Friday fact #23: The first African American to study and work as a professionally trained nurse in the United States

Mary Eliza Mahoney was born in 1845 in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Mahoney’s parents were freed slaves, originally from North Carolina, who moved north before the Civil War in pursuit of a life with less racial discrimination.

At the age of 33 Mary was admitted into a 16 month program at the New England Hospital for Women and Children (NEHWC) in 1878. The NEHWC became the first institution to offer such a program allowing women to work towards entering the healthcare industry, which was predominantly led by men.

She was the first African American to study and work as a professionally trained nurse in the United States, graduating in 1879.

She prospered in a predominantly white society and also challenged discrimination against African Americans in nursing.

About Mduduzi Mbiza 111 Articles
Mduduzi Mbiza is a creator. Author of the book, ‘Human Education: The Voyage of Discovery’.