The 10 most influential female nurses of all time

9. Linda Richards


After receiving little training, Linda Richards enrolled as the first student in the first American Nurse’s training school. After graduating, she began work at Bellevue Hospital in New York. Richards developed a system to track individual records of each patient. The US and UK both readily adopted Richard’s system. In 1874, Richards became the superintendent of the Boston Training School for Nurses and virtually turned the fledgling school around. Richards also traveled to England and was taught by Florence Nightingale. In her later years, Richards established the American Society of Superintendents of Training Schools and led the Philadelphia Visiting Nurses Society. In 1994, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

10. Claire Bertschinger


Claire Bertschinger worked for the International Red Cross during the highly-publicized 1984 famine in Ethiopia.  While in Ethiopia, she ran a number of children’s feeding centers, although she was never able to feed everyone. Along with Ethiopia, she also worked in Panama, Lebanon and Papua New Guinea. Bertschinger has received the Florence Nightingale Medal, the Woman of the Year Award and the Human Rights in Nursing Award.

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4 Responses to The 10 most influential female nurses of all time

  1. sharon parsons

    what an inspiring website! I have been a nurse for 34 years Now I work as an educator for iCU nurses in Bloomington, Indiana. Nice to see the varied reponses and information posted here.

  2. Matt Polani

    Why top FEMALE nurses???
    Females are MAJORITY in nursing!!
    What about the unsung minority: male nurses???
    We had equal duties, hours, pay; but often are called on to help with or take on overweight, unstable, innapropriate acting patients, or just plain extra physical work: moving furniture/ supplies.

    • Nailil

      Well, you should forward this to Nurse Mendoza, he always advocates for the male species in the nursing field.

  3. Nailil

    Whaooo, these ladies left a legend that we should all honour.