Soldiers, presidents, and billionaires aren’t the only ones who earn a place in the history books. These nurses impacted American history and will always be remembered for their contributions to their country.
Lillian D. Wald
Lillian Wald lived from 1867 to 1940 and spent her adult life advocating for public health. She graduated from nursing school in New York and began her career teaching nursing lessons to poor immigrant families, and this soon evolved into a job as a visiting nurse for Lower East Side residents. Wald even moved into a basic, spartan room to live closer to her patients. By 1896, Wald had founded the Henry Street Settlement to provide medical care to poor families, and within 7 years had a staff of 92 people. She utilized her prominence to push for nursing in public schools and eventually organized the very first public nursing system in the world. It is largely thanks to Wald that the nursing industry is what it is today.
Mary Ann Bickerdyke
This courageous woman served as a nurse during the American Civil War, using her talents to establish more than 300 field hospitals for soldiers. It is even said that she risked her own life to reach soldiers on the battlefield and transport them to safety. After the war ended, Bickerdyke continued her work for others by helping injured veterans find legal assistance when the government took too long to provide their pensions.
Jane A. Delano
You may not know Jane Delano’s name, but you will certainly be familiar with the company with which she served as chairman: the Red Cross. Delano actually began her career as a teacher before realizing that her heart belonged in nursing. In 1901, she became superintendent of the Army Nurse Corps and used her skills to create programs meant to improve nursing care around the country. Delano not only co-authored a nursing textbook but also recruited nurses for emergency services.
We have these trailblazing women to thank for the progress made in nursing over the last few hundred years. Interested in a career in nursing? Contact us today.