NOVEMBER 12, 1943
WASHINGTON, Thursday—The other evening I attended the annual meeting of the District of Columbia Graduate Nurses Association. It was my first meeting with the head of the Student Cadet Corps, which is at present attracting a great many young people to the nursing service. At the end of the meeting, I presented the Student Reserve pins and the awards to the schools of nursing which have 100 percent enrollment in the Student Reserve.
There were more than 300 nurses in the procession which entered the hall at the beginning of the evening. Recognition was given to the Nurses Aide Corps, which is now becoming such an important factor in the care of civilians, and even in military hospitals in the United States. I noticed Nurses Aides at the Walter Reed Hospital the other day, and the doctors praised their work very highly.
Both the Cadet Corps Nurses and the Nurses Aides, while they may not intend to make nursing their profession, will find themselves better able to cope with illnessses which arise in their own homes in the future. They will be much more valuable as citizens in a community, because they will understand the great variety of health questions which come up in every community and will bring their weight to bear in creating public opinion.
At noon yesterday I went to speak at Miner Teachers College in Howard University. This is a four-year teacher's training course and was established by Mr. Miner as a two-year normal school course for teachers. The standards have gradually been raised until now the girls and men attending this college take a four-year course.
This year, of course, there are comparatively few men students, most of them being in the Army. I was a guest of the Beta Lambda Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. The dean of the college greeted me on arrival and they had an hour's assembly, during which I spoke and there was some very good singing. Then there was a short reception at which the various heads of activities which are carried on in the college spoke explaining the work of their groups.
There is nothing more important to the colored people at the present time than the calibre of the teachers who will go out to the rural schools and into the city schools of our country. There is, of course, a greater responsibility on the teachers to enter into the community life. They will help to change the pattern in food habits and in child care. Even in the city there is a great deal that a teacher can do in her contacts with parents as well as with children. This holds good, I think, whether you teach in a school for white children or for colored children.