Nurses are oftentimes unsung heroes that are left in the shadows of doctors who get much of the credit.
Well, not today.
The group of nurses featured below left a beautiful mark on the history of healthcare that could never be erased. Many times, in the face of adversity, these women gave their all to their patients and careers, many times behind the scenes and without recognition. That’s why WE honor them. We have seen their effort, and their history-making triumphs that have laid the groundwork for many nurses today. Take a look below at just some of the groundbreaking nurses throughout history.
7. Estelle Massey Osborne
Born in 1901, Estelle Massey Osborne became the first black woman to earn a master’s degree in nursing. But this isn’t the only fact that distinguishes her. Throughout her career, Osborne dedicated herself to improving the options available to black nurses across the country. Her goal was to ensure that black nurses received just as high-caliber an education as their white counterparts.
In 1943, Osborne became a consultant for the National Nursing Council for War Services and helped to get the color ban lifted from nursing in the US Army and Navy. She also assisted in almost doubling, within two years, the number of training schools that would accept black students.
Then in 1945 she became the first black member of New York University’s teaching faculty and used her position to continue to fight for black nurses’ rights. Osborne’s legacy lives on in the form of the Estelle Massey Osborne Scholarship for registered black nurses interested in studying a nursing master’s degree full time.
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