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#NurseHeroes Inspire the New Generation of Nurses

What is #NurseHeroes?

#NurseHeroes is a way for ShiftWizard to shine a spotlight on influential nurse figures throughout history. We hope the stories below inspire you to find you calling and make an impact in people’s lives.

Virginia Avenel Henderson

Virginia Avenel Henderson is known as the “foremost nurse of the 20th century”. She earned that title through her contribution to the principles of nursing. She created a volume of work that helped define today’s nursing theory.

Check out her story here!


Claire Bertschinger

Claire Bertschinger was an influential nurse who is known for bringing world-wide attention to Ethiopia’s famine in 1984. Her efforts working in the food distribution booth, and her collaboration with a BBC reporter, inspired the creation of Live Aid, one of the biggest relief programs.

Check out her story here!


Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman, a famous American poet, was also known as a nurse despite not being formally trained. His contributions during the Civil War were great, and the experiences during his service can be seen in his later writings.

Check out his story here!

Clara Barton

Clara Barton, also known as Clarissa Harlowe Barton, is the founder of the American Red Cross Association. Her contributions in collecting supplies and nursing soldiers during the Civil War gained her the nickname, “The Angel of the Battlefield”.

Check out her story here!


Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale is one of the most influential nursing figures in history.  Like many other nurses, she played a large role in aiding the wounded. Not only that, the works she created has impacted reforms within the healthcare field since her time.

Check out her story here!


Mary Eliza Mahoney

Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first of many feats during her nursing career. She was the first African American nurse to obtain her degree. She was one of the first members of the American Nurses Association. She was also one of the co-founders of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses.

Check out her story here!


Virginia Lynch

Virginia Lynch is the founder of forensic nursing. Through it, she has made milestones in assisting in crime cases such as sexual assault, physical assault and accidental death.

Check out her story here!


James Derham

James Derham was the first African American to practice nursing in the United States. Although he did not get formal training, he had learned everything from four doctors and gained recognition from many during times of slavery.

Check out his story here!

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