Mary Elizabeth Carnegie exhibited courage, integrity and commitment to the advancement of the nursing profession, as well as to the advancement of black and other minority nurses.
Carnegie was employed at the American Journal of Nursing Company from 1953 until 1978 and was editor emeritus of Nursing Research until her death. She wrote, edited and contributed chapters to nearly 20 books and is author of all three editions of the award-winning The Path We Tread: Blacks in Nursing Worldwide, 1854-1994. She initiated the baccalaureate nursing program at the historically black Hampton University in Virginia, where the archives are named in her honor. A past president of the American Academy of Nursing (1978-1979) and chair of the ANA's Minority Fellowship Program Advisory Committee (1988-1999), she served as dean and professor of the school of nursing at Florida A&M University (1945-1953).
After retiring in 1978, Carnegie served as an independent consultant for Scientific Writing and as distinguished visiting professor for the Schools of Nursing at Hampton University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Pennsylvania State University in University Park.
Carnegie received eight honorary doctorates and countless awards, including the George Arens Pioneer Medal from her alma mater, Syracuse University, the President's Award from Sigma Theta Tau International, and the Living Legend Award from the Association of Black Nurse Faculty in Higher Education.