This article identifies and describes the experiences of US nurses in the 1918 influenza pandemic and compares them to nurses' experiences today as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings are based on traditional historical methods with a social history framework. Because of advances in nursing, medicine, and science, nurses' work is quite different today than it was in 1918. Yet two facts remain the same: In the setting of a pandemic of a dangerous virus for which there are few proven treatments and no vaccine, skilled nursing care is critical to patient outcomes; and support from federal, state, and local governments, community organizations, and volunteers is as important now as it was in 1918.
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