Eula Lole MacPherson McMillian

I joined the Cadet Nurse Corps at Charity Hospital School of Nursing in New Orleans, LA, on August 6, 1945 at the age of 17 after completing a year and a half of college at the University of Florida, Gainesville, during the summer of 1944 and two semesters at Florida State College for Women (now FSU) 1944-1945.

During my Senior Cadet period (last six months) at Kennedy VA Hospital in Memphis, TN, I was diagnosed with tuberculosis. I probably contacted it while on my assignment at Dibert, the Tuberculosis part of Charity in New Orleans, which occurred just a few weeks before being sent to Memphis. I was put on bed rest at the VA hospital and treated with streptomycin (new at the time) and subsequently sent back to Charity with my other classmates when our 6 months was over. I was put on another 6 months of bed rest, sent home for more bed rest and eventually returned to Charity to finish the last couple of months' training in 1949. I had already graduated in 1948 before being sent to Memphis.

I returned to my grandparents' home in Alachua, FL, and found employment as a Public Health Nurse (which I loved doing) at the Alachua county Health Department, where I worked off and on for the next four years between two pregnancies. During my third pregnancy, my husband insisted I remain home to raise our (eventually 5) children. When my youngest was in kindergarten, I returned to nursing and worked floor duty at Alachua General Hospital in Gainesville, FL for a year. I then returned home to care for my family, which now included a widowed, blind father-in-law. After my children finished high school, I took a refresher course in nursing, including a BSN from the University of Florida and worked 9 more years at North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville. Again I returned home, this time to care for my husband who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. I was happey to be able to give him the love and care I had learned as a nurse with all necessary equipment provided by the local VA (my husband was a Marine during WWII).

I have been a widow for seven years, and have fond memories of nursing and having been a part of the US Cadet Nurse Corps of WWII. It was hard as we worked 48-hour weeks with time off duty only to attend classes. We were the hospital staff during this critical time in our nation's history. I hope HR 1718 passes and gives proper recognition to those cadet nurses who worked so hard.

Last Name in Nursing School: 
MacPherson McMillian
Email address:
Relationship Status: 
Cadet Nurse
Nursing School: 
Charity Hospital School of Nursing, New Orleans, Louisiana
Nursing School City: 
New Orleans
Nursing School State: 
Eula Lole MacPherson McMillian' membership card
Graduation Year: