This 20-minute sound film was produced to encourage young women to go into nursing schools and then enlist in the Nurse Corps of the Armed Forces during a period of a severe nursing shortage in the early 1940s. It was sponsored by the American College of Surgeons under a grant from the Becton-Dickinson Foundation for the Extension of Scientific Knowledge. Burton Homes Films, Inc. produced “R.N.—Serving All Mankind” under the technical direction of Tom Gordon a well-known film producer. General supervision was by Malcolm T. MacEachern, MD, FACS, Associate Director of the American College of Surgeons and assisted by Eleanor K. Grimm and Mervin W. La Rue. It was shown first on January 8, 1943 and eventually more than half a million potential recruits viewed it. The filming of the graduation ceremony took place in the College’s Murphy Auditorium on East Erie Street.
A photo album of the making of the film has been preserved in the ACS archives.
Film synopsis: Two young women talk about their future and what they hope to accomplish in life. Shows their gradual appreciation of the career of nursing, their interactions with family whose support they try to enlist, the family doctor, and nursing schools. Ends with inspirational speech at graduation.
For more information about the making of “RN: Serving All Mankind” visit the ACS Archives.
Grimm, Eleanor, ACS History, Vol. XX, Reel I-2, pp. 6-7.
Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons, (September 1942)