Mary Eliza Mahoney: The First African American Woman To Be Colored As A Professional Nurse

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Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first African American woman to be trained as a professional nurse. She was one out of only four of the 42 applicants to the nursing program to receive the coveted diploma in 1879 (Chayer, 1971). Mary was born and alive in 1845 during the times of slavery, The Civil war, and the abolition movement (Darraj, 2005). Background
Mary was born May 7th, 1845 in Dorchester, Massachusetts. It was also rumored that she was really born in Roxbury, Massachusetts but she is known for growing up mainly in the Boston area. Mary was born of Peter Mahoney, and mother, Mary Jane Stewart-Mahoney. Both of her parents were from
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For example, Mary Mahoney was named an original member of the American Nurses Association or A.N.A. in 1986. The American Nurses Association is a predominately white association, so this was a big step during this time. Mary Mahoney also co- founded the National Association of Colored graduates (NACGN) in 1908 because of the A.N. A’s hesitation to add more Negro members. She also delivered the welcome address at the organization’s first annual convention in 1909 (American society of registered nursing, 2008). Mahoney was really active in the involvement of women’s rights. She became one of Boston’s first women to vote at the age of 76. Unfortunately, the NACGN was dissolved sometime after Mahoney’s death, but Mary was later inducted into the nursing hall of fame in 1976 (American society of registered nursing, 2008). Mary was most likely motivated to become a nurse because of her religious background. Mary Mahoney was a Baptist woman, and she attended the Phillips street school. These two things both taught her the values of being a humanitarian, which is truth, justice, integrity, and purity (Darraj,

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