Lucile Petry Leone

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Lucile Petry Leone
Photo Lucile Petry Leone (1902-1999).jpg
Lucile Petry Leone
Born (1902-01-23)January 23, 1902
Frog Heaven, Preble County, Ohio
Died November 25, 1999(1999-11-25) (aged 97)
San Francisco
Known for Founding director of the Cadet Nurse Corps
Medical career
Profession Nurse
Institutions Cadet Nurse Corps, United States Public Health Service, University of Minnesota, Texas Women's University

Lucile Petry Leone (January 23, 1902 – November 25, 1999) was an American nurse who was the founding director of the Cadet Nurse Corps in 1943. Because the Nurse Corps met its recruiting quotas, it was not necessary for the US to draft nurses in World War II. She was the first woman and the first nurse to be appointed as Assistant Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service.


Lucile Petry completed a double major in chemistry and English at the University of Delaware in 1924.[1] She received a nursing degree from Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in 1927, and a master's degree from Columbia Teachers College in 1929."[1][2] She became a clinical nurse instructor at Yale University, and then spent 11 years at the University of Minnesota, where she became an associate professor and Assistant Dean.

From 1941 until 1966 Leone worked at the United States Public Health Service.[3]

In 1943, Petry became the founding director of the Cadet Nurse Corps.

From July 1943 to October 1945, about 132,000 women were admitted to colleges across the country under the act. In exchange for federal funding, participating colleges were required to establish a 24- to 30-month accelerated education program for nurse candidates. And the women who enrolled had to pledge to "engage in essential nursing, military or civilian, for the duration of the war.

In return for that pledge, the government paid all tuition fees and a monthly stipend that ranged from $15 to $30, depending on the seniority of the nurse candidate, and supplied distinctive uniforms by fashion designer Molly Parnis.[1]

Lucile Petry Leone

The program was a success, training 124,000 nurse cadets in basic schools, making it unnecessary to draft nurses for war service. Petry became the first nurse and the first woman to be promoted to Assistant Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service.

She married Nicholas C. Leone in 1952. They divorced in 1967.[4] When she retired from government service in 1966, Lucile P. Leone was the Assistant Surgeon General and Chief Nurse Officer.[5] Leone went on to serve as Assistant Dean and a teacher of nursing at Texas Woman's University until 1971.[3]

During the 1960s, she served as President of the National League for Nursing.[6]


Leone received the Florence Nightingale Medal of the International Red Cross, the Distinguished Service Award of the United States Public Health Service, and the Lasker Award. She was named by the University of Maryland School of Nursing "as one of seven who significantly impacted the nursing profession."[4] She was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine in 1970.[7]

The Lucile Petry Leone Award was established by 2,500 members of the Public Health Service to honor Leone upon her retirement, and to encourage nursing leadership. It is presented biennially by the National League for Nursing "to an outstanding nurse educator."[6]



  1. ^ a b c Thurber, Jon (January 3, 2000). "Lucile Petry Leone; Led U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 6, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Petry, Lucile (1902–1999) – Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia". January 1, 2002. Retrieved April 6, 2012 – via HighBeam Research. 
  3. ^ a b Honan, William H. (December 5, 1999). "Lucile Petry Leone, 97, Recruiter of Nurses During World War II". The New York Times. p. 62. 
  4. ^ a b "Preble County, Ohio Obituary Collection −1999 – 151". February 11, 2010. Retrieved April 6, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Lucile Petry Leone (1902–1999)". Acc. 90–105 – Science Service, Records, 1920s–1970s. Smithsonian Institution Archives. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Fondiller, Shirley H. (November 1, 2000). "The Indomitable Lucile Petry Leone: Nursing's Valiant Leader.". Nursing and Health Care Perspectives. Retrieved April 6, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Directory: IOM Member - Lucile P. Leone, M.A.". Institute of Medicine. Retrieved July 26, 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Bullough, V., Sentz, L., & Stein, A, eds. (1992). Lucile Petty Leone. American Nursing: A biographical dictionary. New York, Garland.
  • Robinson, T. M. (2000, Winter). Lucile Petry Leone (1902–1999) – we remember her. American Association for the History of Nursing Bulletin, 65, 9.
  • National League of Nursing Education. (1945). Report of the U.S. Cadet Corps, Lucile Perry, Director., p. 336. Minutes of Board of Directors, January 22–26.
  • Petty, L, & Spalding, E. K. (1943). Production front in nursing. American Journal of Nursing, 43(10), 900–901.
  • Christy, T. (1969). Cornerstone for nursing education. New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Brueggemann, D. W. (2000, Winter). Remembering Lucile Petry Leone. American Association for the History of Nursing Bulletin, 65, 9–10.
  • National League for Nursing. (1963). Report of the President, Minutes of Board of Directors, January 28 – February 1.
  • National League for Nursing. (1963). Report of the General Director for 1962. Minutes of Board of Directors, January 28 – February 1.

External links[edit]