Louisa May Alcott (1832 – 1888)


Inspiration for Activism!

  • Proponent of human rights, abolitionist, spokesperson for children and families, and a nurse.
  • Became a writer to provide income for her impoverished family.
  • At the age of thirty began service as a nurse at the Union Hospital at Georgetown in December, 1862.
  • Author of a book, published in 1863, about Civil War era nursing called Hospital Sketches (available here; full text available here)
  • Authored “Little Women” in 1868 – a book that is really about the empowerment of women and girls around the world.
  • Challenged gender roles and stereotypes; wrote fiery novels under pen name A.M. Barnard; is known to have stated: “I am more than half-persuaded that I am a man’s soul put by some freak of nature into a woman’s body … because I have fallen in love with so many pretty girls and never once the least bit with any man.”

More information here and here and here and here

1940 Louisa May Alcott 5c stamp

Beverly Malone (1948 – )


Inspiration for Activism!

  • Strong advocate for the rights of minority populations in nursing and healthcare, and overcoming the persistent effects of racism and other ‘isms.”
  • Appointed in 1986 as dean of the School of Nursing at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, a historically black university; became Vice Chancellor in 1994.
  • While in North Carolina, served on a number of public bodies (including the Governor’s Task Force on Nursing Shortage, the North Carolina Commission on Health Services, and the Board of Directors of the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program).
  • Two-term past President of the American Nurses Association (ANA) 1996-2000.
  • General secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), the United Kingdom’s largest professional union of nurses, from June 2001 to January 2007.
  • Member of the UK delegation to the World Health Assembly; of the Commonwealth Nurses Federation (CNF); and of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) from 2000-2007; also served as vice chair of the Brussels-based European Federation of Nurses Association (EFN).
  • Named by the editors of Modern Healthcare as one of the 100 most influential in healthcare in 2015.

More information here and here and here.

 

Isabel Hampton Robb (1859-1910)


Inspiration for Activism!

  •  In 1889, became the first Superintendent of Nurses and Principal of the Training School at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
  • Wrote the first nursing textbook: Nursing: Its Principles and Practices, published inIsabel Hampton Robb 1893.
  • Participated in founding the American Society of Superintendents of Training Schools for Nurses, which later became the National League for Nurses.
  • Active in the International Council of Nurses and the Committee to Secure by Act of Congress the Employment of Graduate Women Nurses in the Hospital Service of the US Army, which worked toward the establishment of the Army Nurse Corps.
  • First President of the Nurses’ Associated Alumnae of the United States and Canada, which would later become the American Nurses Association.
  • Helped to found the American Journal of Nursing.
  • Instrumental in establishing the course in Hospital Economics at Teachers College, Columbia University in 1899.
  • Worked to secure a place for professional nurses within the Red Cross Nursing Service.
  • Helped found the Cleveland Visiting Nurse Association.
  • Wrote the books Nursing Ethics in 1900 and Educational Standards for Nurses in 1907.

More information here and here.

 

Mary Agnes Snively (1847-1933)


Inspiration for Activism!

  • Canadian nursing/nursing education pioneer,  credited with beginning professional nursing in Canada.
  • “Trained” at Bellevue Training Hospital in NYC, 1882-84, after spending almost 20 years as a public school teacher.
  • Upon graduation from Bellevue, hired in 1884 as lady superintendent by Toronto General Hospital, where a “Training School for Nurses” had been established 3 years earlier.
  • Immediately instituted reforms both in the unacceptable living conditions of nurses and in their curriculum:
    • Focused on knowledge required to care for patients while removing “housekeeping” kinds of tasks from their workloads;
    • Implemented an examination at the end of the initial 2-year program, which she extended to a 3-year program by 1897;
    • Convinced hospital officials to build a proper nursing residence with libraries.
  • In 1897, named president of the Society of Superintendents of Training Schools in Canada and the U.S.
  • Believed nurses needed to be organized and consolidated, advocating for fixed curriculum, uniform examinations, and a registration process.
  • In 1899, became founding member of the International Council of Nurses ICN) and served as its first treasurer.
  • In 1908, brought together nurses and nursing alumnae to form Canadian National Association of Trained Nurses (CNATN – to become Canadian Nurses Association in 1924) and became its first president.
  • Immediately forged ties with ICN so that CNATN officially became part of ICN in 1909.

More information here

Clara Barton (1821-1912)


Inspiration for Activism!

  • Became a teacher at age 15 and later opened a free public school in New Jersey
  • During Civil War,  risked her life to deliver supplies to soldiers, saw combat, and served as independent nurse; known as Angel of the Battlefield
  • While visiting Europe worked with International Red Cross
  • On arrival home, founded in 1881 at age 60, and served as the first President of the American Red Cross for next 23 years

More information here and here