Mary Eliza Mahoney

First Black African American Nurse

About Mahoney

Mary Eliza Mahoney (May 7, 1845 – January 4, 1926) was the first African American to study and work as a professionally trained nurse in the United States, graduating in 1879. Mahoney was one of the first African Americans to graduate from a nursing school, and she prospered in a predominantly white society. She also challenged discrimination against African Americans in nursing.


  • Mahoney was a national chaplain for NACGN ( National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses ).
  • There is an award named after her which is called the Mary Mahoney Award.
  • Mahoney was inducted into the ANA's Hall of Fame in 1976.


"I am the eternal student, but I am not alone".