Mary Eliza Mahoney's Inequalities In Nursing Education

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Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first African American nurse in America, and an organizer among African American nurses. She was born on May 7, 1845 in Boston, and she was the oldest out of three children. When she was 18 years old, she made the decision to pursue a nursing career, working at the New England Hospital for Women and Children. In the year 1878, at 33 years old, she was accepted in the hospital’s nursing school, the first professional nursing program in the country (pbs.org). Of the 42 students who started that year, Mahoney was one of four other students who graduated the next year. Training required 12 months in the medical, surgical, and maternity wards in the hospital, lectures and instruction by doctors, as well as four months of work as a private duty nurse…show more content…
In here speech, she discussed the inequalities in nursing education and called for the New England Hospital to admit more African American students. Conference members responded to this by selecting Mahoney to be chaplain of the association she was also extended a lifetime membership (pbs.org). She was concerned with the equality of women and supported the right for women to vote. When the Nineteenth Amendment in the year 1920, she was one of the first women to register to vote in Boston when she was 76 years old. Mahoney was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1923 and died in 1926 (pbs.org). Four years after Mahoney’s death the number of African American women pursing nursing had doubled by the year 1930. Finally, an award was made in her honor in 1936 and was later continued by the American Nurses Association (A.N.A.) in order to improve the status of African American nurses. She was inducted into the hall of fame for the A.N.A in 1976
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