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Interesting Facts About Famous Nurses

Interesting Facts About Famous Nurses

Nurses are an essential part of the medical field and have been for centuries. Though their roles have changed and expanded over time, nurses have always been a vital part of healthcare and continue to inspire other nurses today. Here are some interesting facts about famous nurses throughout history. 
Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale was a nurse who is known for her contribution to the field of nursing. She was born in England in 1820 and began her nursing career at the age of 21. Nightingale was a well-educated woman and spoke several languages and was the first woman to receive a bachelor’s degree from Oxford University. She was also one of the first women to graduate from London School of Medicine for Women in 1853. She established the first school for nursing in 1860 and founded the Nightingale School for Nurses, which was a training program to advance the education of nurses. 
Mary Jane SeacoleMary Jane Seacole
Mary Seacole was a Jamaican-born nurse who is known for her contribution to the Crimean War. She became a nurse at the age of 16, and in 1854, she went to London and applied to become a nurse in Crimea. However, she was rejected by Florence Nightingale and managed to get an appointment with the War Department. She went to Crimea in 1855 and opened a medical convalescence facility for British officers called “The British Hotel”, and helped wounded servicemen on the battlefield, nursing many of them back to health. Despite her contribution to the war, she did not receive any medals or honors from Queen Victoria.
Clara BartonClara Barton
Clara Barton was a teacher who went on to become the founder of American Red Cross in 1881, and led the organization until 1904. She was known as the “Angel of the Battlefield” for her nursing work during the American Civil War, where she organized relief efforts and served as a nurse. She was also the first female superintendent of the US Army Nurse Corps.
Dorothea DixDorothea Dix
Dorothea Dix was originally a teacher in the Boston Public School system, but became a student of mental healthcare. She helped to establish a state mental hospital system and reformed conditions for mentally ill patients. She started her work on social reform in 1841 when she petitioned the Massachusetts legislature for an institution to house mentally ill people. She was awarded a grant to build the State Asylum and went on to establish a total of 32 mental health institutions in other states in the U.S. Dorothea became known as the “Angel of Mercy” for her tireless efforts in improving conditions for people with mental illness. 
Marie CurieMarie Curie
Marie Sklodowska Curie was a physicist and chemist of Polish-French descent, who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. Her work helped to lay the foundation for nuclear physics and radiochemistry. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the only woman to win in two fields, and was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She is known for her work in radioactivity and the discovery of two elements: polonium and radium.
Martha BallardMartha Ballard
Martha Ballard was a midwife and herbalist who lived near Hallowell, Maine, during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In her diary, which spans 44 years of her life, she described the events surrounding the births of approximately 1,500 children.
Margaret SangerMargaret Sanger
Margaret Higgins Sanger was an American birth control activist, sex educator, writer and nurse. She strongly believed that women should have the option to prevent pregnancies and planned parenthood. Sanger was arrested in 1914 under the Comstock Act for giving out birth control information. She was imprisoned, but after being released she went abroad to continue her work and became an advocate of eugenics. Margaret found the organization now known as Planned Parenthood.
Virginia HendersonVirginia Henderson
Virginia Henderson was a midwife and nurse. Her interest in the field of obstetrics began early and by 1931 she was a certified nurse-midwife. She began working with her husband, Dr. William Henderson in New York City and soon began training other nurses to become midwives. She was an advocate for the integration of midwifery into the medical community and founded a group called the Association of Nurse Midwives.

Mary BrechinridgeMary Brechinridge
Mary Brechinridge was an American nurse who worked in the field of obstetrics. She was a major advocate for women’s health and reproductive rights, and because she felt that too many women died from childbirth,opened the first birth clinic in Kentucky in the United States in the 1930s. She found that medical knowledge was not applied to childbirth and helped develop a more scientific approach. She started the Frontier Nursing Service in 1925, which is still in operation today and provides healthcare to rural areas of Kentucky in the U.S. 
Mother TeresaMother Teresa
Mother Teresa was a Roman Catholic nun who worked with the poor in India. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her humanitarian work and was beatified by the Catholic Church in October 2003. She was known as the “saint of the gutters” because she helped people living in poverty. She founded the Missionaries of Charity and spent her life serving the poor and sick.
Claire BertschingerClaire Bertschinger
Claire Bertschinger was a nurse advocating to the starving. She worked in Ethiopia but also traveled to the Sudan and other countries in the region. She helped organize a campaign to send food, medicine, and clothing to those affected by famine in the Horn of Africa between 1984-1985. She was also the inspiration behind Bob Geldof’s Band-Aid single that raised money to feed the impoverished nation.

Linda RichardsLinda Richards
Linda Richards became the first professionally trained American nurse. She established nursing training programs in the United States and Japan, creating the first system for record keeping of hospitalized patients.
Nursing is a field with a long and important history. There are many famous nurses who have made a significant impact on the nursing profession and healthcare as a whole. They dedicated their lives to helping others and have made a lasting difference in the world. These famous nurses show that anyone can make a difference in the world, no matter their background or occupation.