The Nurse Badge (pin) was adopted and first ordered in 1906, in a design derived from the American Medical Association pin, with the addition of the laurel wreath on the outer edge. Numbering of the badges did not begin until 1909.
Since that time until present, each nurse enrolled as a Red Cross nurse receives a numbered badge and enrollment card, and the regulations for wearing the badge or the American Red Cross Nursing Service. The badge and card always remain the property of the American Red Cross, protected by an Act of Congress. The badge must not be worn by any other person than the person to whom it is issued. There are clear regulations for the disposition of badges at the end of the nurse's enrollment. The nurse, relative, or administrator of the estate, should return the badge to National Headquarters, or the nurse may choose to be buried with the badge.
Obviously, this does not always happen. Hence, the multitude of Nurse Badges "out there." Family members are often not aware of this regulation. If you have a Badge you would consider returning to National, please contact me and I will put you in touch with the appropriate people. ShirleyNational Red Cross is not able to provide personal information about American Red Cross staff members except to family researchers. There is a beautiful display of some of the returned badges in our nursing gallery in the American Red Cross Museum in Washington, D.C. We are grateful for the years of service these nurses have given to the American Red Cross.
--Information from Jean Waldman, Volunteer Nursing Historian, American Red Cross
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