Black nurses in history

Black nurses in the civil war and world war

It was during the American Civil War that black nurses served in the medical settings. They were mostly into domestic settings that involved cooking and laundering for the soldiers. When the Union Army marched through the South there were many freed black men enlisted in the army. Women members of their families gradually found employment with the unit.

There were five black nurses who had served under the Catholic nuns on the hospital Navy ship called the “Red Rover”.  There are four names that have been recorded and they were Alice Kennedy, Sarah Kinno, Ellen Campbell and Betsy Young. There were as many as one hundred and eighty one black nurses, both female and male, who had served in the US government and convalescent hospitals in Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina during the above Civil War.

The first black male nurse to be recorded in history is James Derham (1757-1802). He was the first African American nurse in New Orleans in the year 1793. He was born into slavery and was owned by many doctors. One of his owners Dr Robert Love encouraged him to take up the medical professional and he earned enough money that he was able to buy his own freedom.

The first black female nurse in history was Mary Eliza Mahoney (1845-1926). She was a pioneer for the other black nurses in the nation as she was the inspiration behind The National Association Of Colored Graduate Nurses. She made it possible for other black nurses to be received by President Warren G. Harding at the White House.

Most related article:  the National Black Nurses Association

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