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Air Force Nurse Corps celebrate Nurse and Tech week at the National Museum of Health and Medicine

  • Published
  • By Kira Baldau
  • Air Force Surgeon General Public Affairs

Members of the Air Force Medical Service’s Nurse Corps celebrated Nurse and Medical Technicians week with a tour of the National Museum of Health and Medicine on May 8, 2024.

The National Museum of Health and Medicine preserves the impact of military medicine by archiving and displaying artifacts from every major U.S. armed conflict. During the visit, the AFMS guests toured the museum to learn more about the impact of nurses on early military medicine.

The staff began tour by detailing the history of the museum, starting with its founding in 1862 during the Civil War.

Guides led the nurses through the museum and though interactions with several collection managers who highlighted archived displays, including the service dress cap worn by Col. Verena Zeller, the first Chief of the Air Force Nurse Corps. Zeller, who commissioned as a general duty nurse in the Army Medical Department’s Nurse Corps in 1936, transferred in to the Air Force in 1949 and guided Air Force nursing from its start.

The tour aligned with Nurse and Medical Technicians week, which honors the significant contributions and impact nurses and medical technicians have on the AFMS and military medicine.

“Nurse and Medical Technicians week is the one week out of the year we really get to showcase what we bring to the fight,” said Col. Gwendolyn Foster, Nurse Corps Chief and AFMS Director of Staff. “We do this day in and day out; it’s selfless. You can ask any nurse or medical technician [about these sacrifices], and they’ll say, ‘I was just doing my job.’ Yet, what we do touches so many lives, so this is the one opportunity we get to really say thank you to our nurses and our medical technicians. That’s what the week means to me, and that’s why I think it’s just so important that we take the time just to say thank you for what they do.”

Read more about the impact Air Force nurses and medical technicians have made this past year: