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Mary Eliza Mahoney
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Mary Eliza Mahoney

(1845-05-07)May 7, 1845
Died January 4, 1926(1926-01-04) (aged 80)
Nationality American
Alma mater New England Hospital for Women and Children
Occupation Nurse
Known for First African American woman to complete nurse's training in the U.S.

Mary Eliza Mahoney (May 7, 1845 – January 4, 1926) was the first African American to study and work as a professionally trained nurse in the United States. In 1879, Mahoney was the first African American to graduate from an American school of nursing.

In 1908, Martha Minerva Franklin and Adah B. Thoms, two colleagues of Mahoney, met in New York City and decided to start the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN). Mahoney worked tirelessly with these women as a co-contributor to the association by improving the access to educational and nursing practices. This organization attempted to uplift the standards and everyday lives of African-American registered nurses. The NACGN had a significant influence on eliminating racial discrimination in the registered nursing profession. An increase in the acceptance of Black women into notable medical platforms and the integration of the NACGN with the American Nurses Association prompted the dissolution of the organization in 1951.

Mahoney received many honors and awards for her pioneering work. She was inducted into the American Nurses Association Hall of Fame in 1976 and into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1993.

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