There are famous individuals that exist in every field, including Nursing! Believe it or not, nursing had a poor reputation back in the day. Nursing was something of the poor, or so they thought. Today, nursing is one of the fastest growing careers out there. Those on this list have helped nursing as a career propel into what it is now.
Florence is one of the most well known nurses who revolutionized the career. She was born into a wealthy British family and shocked her parents when she told them that nursing was the career of her choice. She had an epiphany one day that nursing was what she wanted to do. Like any nurse back then, Florence was sent off to a hospital for treating wounded soldiers. She quickly found out that hospital conditions were subpar and spent a fair amount of time improving hospitals. After serving wounded soldiers, she returned to Britain where she proposed her ideas to Queen Victoria, giving way to the Army Medical College. This college provided a curriculum for medical schools that would go on to impact the programs you see today.
Like Florence, her epiphany occurred during military activity. In fact, it was during the Civil War. She found a way to encourage people to donate supplies and goods to the wounded soldiers of the war. Clara Barton took her skills and made a huge name for nursing and its cause when she opened the American Red Cross organization to aid the relieving and suffering.
Mary Eliza Mahoney
Mary was the first registered African American nurse. She helped pave the way for nurses by co-founding the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses, which later became the American Nurses Association. She pushed for educational rights not just for African Americans but also for everyone.
Mary dedicated her life to those in need. Her efforts to improve the lives of women and children in rural areas serve as a great example of striving for change. Her main goal was to fix the mortality rate, to which she successfully pioneered advancement in rural areas by introducing an affordable system of health care. Her foundation was known as the Frontier Nursing Service, which provided health care for a low service fee. The Frontier Nursing Service is still serving mothers and children today.
Nursing was something that was expected in Margaret’s family. However, she wanted to become more than just a nurse. She sought to change the outlook on pregnancy by strongly advocating the use of birth control. She was tired of seeing pregnancy ruining the lives of many. She pushed for the use of contraceptives to be a right in Europe, but had to flee because her views were considered too radical. She came over to the U.S. where she opened to 1st birth control clinic in America, which wasn’t taken well by the government. She didn’t give up. She was strong in her beliefs and it wasn’t until the booming population after World War II where people finally listened to her. Birth control became available in 1965, later followed by a Supreme Court ruling allowing the use of birth control for married couples.
You don’t have to change the world in order to become a nurse, but if it weren’t for these spectacular ladies then nursing wouldn’t be the hot profession that it is today. We all have to start somewhere and the program here at Marian College is an excellent starting point for aspiring nurses.
If you’re interested then read more about our program here.