Bridgewater professor wins history award

Kara Dixon Vuic, an assistant professor of history at Bridgewater College, has won the American Association for the History of Nursing Lavinia Dock Book Award for her 2010 work, Officer, Nurse, Woman: The Army Nurse Corps in the Vietnam War.

The award will be presented at the AAHN’s conference in London in September.

Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, Vuic’s book is the only one on the market that offers an in-depth, exhaustively researched look at nurses in Vietnam, why they joined the Army Nurse Corps, what happened to them during and after the war, and the social-cultural context in which they served.

Vuic, who has taught at Bridgewater since 2006, began the book as a dissertation in graduate school. Her research included delving into thousands of documents unseen since the Vietnam War and interviewing some 100 former Vietnam nurses, many of whom provided her with personal images to use in the book.

“What I’d like people to understand when they read my book is how complicated it was to be a woman at that time – to be a woman and in the army,” Vuic said. “And while I wanted it to be an academic book, I also wanted it to be something that a nurse who served at that time could pick up and read and understand. I wanted it to be a story, as well.”

Founded in 1978, the American Association for the History of Nursing is a professional organization that fosters the importance of history as relevant to understanding the past, defining the present, and influencing the future of nursing.

Edited by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at

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