The first female flight attendant was a 25-year-old registered nurse named Ellen Church. She was hired by Boeing Air Transport (predecessor of United Airlines) in 1930 when it was thought that all stewardesses should be nurses.
Other airlines followed suit, hiring nurses to serve as flight attendants. In the United States, the job was one of only a few in the 1930s that allowed women to take on this job. In the wake of the Great Depression, it led to large numbers of applicants for the few positions available with over two thousand women applying for only 43 positions offered by TWA in December 1935.