Portraits of Nurses 1880 - 1910
M. Adelaide Nutting 1858-1948
Born in Canada and received her basic education there. She emigrated to America where she enrolled in the first class of the Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Nursing. Johns Hopkins University, located in Baltimore, Maryland, was the first higher educational institution in the United States to put Nightingales’s advice into practice She graduated 1891
At the end of the two-year program, Nutting accepted a position as Head Nurse. Proving herself to be an able nurse and efficient administrator, Nutting quickly moved up the ranks within the university’s Hospital Training School. In 1892, she was appointed to assistant superintendent of nurses. Nutting was then promoted to superintendent of nurses. Finally, she became principle of the training school. In each of these positions, Nutting developed the nursing program, creating positive and more formalized standards for nursing education at the school. She extended the training program from two to three years, persuaded the school to offer scholarships to promising students, and restructured the curriculum to include field experience as part of the process.
Nutting made significant contributions to the profession of nursing nationwide. Seeking to disseminate information about nursing practices and the nursing profession more generally, she helped found the American Journal of Nursing in 1900. Nutting also headed a number of organizations dedicated to advocating for and working with nurses at all levels and in all areas of the profession . She helped draft the first nurse practice law in Maryland. In that same year, she also became the first registered nurse in the state.
Linda Richards 1841 - 1930
Not only was she the first American nurse to graduate from a formal nursing program, she trained the first Japanese nurses and established many innovations we now take for granted, including the use of written patient charts.
1872, she enrolled in the new nurse training program established by Susan Dimock, M.D., at the New England Hospital for Women and Children and in 1873 became the program’s first graduate. Her first position after graduation, was night supervisor at Bellevue Hospital . At that time all reports were oral; Physician’s orders as well as the nurse were all verbal. Linda started to provide physicians with written reports regarding their patients status. Linda created a system for charting and maintaining individual medical records for each patient. This was the first written reporting system for nurses which later was adopted by the Nightingale System .
In 1878, Linda began work at the Boston College Hospital where she established a nurse training school. In 1886, Linda established the first nurse-training program in Japan. She began at first working through an interpreter. She stayed in Japan for 5 years before returning to America.
Linda Richards continued to establish nurse training programs and schools in Philadelphia, Massachusetts and Michigan. She retired in 1911 at age 70 when she wrote her autobiography, Reminiscences of Linda Richard. She died in 1930.
Mary Eliza Mahoney (May 7, 1845 – January 4, 1926)
First African American to study and work as a professionally trained nurse in the United States, graduating in 1879. Mahoney was one of the first African Americans to graduate from a nursing school, and she prospered in a predominantly white society. She also challenged discrimination against African Americans in nursing.In 1908, Mahoney co-founded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN) with Adah B. Thoms. This organization attempted to uplift the standards and everyday lives of African-American registered nurses. The NACGN had a significant influence on eliminating racial discrimination in the registered nursing profession. In 1951, the NACGN merged with the American Nurses Association.