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Honoring Black History Month 2022


February marks the honoring of Black History Month 2022. At Sumner College, historically and right now, we celebrate Black medical scholars and healthcare workers, by highlighting notable and innovative Black nurses who shattered barriers in the nursing industry.

Mary Eliza Mahoney

Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first professionally trained African American registered nurse in the United States. She worked in a hospital for 15 years across different jobs, starting as a cook, then continued working her way up the chain as a janitor, an unofficial nurse’s aide, and finally, a registered nurse. Out of the 40 students who started in her nursing program, she was one of only three nurses to make it through the New England Hospital graduate nursing program and the only African American awarded a degree.

In 1908, Mahoney co-founded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN). This association was vital because, at the time, Black nurses were not allowed to join the American Nurses Association (ANA). The NACGN fought racial discrimination in the nursing profession and uplifted Black nurses, and in 1951, the association merged with the ANA. In honor of her legacy and contributions, the ANA created the Mary Mahoney Award, one of the most prestigious awards a nurse can receive. 

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman’s role in American history as an abolitionist guided slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. But she was also a nurse, scout, and spy for the Union, well-known for using mainly natural and herbal remedies to treat her patients. In 1862, Tubman went to a Union camp in South Carolina where she nursed liberated Black soldiers who were formerly enslaved. Then in 1865, Harriet was appointed matron of the Colored Hospital at Fort Monroe, Virginia, where she worked tirelessly trying to heal the sick. An activist and trailblazer all her life, Tubman lived into her nineties fighting for true equality.

Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth was a profound abolitionist who escaped slavery and as an influential women’s rights activist, but she also holds an important role as a health care advocate. In 1864, as a free woman, Truth worked at the National Freedman’s Relief Association in Washington D.C., where she was invited to meet President Abraham Lincoln. In her role, she lobbied for the needs of African Americans and led efforts to improve the quality of care. Truth also spoke before Congress advocating for the importance of nursing education and professional training for patient care, which at the time didn’t exist.

Estelle Massey Osborne

Estelle Massey Osborne shattered barriers with her professional accomplishments. The first Black nurse in the United States to earn a Master’s degree, as well as the first Black instructor at New York University in 1945, Osborne was also elected President of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN). In 1946, she received the Mary Mahoney Award for her efforts to broaden opportunities for Black nurses to move into the mainstream of professional nursing. She forged an essential relationship with the American Nurses Association before the program merged with the NACGN in 1951, and she continued her service in organizations and movements in which she could make a lasting difference.

Mabel Keaton Staupers 

Mabel Keaton Staupers was a nursing pioneer who fought racial segregation and discrimination in healthcare. She immigrated to the United States from Barbados in 1903 and became an RN after graduating from the Freedmen’s Hospital School of Nursing (now Howard University, itself an important historically Black university). Staupers helped establish the Booker T. Washington Sanitarium, credited as the first hospital in Harlem to treat Black Americans with tuberculosis. She is also known for her campaign efforts and large protest to end racial discrimination in the U.S. Army and in the American Nurses Association (ANA). In 1951, the NAACP honored her with the Spingarn Medal, the organization’s highest honor.

Hazel W. Johnson-Brown

A pioneering military nurse, Hazel W. Johnson-Brown triumphed in the face of adversity as the first Black woman to become a U.S. Army general and the first Black chief of the Army Nurse Corps. After a local hospital told her a Black student would never be accepted into their nursing program, she persevered and earned her nursing diploma in 1950 from the Harlem Hospital School of Nursing. She enlisted in the army traveled the world in service to her country, serving in  Japan and training surgical nurses on their way to Vietnam. In the ’70s, she became the director of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing. It was in 1979 that Gen. Johnson-Brown made history when she was promoted to brigadier general and simultaneously to command 7,000 nurses in the Army Nurse Corps.

