Coordinators

The work documented on uscadetnurse.org is a team effort coordinated by volunteers. Shirley Harrow has been working on this project for over a decade, and Elsie Szecsy joined her by chance in October 2011. We welcome additional collaborators who can help advance our collective effort, especially in ways that are out of reach of Shirley and Elsie. Many hands make light labor. Please help lighten the load by contacting us here.

Picture of Shirley Harrow
Shirley Harrow
Friend of U.S. Cadet Nurse

I was twelve when I saw the glamorous recruitment poster urging young women to enlist in the US Cadet Nurse Corps, and this became my dream. Alas, I was too young to join and still in junior high school when the war ended. I did, however, become a nurse and graduated from The Mt. Sinai Hospital School of Nursing in NYC in 1953. I worked for a few years, got married, raised a family and returned to nursing in 1970, where I held a variety of nursing positions for thirty years. At age 66 I was hired by the Harvard Nurses' Healthy Study as a nurse interviewer. Following one of the interviews, the participant told me that she had been a Cadet Nurse. She spoke knowledgeably and eloquently about the current legislation to grant veteran status to the US Cadets. I offered my help. This was my chance to work with the nurses of my childhood dream. For the next twelve years, their cause has become my obsession. I work with numerous former US Cadets in the northeast and have communicated via emails and phone calls with well over 1,000 Cadets who reside in all 50 states. I've also met dozens face to face and together we've worked on several subsequent Legislative efforts. Although these bills have all "died" in committee, awareness has grown among the Cadets and the public. Please join us; your participation will make a difference! 

Almost seventy years ago, 180.000 young women answered the call of their government when they were needed during WWII. Now it's time for the Government to answer their call for recognition of the remaining members of The United States Cadet Nurse Corps (on behalf of all) before they all slip away.

Photo of Elsie Szecsy
Elsie M Szecsy, Ed.D.
Relative of U.S. Cadet Nurse, Researcher

I am an education researcher and academic professional in the School of Transborder Studies, Arizona State University and earned the Ed.D. in educational administration at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. I was born, educated, and enjoyed a successful career in education on Long Island, New York. Previous to my arrival in Arizona, I was a teacher of German, Spanish, and English or distance learning program administrator in public school systems on Long Island in New York. My current responsibilities include curriculum research and development, resource development, and education research in the transborder U.S. Southwest - Northern Mexico region and with Mexican-origin and other Latino populations.

I owe my successes in life to my mom, who was a U.S. Cadet Nurse. She started nursing school in 1943 at the Westchester School of Nursing at Grasslands Hospital in Valhalla, New York. Though the school no longer exists, the hospital is now known as the Westchester County Medical Center. She worked at Grasslands Hospital until about 1948 and continued at Queens General Hospital in New York City as a newlywed when she and my father moved to Queens for my father's work as an industrial nurse for Pan American World Airways. He finished the same nursing school as my mother, but earlier, so he was not a Cadet Nurse.

Mom was proud of her nurse's training and her service to the country not only as a nurse, but also as a parent to me and my brother. It is a well-known fact that educational attainment of children is in large part promoted by the educational attainment of their mother. My mother's education in nursing made her an active promoter of higher education for my brother and me. She knew what education opened up for her in her life; she wanted the same for her children.

It is too late to tell my mother that personally how much I appreciate her, but it is not too late to seek recognition for her and all U.S. Cadet Nurses' service. Unfortunately, it took me this long to learn about my mother's contributions to improving nursing education through this program. Hopefully, we will soon formally recognize the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps as we have recently with other groups who served our country during World War II.