Medical and Dental Associations

What organization was founded to address the needs of black nurses?

The founding meeting of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN) was held at St. Mark’s Methodist Church in New York City in 1908. The organization, the first national organization for black nurses, aimed to meet the increasing concern of black nurses to enhance themselves professionally. Few mainstream nursing schools of the North—and none in the South—admitted blacks for training. Fifty people attended the first meeting. Martha Minerva Franklin (1870–1968), who was the force behind the gathering of black nurses, became the founding president. The NACGN soon attacked the practice of setting up separate black and white state boards of nursing; it also promoted legislation to benefit its members and the black community as a whole. The association established a national headquarters in 1934, with nurse Mabel Keaton Staupers (1890–1989) as executive secretary. After obtaining full participation in the American Nurses Association, the NACGN board voted the black organization out of existence on January 25, 1951.


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