Meet Nurse Sarah Bennett. She proves the old adage, “Once a nurse, always a nurse.” Nurse Bennett was tired of being just another pretty face at the office, so she became an airline stewardess. Here is her story:

“OFFICE DRESSING.” That, Sarah thought wryly, was exactly what she had been as a nurse to the handsome and successful Dr. Ralph Caldwell Porter. Looking wand-slim and elegant in her white nylon uniform, her heaviest duty had been to stand by serenely while Ralph administered to the imaginary needs of some fawning, simpering female. She needed a new perspective on her life, and time to think about Ralph. She had to decide whether she could marry a man she loved—but didn’t respect.

Now, as a newly appointed stewardess of the Alaska Passenger and Freight Airlines, she faced her biggest challenge as a nurse and as a woman. And what, Sarah thought desperately to herself was she going to do? The plane had crashed, and the passengers were all depending on her. Her passengers were dangerously ill, and the pilot was dangerously attractive.

Decisions, decisions. It sounds like Nurse Bennett has her hands full, but she’s a nurse, so you know everyone is in good hands.


Did you know that a long time ago, when commercial air travel was new, nurses served as stewardesses? These pictures are from a book in my collection. The transition from bedside nursing to serving tea and coffee was all about marketing. The airlines hired nurses to help the American public get over their fear of flying. After all, if air flight was safe enough for nurses, it was safe enough for everyone. And who else was better qualified to care for passengers just in case something went wrong?

Maybe American Airlines should revisit the idea of hiring nurses to serve as stewardesses on their flights. They are in deep trouble after a passenger died while begging for help. The 44-year-old woman was in respiratory distress, and her stewardess kept blowing her off. Then two doctors and two nurses on the flight stepped in and tried to save the woman’s life. They attempted giving the woman oxygen, but the two oxygen tanks on the plane were empty. Then the defibrillator that the plane was carrying didn’t work. American Airlines slogan is, “There is Something Special in the Air.” Maybe that something special should be a nurse.

Coffee, tea, defibrillator paddles?