Main Menu

Department of Nursing Education to host April 21 conference on military nursing

ISSUED: 13 March 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — A historical review of nursing’s contributions to the military, as well as the effects of war on the nurses themselves, will be the topic of a conference sponsored by the Shepherd University Department of Nursing Education on Friday, April 21, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. in Erma Ora Byrd Hall. Cost for the conference is $80 and will provide nursing continuing education credit. For an extra fee, continuing education units through Shepherd are also available.

Shepherdstown’s location across the Potomac River from Antietam National Battlefield serves as the starting point for understanding the effect of combat on the development of modern nursing. At the time of the Civil War, there was no organized nursing profession. Dr. Barbara Mann Wall, the Thomas A. Saunders III Professor of in Nursing at the University of Virginia School of Nursing and an affiliate at the University of Virginia’s Nau Center for Civil War History, will talk about who served as nurses in the Civil War.

Modern warfare and the science of treating combat wounded changed nursing care in Vietnam. Dr. Diane Corcoran, a health care consultant and retired Army nurse who served in Vietnam and earned a Bronze Star and Legion of Merit, will discuss nursing in Vietnam and how her experiences shaped her study of near-death experiences.

Dr. Elizabeth Scannell-Desch, associate dean for baccalaureate programs at Rutgers University and a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, will make a presentation of her research on the experiences of military nurses in Iraq and Afghanistan during 2003-2011. Scannell-Desch is the author of two books—“Nurses in War: Voices from Iraq and Afghanistan” and “Nurses After War: Voices from Iraq and Afghanistan.” Copies of the books will be available for purchase and Scannell-Desch will sign them.

Proceeds from the conference will benefit nursing scholarships at Shepherd. For more information, visit

— 30 —