Nurses are often the unsung heroes of the medical world, and just as doctors tend to get more public credit in their day to day work, many famous nursing pioneers are overlooked by history books. Here are a few inspirational nurses you may not have heard about.
Nurses do some amazing things for our society- no wonder there’s a week devoted to them. Throughout history, a few nurses have stood out for their pioneering discoveries and unmatched sacrifices and bravery. For example, Clara Barton was a nurse during the Civil War, and earned the nickname ‘The Angel of the Battlefield”, before founding the Red Cross in 1881 and heading the organization for 23 years.
Mary Eliza Mahoney was a pioneer for women of color in the world of nursing, as the first African-American woman to complete nurse’s training in 1879, and the co-founder of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses in 1908. Much later on, Rear Admiral Faye Glenn Abdellah (who died in 2017), a veteran of the Korean War who received five Distinguished Service medals, became a renowned nursing researcher, publishing over 150 articles during her lifetime. She developed the revolutionary ‘twenty-one nursing problems theory’, used to determine patient needs.
These nurses, and many more besides helped pave the way for today’s nurses and nursing students to help their patients and progress in their careers, which is why we remember them today as pioneers.