Established in 1936 by the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses, the Mary Mahoney Award has been conferred by the ANA since 1952, following the dissolution of the NACGN in 1951. The award is named for Mary Elizabeth Mahoney, the first African American graduate nurse in the U.S. 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. The Mary Mahoney Award recognizes significant contributions, by an individual nurse or a group of nurses, to integration within the nursing profession.
About Mary Mahoney
Mary Eliza 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 Colored Graduate Nurses. That association established the Mary Mahoney Award in 1936, in recognition of example to nurses of all races. When NACGN merged with ANA in 1951, the award was continued.