 influenza epidemic. AJN published a short biography of this remarkable woman in August 1930.
Delano also wrote a monthly column for the fledgling American Journal of Nursing. Her first column, a summary of the national meeting of the Red Cross in New York City, appeared in May 1909. Delano also founded the Red Cross Town and Country Nursing Service, which provided visiting nurses in rural areas. She died in France in 1919 while on Red Cross business.
Editor’s note: this is the second short post in a series we are publishing during Women’s History Month to draw attention to important figures or trends in the history of women and nursing. The first was “Parallel Developments: Women’s History and the Professional Identity of Nurses.”