North Carolina, Pioneer In American Nursing

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Phoebe Ann Pollitt PhD, Associate Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:

Abstract: On March 3, 1903, before women in the United States had the right to vote or were allowed to hold public office, the state legislature in North Carolina, at the urging of the newly formed North Carolina State Nurses Association (NCSNA), passed the first law in the nation permitting nurses to become licensed. Later that year, New York became the first state to mandate (as opposed to permitting) nursing licensure, a move North Carolina wouldn’t make until 1965. But the 1903 North Carolina law called for the establishment of educational and practice standards for nurses wishing to take the newly created RN examination and to use the title “registered nurse.” On June 4, 1903, Josephine Burton of Craven County became the first RN in North Carolina, and therefore the first in the United States.

Additional Information

Pollitt, P. and Miller, W. (2010). "North Carolina, Pioneer in American Nursing." AJN, American Journal of Nursing: February 2010 - Volume 110 - Issue 2 - p 70-71. doi: 10.1097/ Publisher version of record available at:,_Pioneer_in_American_Nursing.41.aspx. NC Docks re-print is not the final published version.
Language: English
Date: 2010
North Carolina, Nursing, North Carolina State Nurses Association (NCSNA), Josephine Burton

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