Celebrating National Nurses Week 

Happy National Nurses week! A big, heartfelt thank you to all nurses everywhere—we are indebted to you for everything that you are doing, today and always! This week, you are our Favorite Friday! Please enjoy these works from our collection that honor nurses throughout history.

Teenie Harris photographed many healthcare workers. In African American churches, parishioners who were professional nurses would serve as medical attendants during religious gatherings.

A photograph of eighteen women wearing nurse uniforms in front of church building.
Charles “Teenie” Harris, Eighteen women wearing nurse uniforms in front of church building, ca. 1950–1970, Carnegie Museum of Art

The starched white nursing uniforms and caps reflect these nurses’ pride in their vocation. The nursing cap was a sign of the profession’s values of honesty, dedication, wisdom, and faith. It also kept nurses’ hair neatly in place as they worked.

A photograph of two women wearing nurse uniforms pouring contents of container into cup, in interior with chemicals, test tubes, and medical instruments on desk in medical office or hospital.
Charles “Teenie” Harris, Two women wearing nurse uniforms pouring contents of container into cup, in interior with chemicals, test tubes, and medical instruments on desk in medical office or hospital, ca. 1940–1955, Carnegie Museum of Art

American Impressionist artist Childe Hassam spent the summer of 1918 capturing scenes in and around the coastal town of Gloucester, Massachusetts. His friend and fellow artist Cecilia Beaux modeled for this lithograph, which pays homage to the many Red Cross nurses who provided aid at home while the war raged in Europe. Hassam finished the print, which is inscribed “East Gloucester, August 28th,” only a few days before the first outbreak of influenza in the area.

A lithograph depicts a red cross nurse in her uniform sitting at a table by a window and looking off to the left.
Childe Hassam, Red Cross Nurse, 1918, Carnegie Museum of Art

This image of nurses waiting patiently with an infant is one of many scenes that Esther Bubley captured at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, where she spent more than three weeks documenting activities throughout the hospital on a commission for the Pittsburgh Photographic Library.

A black and white photograph depicts three women, all nurses, waiting with an infant in a mid-century operation room.
Esther Bubley, (Health Care: Nurses with Baby Waiting for Anesthetist), 1951, Carnegie Museum of Art