10 Most Influential Female Nurses of All Time
July 29, 2008
Nurses impact lives every day. But once in a while, a nurse comes along who touches the lives of the world, and not just her patients. These women went above and beyond for the field of nursing. They served in wars, broke down racial barriers, and campaigned for women’s rights. They have become role models for women everywhere, not just nurses. However, nurses can be especially proud to share a title with these 10 ladies.
6. Dorothea Lynde Dix
Dorothea Lynde Dix
Dorothea Dix is best known for creating the first mental health system in the United States. Inspired by a trip to England, Dix returned to America curious how the US government treated the mentally unstable. Dix spent many year petitioning Congress, drafting legislation, and documenting her visits to various states.
Dix first succeeded with the construction of the North Carolina State Medical Society in 1849, dedicated to the care of the mentally ill. Dix also assisted with legislation that called for 12,225 acres of land to be used for the “insane,” with proceeds of its sale going to build mental asylums.
During the Civil War, Dix served as Superintendent of the Union Army Nurses, although she was eventually relieved of her duties after butting heads with Army doctors. She was a staunch believer in caring for everyone, though, and her nurses were some of the only caretakers of Confederate soldiers.