In 1879, Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first African American to receive a graduate nursing diploma in the United States. Mahoney’s educational training started at the New England Hospital for women and children. She was one of three to successfully graduate out of the initial forty students attending. Among these three graduates, she was the only African American awarded the diploma. After graduation she became registered with the Nurses of Directory in Boston where she worked for the next thirty years as a private care nurse. Mahoney had many accomplishments throughout her professional career. She became one of the original members of the Nurses Associated Alumnae of the United states. During the time of her career there was disparity between black nurses and their white counterparts. This inspired her to become involved in creating the Nation Association Of colored graduate Nurses in 1908. This association became well known for rewarding outstanding nurses without discriminating against anyone. She spent her career acknowledging the inequalities that were found in nursing. Mary Mahoney was not only an inspiration for African American women but the entire nursing profession.
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