Cadet Nurse Project

How it all began:

Thelma Morey Robinson and Paulie Morey Perry served as cadet nurses during World War II and the post war years.  After 50 years, the U. S. Cadet Nurse Corps had been forgotten through the pages of time.  Upon retirement, the cadet nurse sisters began a project to make the legacy of the Corps better known. More than 2,000 women who had served as cadet nurses and others who had been associated with the U. C. Cadet Nurse Corps were invited to participate in the project.

More than 400 women representing 115 schools of nursing from 35 states and the District of Columbia responded by sharing their stories, photographs, and other memorabilia.  Cadet Nurse Stories: The Call and Response of Women During World War II  by Robinson and Perry ( published in 2001) became the first book to tell the cadet nurse story.  In this book, cadet nurse stories are woven with information retrieved from the National Archives.

The second book by Robinson, Nisei Cadet Nurse of World War II: Patriotism in Spite of Prejudice, was published in 2005.  Interned because of their ancestry, 19 Japanese American women tell how the U. S. Cadet Nurse Corps became their ticket to freedom. 

Your Country Needs You: Cadet Nurses of World War II by Robinson (published in 2009) completes the trilogy and further expounds the legacy of the U. S. Cadet Nurse Corps to deepen the world’s understanding of this time.  All 1,250 schools of nursing, participating in the U. S. Cadet Nurse Corps with number of cadets,  are listed in the appendix .

The third book is dedicated to Paulie in appreciation for her passion and hard work in preserving the legacy of the Corps.  Sadly, she died November 24, 2008.

A description of each book follows.

For more information:


Robinson began her nursing career as a cadet nurse.  When her husband returned from military service, she became a stay at home mom for her four children and began working on her degrees in nursing.  She returned to nursing as a pediatric nurse practitioner with a masters degree.  She was active in clinical practice and teaching, specializing in the care of children with special needs and their families in Colorado and Alaska.  Upon retirement, Robinson’s interest is  researching and writing about the U. S. Cadet Nurse Corps.