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Courier Nurses of Santa Fe

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company employed registered nurses known as "Nurse Couriers," and assigned them to their passenger trains from the 1930s through the 1960s to attend to the medical needs of passengers. During their travels the nurses also assisted with certain administrative duties of the railroad and errands that required attention.

During World War II, many of these trained professionals joined the Red Cross, the Navy and the Army and served at home and overseas. When the war was over, the railroad welcomed them back to their pre-war positions. It appears from the Railway records that more than a few made this job a career that spanned decades.

With the waning of the railroad as a mainstay of travel, the "Nurse Courier" disappeared.  A cursory search through mid-20th century employment records did not turn up an exact number of how many "Santa Fe Nurse Couriers" were employed by the AT&SF, but archival photographs show dozens upon dozens of women with the title "Nurse Courier," making it difficult to determine their geographic assignment.