Remember & Honor

On Memorial Day, we take a moment to remember and honor all who have served and paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

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RNs Advance your Nursing Career

If advancing your nursing education is part of your plans, you cannot miss this opportunity to meet Lois Hine, Sumner College RN to BSN Program

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June BSN Info Sessions Now Open

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How Much Do Oregon’s Registered Nurses Earn? 2023 Oregon Wage Study

According to the survey results, RNs in Oregon earn an average hourly wage of $55.14, equating to an annual salary of $114,694. The Oregon Center

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Caregivers & Trailblazers: Four Nurse Innovators Redefining Healthcare

Johnson & Johnson has proudly championed the nursing profession for over 125 years because we know that for healthcare to work, it takes nurses. This National

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RN Self-Care RX

Graphic provided by OCN | Oregon Center for Nursing

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Best Gift Ideas for Nurses

Whether it be a friend, family member, or acquaintance, you probably know a nurse or someone who works in healthcare. You could look at gifts

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Best Nursing Shoes for Men and Women

As a nurse, finding the perfect pair of shoes is crucial for long shifts filled with constant movement. But with so many options available, it

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National Nurse Week

National Nurses Week is celebrated annually from May 6-12 ending on Florence Nightingale's birthday. The American Nurses Association (ANA) first recognized the week in 1990, and in

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Psychiatric Nursing

While physical health is undoubtedly important, so is Mental Health. Millions of Americans are affected by mental illness each year. Psychiatric Nurses have the specialized

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New BSN Info Sessions – Register

The on-campus Information Session aims to offer valuable insights to individuals considering a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Reserve a Spot

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RNs ready to pursue more?

Are you a Registered Nurse wondering what the next step is in your career? Considered your BSN? Sumner College's RN to BSN program can get

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Nurses Influence the Health and Wellbeing of Patients Every Day

As individuals, nurses directly influence the health and wellbeing of patients every day. Through frequent contact, nurses are best placed to encourage lifestyle changes in

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Changes in Nursing

Changes in nursing involve a major shift in higher education standards, requiring more nurses to hold a 4-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). The

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Trades make a comeback with Gen Z Workers

America’s skilled trades — from nursing and plumbing to welding to construction — need more workers as boomers retire. Gen Z-ers are stepping up to fill

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Congratulations, Sumner College Graduates: Embracing New Beginnings

Congratulations to the new Sumner College nursing graduates. As the tassels are flipped and mortarboards soar into the sky, a chapter closes, and another begins.

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April BSN Info Sessions

Have you considered being a nurse and working in the healthcare industry? Attend an information meeting with Sumner College to learn more about the BSN

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The State of Wellness: Everything You Need to Know About the Oregon State Board of Nursing

You have likely heard about the Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN), but how does the organization interact with and support Oregon nurses? Join us

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OCN Explores Nursing Wages in New Research

Article & Photo Shared from Oregon Center for Nursing How much do Oregon nurses really make? The well-being of Oregon’s nursing workforce is a guiding initiative for

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New Classes Start Today!

March classes start today! Welcome to our new BSN, PN and RN-BSN students.

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Meet Alex – Sumner College Graduate

Alex, congratulations on your graduation! As you’ve embarked on your nursing journey, remember: ‘Nursing is not just a profession, it’s a calling to serve, heal,

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Meet Alexandra – Sumner College RN to BSN Graduate

Alexandra, congratulations on your graduation! As you’ve embarked on your nursing journey, remember: ‘Nursing is not just a profession, it’s a calling to serve, heal,

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Meet Renee – Sumner College Graduate

Renee, congratulations on your graduation! As you’ve embarked on your nursing journey, remember: ‘Nursing is not just a profession, it’s a calling to serve, heal,

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Meet Serena – Sumner College Graduate

Serena congratulations on your graduation! As you’ve embarked on your nursing journey, remember: ‘Nursing is not just a profession, it’s a calling to serve, heal,

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Meet Amanda – Sumner College Graduate

Amanda, congratulations on your graduation! As you’ve embarked on your nursing journey, remember: ‘Nursing is not just a profession, it’s a calling to serve, heal,

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Meet Natalie – Sumner College Graduate

Natalie, congratulations on your graduation! As you’ve embarked on your nursing journey, remember: ‘Nursing is not just a profession, it’s a calling to serve, heal,

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Now Hiring

Are you a healthcare educator? Sumner College is looking for our next Nursing Educator to join our team. This is a part time position. Read

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Meet Erin – Sumner College Graduate

Erin, congratulations on your graduation! As you’ve embarked on your nursing journey, remember: ‘Nursing is not just a profession, it’s a calling to serve, heal,

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Exploring the Vital Role of Nurses in Heart Health

Article Shared from DiversityNursing.com February is American Heart Month. It's important to promote cardiovascular health and explore the many ways Nurses are engaged in these

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Meet Anne Marie – Sumner College Graduate

Anne Marie, congratulations on your graduation! As you've embarked on your nursing journey, remember: 'Nursing is not just a profession, it's a calling to serve,

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