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Famous Nurses

Famous Nurses

Famous nurses in history have deepened the values of compassion and selfless desire to help people in need associated with the profession of nursing. Here is a list of a few nurses who have made this noble profession proud.
Historyplex Staff
Last Updated: Sep 5, 2018
Nursing was a profession that was taken up by girls and women of the lower class during the 19th century. It was not considered to be a well accepted profession for women and the public perception of nurses was not very high. But, certain women with their selflessness and desire, to help people in need, changed the outlook of society towards nursing.
Nurses became the backbone of the medical profession, without whom the sick and injured would have been lost. During war-time, the duties of nurses made them front-runners in hospitals, who gave emotional support to the injured soldiers away from home.
They became respected women who did not just lent a helping hand, but a patient ear to the sick. Nurses throughout history helped change the future of medicine with their courage and intelligence. Here, you will learn about nurses who will always be admired by the nursing and medical community worldwide for their acts of altruistic dedication.
There are many strong and intelligent nurses throughout history who have, in some way or the other, brought a difference to their profession and society around them.
Famous Nurses In the Civil War
The Civil war has seen many heroes emerge from different walks of life, and women were not left far behind with their acts of courage. Many women dedicated their life to help the sick and injured men from war and get them back on their feet.
Dorothea Dix
She was a US nursing pioneer who was a strong advocate for the mentally ill patients and even prisoners. She was the driving force behind the first mental asylums to be started in the United States.
She was not only an outspoken social activists, but also was the Civil War Superintendent of Union Army of Nurses. Dorothea Dix asked the MA legislature for reforms in 1843 to end the inhumane conditions the mentally ill were kept in.
Mary Ann Bickerdyke
She was known as 'Mother Bickerdyke' who cared for thousands of Union soldiers in 1861. She is known to run army field hospitals all by herself. Mary Ann Bickerdyke was the only woman who could enter Sherman's camps.
Mary Todd Lincoln
Mary Todd Lincoln was not only the first lady of America, but a tireless nurse. She was well-educated woman from Lexington, Kentucky who married Abraham Lincoln. She is remembered for her dedication in tending wounded soldiers during the Civil War.
Clara Barton
One of the most famous women in American history Clarissa Harlowe Barton is known as the 'angel of the battlefield'. During the Civil War, she carried supplies to the battlefield and is known as the founder of Red Cross.
Other famous Nurses
One of the most prominent names among women who have left an everlasting mark on the nursing profession is that of Florence Nightingale. She was a nurse in the British Army and gave up her aristocratic life to take up a job, with what was considered to be the profession of a beggar. She thought nursing was a form of 'divine calling' during her young years.
She was sent to the army hospital during the Crimean War and was appalled by the pathetic conditions of the hospitals. Because of frequent deaths, she soon began advocating clean up of the hospitals. Here, she tapped her statistical talents to analyze medical data. She became a hero all over the world with her profound contribution to nursing profession.
Some of the other famous nurses in history are:
  • Margaret Sanger
  • Helen Fairchild
  • Mary Seacole
  • Mary Eliza Mahoney
  • Florence Guinness Blake
  • Edith Cavell
  • Elizabeth Grace Neill
  • Sophie Mannerheim
  • Virginia Avenel Henderson
  • Christiane Reimann
  • Martha Ballard
Nurse Quotes
"I think one's feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results." ~ Florence Nightingale

"The door that nobody else will go in at, seems always to swing open widely for me." ~ Clara Barton

"It is better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life." ~ Elizabeth Kenny
"I attribute my success to this - I never gave or took any excuse." ~ Florence Nightingale

"Nurses - one of the few blessings of being ill." ~ Sara Moss-Wolfe

"A nurse is compassion in scrubs." ~ Lexie Saige

"Nurses dispense comfort, compassion, and caring without even a prescription." ~ Val Saintsbury
Nurses have earned their place that comes second to none, even doctors. A nurse not only cares for the sick, but also plays an important part in a doctors professional life. The qualities of a good nurse helps a sick patient back to health.