The Career Blazers: 7 Black Female Medical Pioneers

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Mary Eliza Mahoney

In 1878, at the age of 33, Mary Eliza Mahoney was accepted into the New England Hospital for Women and Children’s Nursing School, which was the first professional nursing program in the United States. Out of 42 students, she was one of only four students to graduate the following year, making her the first black female nurse in the country. Mahoney championed the cause of racial and gender equality, and in 1920, at the age of 76, she was one of the first women in Boston to register to vote when the Nineteenth Amendment passed.

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