Black Nurses Leaders- Black History Month

February is Black History Month and we are celebrating it today on the blog by discussing three influential Black nurses who helped to pave the way for equality and provided excellent care to their patients.

Ernest Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN (1958-Present)

Dr. Ernest Grant was the first male to be elected president of the American Nurse Association. He has over 30 years of nursing experience and is a burn-care and fire-safety expert. His career achievements include serving as the burn outreach coordinator for the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Grant ran the public burn prevention program, promoting safety and works to reduce burn-related injuries through education and legislative process. He has received multiple awards for his work- including Nurse of The Year award presented by President George W. Bush for his work treating burn patients from the World Trade Center site.

Estelle Massey Osborn, MSN, RN (1901-1981)

Estelle Massey Obsorne lead the way for Black nurses to enter leadership and education roles in nursing. When she entered nursing school, only 14 of the 1300 nursing schools in American were open to Black students. She went on to become the first Black nurse to earn a Master’s degree. In 1945, she became assistant professor at New York University, and was the first black instructor. She was a member of the ANA Board of Directors and served in many leader ship rolls- including first vice-president of the National Council of Negro Women.

Adah Belle Thoms (1870-1943)

Adah Belle Thoms studied nursing at the Women’s Infirmary and School of Therapeutic Massage. She graduated as the only Black woman in her class. She continued her education at Lincoln Hospital School of Nursing. She went on to be named acting director of Lincoln Hospital in New York and served in that position for 18 years. However, she never received the official title due to racist policies. Ms. Thoms cofounded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses, serving as President for 7 years. Later, she successfully lobbied for Black Nurses to serve in WWII with the American Red Cross and Army Nurse Corps. In 1976, she was one of the first inductees to the America Nurse Association Hall of Fame.

To learn more about Black Nurses who have lead the way in nursing, see 2020 Influential Black Nurses blog.



1 thought on “Black Nurses Leaders- Black History Month”

Melissa Weaver

Love this post!

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