A History of the U.S. Air Force Nursing Service


Name: Mary Smolenski

Rank: Col, USAFR

Organization: Henry M. Jackson Foundation

Performance Site:

Year Published: 1999

Abstract Status: Final


The subject of the study is a historical documentation of Air Force Nursing Services, beginning with the initiation of the Air Force Nurse Corps (AFNC), when flight nurses from the Army Air Corps transferred to form AFNC in 1949. A review of the accomplishments and developments of Air Force Nursing Services over the first 52 years up to the present is documented. The project includes written documentation of the significant events in the history of Air Force Nursing Services as they helped to craft the development and maturation of the Corps and nursing services components. The growth and impact of the Total Force concept (Air National Guard [ANG] and Reserves) will be included along with a look at how the events occurring in professional nursing in the United States affected the events in Air Force nursing and vice versa.Major events in Air Force nursing are described in some detail and include: the evolution of flight nursing; the Korean War and the impact of flight nursing; the Vietnam Conflict; the evolution of the all-volunteer force and the build up of Guard and Reserve components; humanitarian efforts (Operation Baby-Lift, Grenada, Just Cause, Provide Comfort, etc.); Desert Storm and Desert Shield; and the impact of all these events on the structure and function of Air Force Nursing Services and projections for the future.The study gives the first fully documented history of Air Force Nursing Services and provides a written record of the impact and contribution of Air Force Nursing Services on the defense health system and nursing in general. It gives military members a record of their heritage and provides the public with an understanding of the many contributions of Air Force Nursing Services to the nation and the profession of nursing.Principal Investigator: Mary C. Smolenski, EdD, APRN, BC, FNP Project No. N99-P134The grant also provided for the finalization and publishing of a chronological account of significant events in the history of the AFNC, which was completed by the principal investigator (PI), the researcher/co-PI, and Air Force Headquarters (HQ AF) historian.


Final report is available on NTRL: https://ntrl.ntis.gov/NTRL/dashboard/searchResults/titleDetail/PB2013104...