Mary Mahoney Award

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Established in 1936, the Mary Mahoney Award recognizes significant contributions, by an individual nurse or a group of nurses, to increasing diversity and inclusion within the nursing profession. 

About Mary Mahoney

The award is named for Mary Eliza Mahoney, the first African American graduate nurse in the United States. It was established to honor her active participation in nursing organizations and her efforts to raise the status of African American nurses in professional life.

Mahoney graduated from the Training School of Nurses, New England Hospital for Women and Children, in 1879. During her 40 years in nursing, she provided exemplary patient care and made outstanding contributions to nursing organizations. In 1909, she gave the address at the first conference of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN), which established the Mary Mahoney Award in 1936, in recognition of example to nurses of all races.

The Mary Mahoney Award has been conferred by ANA since 1952, following the NACGN dissolution and merger with ANA in 1951.