Esther Hasson

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Esther Voorhees Hasson
Esther Voorhees Hasson.jpg
Chief Nurse, USN and USA
Born (1867-09-20)September 20, 1867
Baltimore, Maryland
Died March 8, 1942(1942-03-08) (aged 74)
Washington, D.C.
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy Nurse Corps and Army Reserve Nurse Corps
Years of service 1908–1911 (Navy) and 1917–1919 (Army)
Rank Chief Nurse
Commands held Superintendent of the United States Navy Nurse Corps
Battles/wars Spanish–American War
World War I

Esther Voorhees Hasson was the first Superintendent of the United States Navy Nurse Corps. Prior to and after serving in the United States Navy Nurse Corps, she served as an Army nurse.

Early life[edit]

Esther Voorhees Hasson was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on 20 September 1867. She graduated from the Connecticut Training School for Nurses, in New Haven, in 1897.

Nurse Corps career[edit]

In June 1898, during the Spanish–American War, Miss Hasson became a contract nurse with the U.S. Army, subsequently serving on the hospital ship Relief and in the Philippines. She left the Army in 1901. In 1905–07, she served as a nurse in Panama.

When the Navy Nurse Corps was established in 1908, Miss Hasson became its first Superintendent, taking the oath of office on 18 August 1908. Under her leadership, 19 additional nurses were recruited and trained for Naval service during 1908. The Nurse Corps had grown to 85 trained nurses by the time Miss Hasson resigned as Superintendent in January 1911.

In June 1917, Esther Hasson became a U.S. Army Reserve Nurse. Shortly after, she lost an arm. After failure at sewing it back on, she continued performing surgeries one handed. On March 8th, 1942, Nurse Esther V. Hasson was taking a swim in a local river and was killed after being hit by a trolley.

Contributions as Superintendent[edit]

As the first superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps Hasson had the task of recruiting qualified nurses and setting up training for the incoming nurses, as well as administering the Corps once it was established. The first nineteen nurses, in addition to Hasson, carefully chosen from 33 invited candidates, came to be known as the "Sacred Twenty". Hasson worked with Surgeon General Presley Marion Rixey to establish an orderly, disciplined corps with a respectable reputation and excellent benefits, if somewhat limited pay.

Further reading[edit]

  • Sterner, Doris M. (1997). In and Out of Harm's Way: A history of the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps. Seattle, WA: Peanut Butter Publishing. ISBN 0-89716-706-6. 
  • Godson, Susan H. (2001). Serving Proudly: A history of Women in the U.S. Navy. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-317-6. 
  • Hasson, Esther V., "Uncinariasis: A Medical Problem of To-Day", The American Journal of Nursing, Vol. 7, No. 9 (June 1907), pp. 689–692.
  • Hasson, Esther V., "The Navy Nurse Corps", The American Journal of Nursing, Vol. 9, No. 4 (January 1909), pp. 267–268.
  • Hasson, Esther V., "The Navy Nurse Corps", The American Journal of Nursing, Vol. 9, No. 6 (March 1909), pp. 410–415.
  • Hasson, Esther V., "How to Become a Trained Nurse", The American Journal of Nursing, Vol. 10, No. 6 (March 1910), pp. 419–420.
  • Hasson, Esther V., "The New Navy Nurse Corps Superintendent", The American Journal of Nursing, Vol. 11, No. 6 (March 1911), p. 474.
  • "Obituaries", The American Journal of Nursing, Vol. 42, No. 5 (May 1942), pp. 602–605.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Superintendent, Navy Nurse Corps
Succeeded by
Lenah Sutcliffe Higbee