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Nursing history: Ada M. Carr – nurse, instructor, trailblazer!

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Johns Hopkins Gazette | Scrubs


In 1907, Ada M. Carr (class of 1893) became a full-time nursing instructor in the Hopkins Training School, a part of what is now known as Johns Hopkins University. Carr’s new position was groundbreaking, since up until that point, only current nursing staff members or physicians had taught nursing students.

Carr is now remembered as a nurse trailblazer of sorts, accomplishing many “firsts” in her career. Upon graduation, she quickly became a head nurse, then was promptly promoted to the assistant superintendent position at the Johns Hopkins Training School for Nurses.

She must have been pretty impressive, since she spent less than a year in that position before becoming the superintendent of the Instructive Visiting Nurse Association of Baltimore. She expanded the program from a single nurse who provided home care to patients to six nurses. In Baltimore, she also created open classes for poor and undereducated city residents to help them find work and purpose.

In 1912, the National Organization of Public Health Nursing was formed. Carr came on board as the first editor of its magazine, the Public Health Nurse. She had previously been the first editor of the Johns Hopkins Nursing Alumnae Magazine for its launch in 1901. She also wrote for both magazines, sometimes including her personal poetry!

Have you heard about Ada Carr before? Do you have a favorite famous nurse or nursing innovator? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

Source: Johns Hopkins Nursing

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