First civil service examination for nurses at the Administrative Department of Public Service

ABSTRACT Objective: to describe the results of the first national public service examination for nurses conducted by the Administrative Department of Public Service between 1941 and 1942. Method: historical-documentary research with a quantitative approach. Results: 155 candidates registered, aged between 21 and 35 years old, 141 (91%) of whom were female. A total of 120 candidates passed the practical exam. Of these, 116 took the written qualification exam. In the end, 107 were approved, 74 (69.1%) of whom were temporary public nurses, 59 (55.1%) Anna Nery Nursing School alumni, and 10 among the first 20 twenty became involved with the Brazilian Association of Nursing later. Conclusion: although the exam legitimized the meritbased culture in the staff selection in the area of Brazilian nursing, egalitarian criteria were mitigated, especially regarding the grades applied to different kinds of exams. This resulted in a significant number of temporary nurses approved.