J Korean Community Nurs.  1998 Dec;9(2):291-302.

The 'Nurses Ordinance' of Korea under Japanese Rule


The Japanese colonial authorities promulgated the 'Nurses Ordinance(Kanhoboo Kyuchick), in 1914. It was the first act that regulated nurses' licensure in Korea. The gendarme did the administrational work of the ordinance. After the Nurses Ordinance of 1914, nurses without licenses could no longer work with the name of nurse, and Korean nursing gained a more professional status. After the March 1st Movement of 1919, Japan realized that its iron rule had to be more sophisticated. The gendarme gave way to an ordinary constabulary force. The Nurses Ordinance was amended to set the nurses quality as good as that of Japanese nurses, and the nurses licensure of Korea could also be used in Japan. In 1931 the Japanese war against China began, and the Japanese imposed military rule once again. The Nurses Ordinance was amended to 'The Korea Nurses Ordinance'. After the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War(1937) and of World War II in the Pacific(1941), the Japanese desperately needed additional manpower to re plenish the dwindling ranks of their military and labour forces. To produce more nurses, the colonial authorities amended the 'Korea Nurses Ordinance' and lowered the age and educational status of nurses to produce more numbers. Until the Japanese surrender in August 1945, Korea was under Japanese rule. Koreans had no say in the passing of these acts, and the colonial authority could make and pass any act at will.

MeSH Terms

Asian Continental Ancestry Group*
Educational Status
Military Personnel
World War II
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