Celebrating Female Nurses During Women’s History Month

Celebrating Female Nurses During Women’s History Month

March marks a month-long celebration of the vital role women have played in American history. 

Throughout Women's History Month we will be highlighting women who are forging their path in the field of nursing and making a difference in the world each day.  Before featuring our present day heroines, we want to pause and take a moment to admire the women in nursing who forged a path for all of us. 

While there are countless female nurses with moxie whom we admire, there are a few nursing pioneers from the 19th century we’d like to honor to start off Women's History Month.

Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first African-American woman to become a registered nurse. Due to the overwhelming discrimination, Mary Eliza started her carrer in private nursing and later joined the Nurses Associated Alumnae of the United States and Canada. She co-founded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses to help forge the path for other Black nurses. Mary Eliza was a true champion of women’s rights.

Known as America's "Angel of the Battlefield'', Clara Barton made it her mission to bring supplies to Union soldiers in need. Following this passion, she founded the American Red Cross in 1881 and led the organization until 1904. She was also an avid supporter of women’s suffrage.

Florence Nightingale wrote over 150 books, pamphlets and reports on health-related issues and pioneered the movement of good patient care and safe hospital environments. Known as “The Lady With the Lamp,” and the founder of modern nursing, her experiences as a nurse during the Crimean War led her to establish the St. Thomas Hospital and the Nightingale Training School for Nurses in 1860.

Dorothea Dix spent 40 years of her life lobbying for mental health care and was the superintendent of female nurses for the Union Army. Dorothea oversaw a staff of 6,000 hospital nurses and founded 32 mental health institutions throughout her career. She was a true mental health advocate. 

Who are you honoring during Women's History Month?