Today in Black History: May 7, 1845 The First Registered Black Nurse was Born...

Mary Eliza Mahoney, the first Registered African American Nurse was born to Charles and Mary Jane Sterwart Mahoney. Mary Eliza graduated from the New England Hospital for Women and Children in 1879, being one of four graduates out a class of 42.


Mahoney was an original member of the predominately white Nurses Associated Alumnae of the United States and Canada – known later as the American Nurses Association (ANA). She later co-founded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN), in 1908. Serving as the NACGN’s national chaplain, Mahoney gave the welcoming address at the first convention of the NACGN. In 1951, the NACGN would merge with the ANA. You can read more about Mary Eliza Mahoney here.