Dorothea Lynde Dix (1802-1887) 1976 Inductee

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ANA Hall of Fame Inductee  Dorothea Dix

Honored in the nursing profession as an American scholar, educator, and crusader, Dorothea Lynde Dix earned universal renown for her interest, activity, and pioneer work for reform of mental institutions and psychiatric care.

Dix began her drive for improvement in the care of the mentally ill in Massachusetts in 1841. During the next 20 years, she carried the crusade to Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and into the south and west. Although she had no formal nurses training, Dix established such an impressive record of organizational skill in her humanitarian crusade that she was appointed superintendent of the female nurses of the Army by secretary of war, Simon Cameron, in 1861. Her tireless efforts led to the recruitment of more than 2,000 women to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War. At the end of the war, she returned to her lifelong crusade in psychiatric reform.