The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Massachusetts Cadet Nurses Honored in State House Plaque Ceremony

Jul 20, 2021

Massachusetts Cadet Nurses received official recognition from Governor Charlie Baker in a plaque ceremony at the State House last week. 

UMass Amherst College of Nursing alumna Dr. Barbara Poremba ’72 (at right in the photo) organized the ceremony and is quoted in a news article about the event. Poremba and Leland Hussey of Salem, MA, members of Friends of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps WWII, an advocacy group working to pass federal legislation to grant honorary veteran status to cadet nurses, led the effort to install the plaque.

Poremba was instrumental in influencing the passage of a new Massachusetts state law that recognized the public service of the 9,000 Cadet Nurses who trained and served in Massachusetts hospitals during World War II. The law, the first of its kind in the nation, was signed by Governor Charlie Baker on June 30, 2020 and corresponded to the 77th anniversary of the Corps. It designated July 1 as Cadet Nurse Corps Day and allowed for the plaque to be hung permanently in Nurses Hall at the State House. 

The U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps was established on July 1, 1943 and was active until December 31, 1948. The 9,000 Massachusetts Cadet Nurses were among 124,000 uniformed Cadet Nurses across the country who cared for seriously wounded soldiers returning from the war in Europe. 

Poremba and other members of the Friends of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps WWII will continue their efforts to seek national recognition for the crucial service that Cadet Nurses provided. A bipartisan U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps Service Recognition Act to "recognize and honor the service of individuals who served in the United States Cadet Nurse Corps during World War II" was introduced in Congress in mid-April and is currently under review. 

(Photo source: Wicked Local/Swampscott Reporter -- see link to news article above). 


News & Events