Nurses are a very big part or our existence and history. Without nursing we won’t be able to get well after an illness or operations. There are many nurses who changed the course of the nursing history, but these 5 Black American nurses are best known for changing the course of history.
Susie King Taylor
Susie King Taylor was a woman with many talents. She volunteers for the Union Army during the American Civil war. She then handled the laundry, teaching soldiers to read and write and she even makes custard out of turtle eggs. She was also a pretty good shot.
But what makes her great was the fact that she was not only just a normal nurse, but she was also nursing soldiers. Even when they were quarantined because they had smallpox. She just crept into their tents and nursed them back to health. She never was thinking about her own health, she was just thinking about the health of the sick soldiers. She didn’t even care is the sick soldiers was black or white.
Later in her life, Susie King Taylor wrote an autobiographic of her experience. The book’s name is Reminiscences.
Betty Smith Williams
Betty Smith Williams grew up in Indiana, South Bend. She saw from a very early age how activism and collectivism could start impact change. She became the first black person to wear the cap of Cleveland Ohio’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. She also was the first black person who teaches at a college or university in the State of California.
Betty Smith Williams was co-founding the National Black nurses association in 1971. This association is providing black nurses with the impetus to act collectively for African Americans.
Estelle Massey Osborne
Estelle Massey Osborne was born in 1901 and she became the first black woman to earn a Master’s degree in the nursing program. During her career, she ensured that black nurses receive the same education as the white nurses.
Estelle Massey Osborne became a consultant for the National nursing Council in 1943 for the war services and helps to get the color ban lifted from nursing in the US Army and the Navy.
Lillian Holland Harvey
Lillian Holland Harvey was a registered nurse and she was best known for her work in education. In 1948 she became Dean of Tuskegee University School of nursing and held the position for almost 30 years. During her career she was offered the Alabama’s first Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.
Lillian Holland Harvey strongly believes that everyone, no matter of his or her background, deserved professional acknowledgement. No matter of the segregation rules of the 1940s, she achieved a lot of honors.
Sojourner Truth’s real name was Isabella Baumfree. She was born into slavery in Ulster Country, New York in 1797. She was a registered nurse and worked at the National Freedman’s Relief association in Washington. Here she strives to improve the cleanliness and quality of care. Sojourner Truth also used her strong voice and eloquent speeches to urge Congress to finance training the nursing programs.
These five black women was part of the Nursing history and changed the course of history. They will not just be remembered of the fact that they changed the course of history, but also their fights for black nurses.