Museum of Nursing History

The Museum of Nursing History, Inc. is committed to the preservation and exhibition of historical nursing memorabilia and to the education of the nursing community as well as the general public about nursing’s past. It is currently located in St. Benilde Tower of the former Germantown Dispensary and Hospital on the campus of La Salle University, Philadelphia, PA. For more information, please visit:

Showing 1 - 12 of 12 Items
After graduating high school, Elizabeth (Betty) Lattell (1926-2017) answered her call to serve the United States during WWII by joining the Cadet Nurse Corps. Upon completion of her service in Philadelphia at Episcopal Hospital, she attained her B.S. in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. She went on to earn her M.S. and Ed.D. degrees in Nursing from Texas Woman’s University, Houston, Texas, and Nova University, Florida, respectively. She had a long professional career as a Nurse Educator and Clinical Specialist in spinal cord injuries at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Miami.

Items in this collection relate to Betty’s career as a nurse, as well as her time in the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps program. The Cadet Nurse Corps, created in 1943 under the direction of the Public Health Service, recruited women ages 17 to 35 – regardless of race - for nursing schools by offering to cover their tuition and living costs in exchange for an oath of service during the war. Of particular note are Betty's Japanese American classmates from California, Jean Y. Oda, Emmy E. Ogami, and Marion H. Tanamachi. A donor note (not digitized) mentions that the women enrolled in the Cadet Nurse Corps program in order to find release from Japanese internment camps during WWII.

These items are owned by the Museum of Nursing History:

Jessie Margaret Ada Mutch (1905-2012) was born in Scotland and emigrated to the U.S. in 1912 with her parents and siblings. Reverend Andrew Mutch, her father, was Pastor of the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church. Ms. Mutch was educated at The Baldwin School and then earned her Nursing Degree at the Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital School in New York. In World War II she enlisted in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps earning the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. She served from 1942-1946 and distinguished herself in the European Theater of Operations. She then returned to Columbia-Presbyterian to pursue her career in nursing, along with a master’s degree in 1948. She held a dual position as Assistant Director of Nursing and Assistant Professor of Nursing at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. In 1955 she became the Director of Nursing at Lankenau Hospital in Philadelphia until her retirement in 1970. She was active for many years as a volunteer for ElderNet, and died one week before her 107th birthday.   

Items in this collection include a large scrapbook compiled during her time serving in the Army Nurse Corps in Europe, and various materials relating to her career as a nurse. These items are owned by the Museum of Nursing History:
Ellen Louise McAfee Pearce (1921-2012) was a 1945 graduate of St. John's Hospital School of Nursing in Brooklyn, NYC. She did post graduate training in Boston, MA before returning to her home state of New Hampshire, where she worked as a school nurse until her retirement in 1986. This collection contains her biography, diploma, certificates, newspaper articles, photographs, and ephemera relating to her nursing career, school, and training.
These items are owned by the Museum of Nursing History:
Mary Farber Panasik (1922-2014) served as a US Navy nurse in the Korean War. This small collection contains three photographs, including two of her aboard the USS Consolation (AH-15) hospital ship.
These items are owned by the Museum of Nursing History:
Belle Kathryn Smith (1884-1971) served as a US Army nurse during and after World War I. This collection contains photographs and documents relating to her service.  
These items are owned by the Museum of Nursing History: