During the Second World War, more than 4,000 civilian nurses enlisted as Nursing Sisters, a specially created all-female officers' rank of the Canadian Armed Forces. They served in all three armed force branches and all the major theatres of war, yet nursing as a form of war work has long been under-explored. An Officer and a Lady fills that gap. Cynthia Toman analyzes how gender, war, and medical technology intersected to create a legitimate role for women in the masculine environment of the military and explores the incongruous expectations placed on military nurses as "officers and ladies."
Their stories will interest diverse audiences: students and professionals in the healthcare fields; nursing and medical historians; and scholars and readers of women's history, military history, and Canadian history.
Cynthia Toman is an assistant professor of nursing and Associate Director of the Associated Medical Services Nursing History Research Unit at the University of Ottawa.
Introduction 1 "Ready, Aye Ready": Enlisting Nurses 2 Incorporating Nurses into the Military 3 Shaping Nursing Sisters as "Officers" and "Ladies" 4 Legitimating Military Nursing Work 5 "The Strain of Peace": Community and Social Memory Conclusion Appendix; Notes; Selected Bibliography; Index