Black Nurse Who Changed History Forever
Nurses are often-times unsung heroes that are left in the shadows of doctors who get much of the credit.
Well, not today.
A nurse featured below left a beautiful mark on the history of healthcare that could never be erased. Many times, in the face of adversity, these women gave their all to their patients and careers, many times behind the scenes and without recognition. That’s why WE honor them. We have seen their effort, and their history-making triumphs that have laid the groundwork for many nurses today. Take a look below at just some of the groundbreaking nurses throughout history
Jessie Sleet Scales
Another pioneering African Ameri-can nurse was Jessie Sleet Scales, who in 1900 became America’s first Black public health nurse. Trained in Chicago, Scales moved to New York and, after trying unsuccessfully for months to find a job, became a district nurse for the Charity Organization Society.
Scales was originally hired to deal with tuberculosis in the city’s Black community, which had few healthcare options and a deep-seated resistance to formal medical care. Her work quickly expanded to include everything from childbirth and chicken pox to heart disease and cancer. Her workload was staggering: As she out-lined in a 1901 article for the American Journal of Nursing, her caseload in a single two-month period included 156 calls on 41 families.
Scales’ work inspired other organizations to hire Black community health nurses, some of whom were selected on her recommendation. She was a pioneer in what we now call culturally appropriate care.