Volume 5 (2018) Issue 1 Pages 32-39
Aim: This study aimed to describe the experiences of a unique cohort of students and United States Cadet Nurse Corps cadets at the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing and Health between 1943 and 1946. How the experiences fostered resilience in the students to provide nursing service during World War II is also discussed.
Methods: Historical research methods to include oral histories of seven graduates and archival research were used. Both primary and secondary data sources informed the broader historical context.
Results: The one-time, 3-year accelerated nursing degree program created unique experiences for the students. Two themes, lack of cadet status recognition and lack of knowledge regarding faculty concerns, were identified. The lack of these factors shed light on what was present for this cohort that fostered resilience in the students to provide nursing service during the war. The cohort experienced a strong sense of community and confidence instilled by a supportive faculty within a rigorous yet, predictable and structured program.
Conclusions: Findings can be used to assist faculty in preparing today’s student nurses for disaster nursing. To foster resilience, students’ disaster nursing experiences need to be organized and structured, and involve a supportive faculty. Nursing programs can provide these experiences to students through disaster simulation or authentic, organized disaster relief when available. Positive relationships with faculty and peers also build a sense of community that expands from one’s program cohort to the broader nursing and societal community.