Dedicating their lives to helping those who are sick and injured, nurses provide the backbone of 21st century health care. Over hundreds of years, nursing has survived dark periods of suppression to rise to the largest health care field, with over 2.6 million registered nurses working in the United States alone. From the wise women of ancient ceremonies to certified medical specialists, nurses have made their own path in the world, innovating and organizing to bring care from the operating table to the battlefields. Nursing has rarely been more important than today and remains a profession ever striving for new roles to care for the world.

Accentuating the Museum’s collection of historic artifacts, photographs and manuscripts is a donation of artifacts from the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses. These primary materials on the birth of modern nursing serve to visually highlight and illustrate the historic struggles and innovations made in their profession.

The history of nursing allows perspective on how change can bring the greatest benefits to mankind. Nurses have more of an opportunity now than ever thanks to the countless women and men who have fought for their profession. Those who answer the call to nurse do so in a profession that embodies tradition, excellence and opportunities for all.