1903 report to NC Medical Society
In a 1903 report to the meeting of the NC Medical Society and NC Board of Health, Dr. R.H. Lewis reported that he assisted representatives of the State Nurses' Association in preparing a bill for the registration of trained nurses, and in securing its passage. He noted:“The importance of thorough training on the part of the nurses is second only to that rightly demanded of the physicians, and this legislation is clearly in the interest of the public health. While not interfering with the right of any one to nurse the sick, the act, after January 1. 1904, permits the registration and the use of the title R. N. (registered nurse) only to those obtaining a license from the State Board of Examiners, consisting of two physicians to be elected by the State Medical Society and three trained nurses to be elected by the State Nurses' Association. Hereafter the appearance of the letters R. N. after a nurse's name will be a guarantee of her thorough training, and if our physicians will discriminate in their recommendations in favor of that class they will create a very strong incentive on the part of all trained nurses to enroll themselves in the future among those who will surely be recognized as the best in their calling."