Influential Nurses

  • Mary Eliza Mahoney

    Mary Eliza Mahoney
    In 1908, she cofounded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN). She became the first African American to graduate from the school of nursing in 1879.
  • Clara Barton

    Clara Barton
    Barton had performed most of the services during the war that would later be associated with the American Red Cross, which she founded in 1881. In 1861, after the Baltimore Riots, she organized a relief program for the soldiers, beginning a lifetime of philanthropy.
  • Dorothea Dix

    Dorothea Dix
    In 1881 the first hospital that was initiated and built through her efforts in Trenton, New Jersey opened. In all she played a major role in founding 32 mental hospitals, 15 schools for the feeble minded, a school for the blind, and training facilities for nurses.
  • Linda Richards

    Linda Richards
    In 1885 she traveled to Japan to help establish that country's first nurse-training program. She also created a system for keeping individual records for each patient.
  • Isabel Hampton Robb

    Isabel Hampton Robb
    In 1889, she came to the newly opened Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she was the first Superintendent of Nurses and Principal of the Training School. There she wrote the nursing text book, Nursing: Its Principles and Practices, published in 1893.
  • Lavinia Dock

    Lavinia Dock
    In 1910 Dock published Hygiene & Morality. It called for abolition of double standard of morality; abolish, not regulate prostitution, suffrage for women, and self control for men.
  • Margaret Sanger

    Margaret Sanger
    In 1916, Sanger set up the first birth control clinic in the United States. She also founded the National Birth Control League which was taken over by Mary Ware Dennett and others while Sanger was in Europe fleeing from the law.
  • Annie Goodrich

    Annie Goodrich
    Goodrich established the United States Student Nurse Reserve, also known as the Army School of Nursing, in 1918. In 1923, she became 1st Dean Yale University School of Nursing.
  • Mary Breckinridge

    Mary Breckinridge
    Established the Frontier Nursing Service (FNS) in 1925 to provide professional health care in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky. She and a small nursing staff formed the American Association of Nurse-Midwives in 1928.
  • Ida V. Moffett

    Ida V. Moffett
    In 1943 she organized Alabama's first unit of the Cadet Nurse Corps. Moffet was appointed to the U.S. Surgeon General's Consulting Group on Nursing, which led to the passage of the federal Nurses Training Act of 1964, which gave more than $287 million for nursing education.
  • Hildegard Peplau

    Hildegard Peplau
    Peplau published Interpersonal Relations in 1952 after adding a physician as co-author. She established the first nursing post-baccalaureate program and then held the title of executive director and president of the American Nurses Association.
  • Martha Rogers

    Martha Rogers
    Rogers was appointed Head of the Division of Nursing at New York University in 1954. She also developed the book The Science of Unitary Human Beings in 1972.
  • Dorothea Orem

    Dorothea Orem
    In 1959 she published her Theory in Guides Developing Curricula for the Education of Practical Nurses. Then She completed the 6th edition of Nursing:Concepts of Practice in January of 2001.
  • Virginia Henderson

    Virginia Henderson
    She wrote a four-volume "Nursing Studies Index," completed in 1972. The International Council of Nurses presented her with the first Christianne Reimann Prize in June 1985
  • Madeleine Leininger

    Madeleine Leininger
    She is known as the founder of transcultural nursing, a program that she created in 1974. She also founded the Journal of Transcultural Nursing to support the research of the Transcultural Nursing Society.
  • Jean Watson

    Jean Watson
    She developed the Theory of Human Caring or The Caring Model in 1979. The theory was designed to bring meaning and focus to nursing as a distinct health profession.