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Mary Mahoney

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Meet Mary Eliza Mahoney, the First Licensed Black Nurse in the U.S.

Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first Black woman to become a licensed nurse in the United States, according to the National Women’s History Museum . After working as a janitor, cook, washwoman, and nurse’s aide at the New England Hospital for Women and Children, Mahoney was admitted into their nursing program. She became one of only four students out of a class of 42 to complete the program in 1879 making history as the only African American to do so. Born May 7, 1845 (other sources say April 16) — in Boston, MA — Mahoney was the daughter of freed slaves who moved from North Carolina to Boston to distance themselves from the heavily racist south. As a child Mahoney attended the Philips School in Boston, one of the first integrated schools in the country. After fifteen years of working several roles at the New England Hospital, Mahoney entered the nursing graduate program at the age of 33. Mahoney completed the rigorous 16-month program sealing her place in history as the first African...

Devin Crudup

Apr 9, 2020