Anne Foy Baker

Anne Foy Baker, RN was the founder of Mary Mahoney Regis­tered Nurses Club (now Mary Mahoney Profes­sional Nurses Organi­za­tion). In 1879, Mary Eliza Mahoney gradu­ated from the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston, MA as the first colored graduate nurse in the United States. In 1949, Anne and a school­mate, Celes­tine Thomas, found the names and telephone numbers of eleven other Negro Regis­tered Nurses who lived and worked in Seattle. They called and invited each nurse to attend a meeting at Anne’s home. In a single after­noon, 13 nurses met one another and agreed to form the Mary Mahoney Regis­tered Nurses Club.

The main purpose for estab­lishing this organi­za­tion was to promote the personal and profes­sional devel­op­ment of members. Anne remained an active and influ­en­tial leader of this organi­za­tion throughout her lifetime, even though she lived for many years in Greens­boro, NC. She referred to her practice of nursing as a calling similar to the way men in her time referred to being called to the ministry. Anne shifted the focus of her nursing practice to reflect her physical and mental abili­ties. When she became bedridden in 1998 she estab­lished a telephone ministry, where she provided prayer and spiri­tual healing to anyone who called her for these services. Throughout her lifetime, Anne demon­strated a commit­ment to profes­sional nursing and to our profes­sional nurses’ organi­za­tion where she exhib­ited vision, leader­ship and creativity. Her life and career reflected the highest standards of profes­sion­alism in nursing.