Nursing 4 Cent Stamp

Historic Stamp Still Important Today
June 23, 2023 – 02:14 pm

By, BSN, RNThe end of December will mark the 50th anniversary of the United States Postal Service's (USPS) issuing of the now iconic Nursing postage stamp. This stamp has served many as a symbol of nursing's continued growth as a profession and relevance in the world of healthcare.

There is a nursing influence in areas most of us wouldn't give a second thought—like philately, the study o f stamps. There are 25 million stamp collectors in the United States and over 200 million worldwide and many of them are nurses who collect stamps with nurses on them. From Great Britain, to Cuba, to the Netherlands nurses have graced many an envelope. In fact, the US has produced fewer postal stamps commemorating nurses than many other countries, which is what makes this stamp so much more interesting.

In a joint presentation at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Nursing (UTHSC SON) this week, Dorothy Otto, Ed.D., RN (stamp collector), Adrian Melissinos, Ph.D., RN (historian) and Mary Martha Stinnett, former chair of the UTHSC SON PARTNERS program, which provides nursing scholarships and faculty research grants, celebrated the 1961 issuance of the nursing stamp.

With the stamp as her example, Melissinos, addressed the process of historical research. She explained following the trail of the stamp's creation using historic methodology like archive and library searches, uncovering documents and letters, and using museum resources.

It seems there is a group named the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee that decides who gets a likeness on a postal stamp. In a 1947 issue of the American Journal of Nursing Melissinos found her first calling for the stamp in a letter to the editor. By 1957, individuals and organizations all over the country were supporting its development to the national committee. There was even a drive aimed at writing congressmen to gain support for the stamp.

The stamp's issuance in 1961 commemorated the 100th anniversary of nurse training in this country, for it was in 1861 that the Woman's Hospital of Philadelphia opened as the first chartered school for nursing. The stamp features a nursing student lighting a candle. It is a common practice for nursing student to light a candle during their pinning ceremony as a symbol of the "passing of the flame" from Florence Nightingale to each new nurse.

Invitations to the unveiling went to the elite in nursing across the country including the head officers of the American Nurses Association, the National League of Nurses, the American Medical Association and the National Student Nurses Association to name a few.

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Interesting facts

The Duke University School of Nursing is located in Durham, NC and is affiliated with Duke University and Duke University Health System. The school offers an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing, Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP), and a Ph.D. Program. The 2011 US News & World Report's rankings of nursing...

Popular Q&A
What is the value of a Newfoundland 4 cent stamp?

between 80 dollars to 10.000 or more ,,depending on its condition and a certificate of authencity

4 cent nursing stamp.

Its a common stamp.  The current catalog (retail) value is 20 cents, but it often changes hands for much less.

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