Updated: Feb 17
The story features a list of many multifaceted Black women who overcame great obstacles and barriers, blazing the path for future generations in the United States.
In addition to being nurses, these women were abolitionists and desegregationists of nursing schools and organizations like the US Army Nurse Corps, the American Red Cross, and the American Nurses Association.
Did you know that in addition to helping over 300 enslaved people escape to freedom, Maryland's own Harriet Tubman was a well-known and capable nurse during the Civil War?
In addition to risking their own lives to save soldiers during times of war, when they were faced with exclusion from missions, nurses like Mary Seacole raised funds to help injured soldiers. Their efforts led to dismantling the race ban in groups like the Navy and Army, and several of these nurses then served in the Army themselves.
After desegregating nursing programs in the US, these nurses served as educators and deans. They founded important organizations like the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (1908) and the National Black Nurses Association (1971). They served as leaders in their areas of expertise, including midwifery, anesthesia, and ophthalmology.
Take a moment to learn more about their incredible stories compiled by Lemetria Hurst for Nurse.org.
Join us in honoring these amazing women and their legacies this Black History Month!