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Check your understanding: true or false Click the finish button before you check your answers. I think a good friendship is developed when friends can think and feel in each other's shoes. What would you do if your friends put the bite on you to play arcade games with other friends not with you?? Nursing has come a long way over the years, and its evolution – at least politically – owes much to the exceptional service, advocacy and determination of African Americans in the profession. Later, Taylor wrote an autobiographical account of her experiences titled Reminiscences of My Life In Camp with the 33d US Colored Troops. Betty Smith Williams grew up in South Bend, Indiana and says that she “saw very early on how activism and collectivism could impact change.” Williams took this philosophy with her into the nursing world and became the first black individual to wear the cap of Cleveland, Ohio’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.
But perhaps Williams’ most groundbreaking achievement was co-founding the National Black Nurses Association in 1971. Born in 1901, Estelle Massey Osborne became the first black woman to earn a master’s degree in nursing. In 1943, Osborne became a consultant for the National Nursing Council for War Services and helped to get the color ban lifted from nursing in the US Army and Navy.
Then in 1945 she became the first black member of New York University’s teaching faculty and used her position to continue to fight for black nurses’ rights.
Harvey believed that everyone deserved professional acknowledgement, regardless of his or her background. Johnson-Brown’s abilities in the operating theater led to her climbing the ranks in the army.
As well as her Harlem diploma, Johnson-Brown achieved a nursing bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and an educational administration PhD.
Isabella Baumfree – better known by her self-given name Sojourner Truth – was born into slavery in Ulster County, New York in 1797.
In an age before any formal nurse training existed, Truth’s perception and advocacy of the need for such education remain truly legendary.
Harriet Tubman was an all-round inspirational figure who risked her life countless times to free others from the same slavery into which she had been born. Tubman’s work was so outstanding that one Union general pushed for Congress to give her a pension for her efforts. In 1879, Mahoney became the first registered black nurse when she graduated from a training program in New England.
Effectively, Mahoney proved that African Americans could not only become nurses, but that they could do the job with excellence, compassion and efficiency.
Mahoney went on to co-establish the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses in 1908. Although the term “African American” doesn’t usually apply to black people born in the Americas outside of the US, no list of trailblazing black nurses would be complete without Jamaican-born Mary Seacole. With a reputation that rivals that of Florence Nightingale, Seacole certainly made history.


After the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1853, Seacole traveled overseas to the British War Office, determined to serve as an army nurse. Surprisingly enough, they said a good friend should respect your private time and take care not to get too involved in you.
From the inspirational Harriet Tubman to the feisty Mary Eliza Mahoney, these 10 women stand as shining examples to any aspiring nurse.
During the American Civil War, she worked as a volunteer for the Union Army, handling diverse tasks such as laundering clothes, teaching soldiers how to read and write, and making custard using turtle eggs.
When some of the soldiers were quarantined after coming down with smallpox, she crept into their tents and nursed them back to health, even though this was not permitted. In the book, she reflects on the bad treatment of African Americans and hopes for a time when different races might live together in harmony.
She encountered segregated nurse training programs and found that African Americans were excluded from major organizations. She also went on to become the first black person to teach at either a college or university in the entire state of California. The Association is dedicated to providing black nurses with the impetus to act collectively and to improving general healthcare for African Americans. She also assisted in almost doubling, within two years, the number of training schools that would accept black students. Osborne’s legacy lives on in the form of the Estelle Massey Osborne Scholarship for registered black nurses interested in studying a nursing master’s degree full time. She became Dean of Tuskegee University School of Nursing in 1948 and held the position for nearly 30 years. Even the harsh segregation rules of the 1940s didn’t deter her, and she went on to achieve a number of honors. She eventually became the first black woman to be promoted to brigadier general and the first to head the 7,000-strong US Army Nurse Corps. And to top it all off, she was awarded a number of distinguished military decorations in addition to being named Army Nurse of the Year twice. And although she would later gain fame as an abolitionist and women’s rights activist, Truth was originally a nurse who served a family named the Dumonts. But perhaps most notably, Truth used her strong voice and eloquent speeches to urge Congress to finance training programs for nurses. But the 300 or so slaves she led to freedom weren’t the only people’s lives she changed.
And because she didn’t contract smallpox herself, stories spread that she had been blessed by God.
After the war was over, Tubman continued to nurse others and helped found a home for the elderly. In 1905, she graduated from the Lincoln Hospital and Home School of Nursing, where the following year she became acting director – a position she held for nearly two decades.
She was instrumental in setting up the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses and strove for the acceptance of black nurses into the American Red Cross.


And in recognition of her contribution to the nursing profession, in 1936 the American Nurses Association instituted the Mary Mahoney Award, to be awarded to nurses who go above and beyond when it comes to integration and equal opportunities for minorities in the field of nursing. Not only did she cope with prejudice and discrimination, but she was also a selfless nurse, dedicated to providing strong medical services to wounded soldiers. Then when she was refused, she funded her own trip to Crimea, started a hotel for injured officers (built out of salvaged materials), and braved enemy fire to nurse the wounded on the battlefield. Through their dedication, excellence and strength of spirit, these trailblazing African-American women broke down racial barriers in the nursing profession and truly changed the course of history. Throughout her career, Osborne dedicated herself to improving the options available to black nurses across the country.
During her time as Dean, Harvey was pivotal in establishing and offering Alabama’s first Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. She was promised her freedom a year before the 1827 Emancipation Act, but when her owner changed his mind, she fled with her young daughter Sophia in 1826.
Tubman served as a nurse during the American Civil War and used her knowledge of herbal medicine to treat wounded soldiers on the island of Port Royal off the coast of South Carolina. During this period, it was extremely rare for black people to hold such high-level roles, but Thoms handled it with excellence. She also worked for equal opportunities for nurses in the US Army Nurse Corps and even spoke to President Warren G.
The program was so difficult that only three students out of the entire class of 40 graduated. Affectionately, she was known as “Mother Seacole.” And she is still remembered in Britain, where many buildings and organizations are named in her honor.
Instead, she became an imposing figure in the fight for racial equality and played a vital part in the acceptance of all ethnicities into the US Army and the American Nurses Association. Her goal was to ensure that black nurses received just as high-caliber an education as their white counterparts. The program offered students a strong education, complete with hands-on hospital experience – both locally and out of state.
She showed them the importance of advancing their education, striking a balance between work and family life, and finding ways to get involved with their local communities. Harding regarding the issue – offering him and his wife roses and letting him know that 2,000 African-American nurses were waiting to do their bit for America. As she stated years afterward, “All this time my interest in the boys in blue had not abated.



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