Seattle’s Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Organization: A Legacy Of Advancing Black Nurses

Published by THE SEATTLE MEDIUM on 3/28/23 (Source)

For 74 years, the Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Organization (MMPNO), a local Black nurses association named after the first African American to study and work as a professionally trained nurse in the United States, has been providing a bridge for young Black women and men the opportunity to succeed in the field of nursing.

The legacy of the MMPNO is now spotlighted in a book written by Lois Price Spratlen, “African American Registered Nurses in Seattle: The Struggle for Opportunity and Success.” The manuscript chronicles the lives of 25 of the early African American Registered Nurses hired in Seattle and goes into great depth to inform the reader of the tribulations and trials endured by these early nurses in order to obtain training and employment in the greater King County area. It also provides information on how they have given back to the community over the years.

A number of the storied women described in this book are presently in the Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA) Hall of Fame based on their lifetime of distinctive achievements, including Ann Foy Baker, Mary Lee Bell, Shirley Gilford, Maxine Haynes, Verna Hill, Vivian Lee, Thelma Pagues, Muriel Softli, Dr. Lois Price Spratlen, and Elizabeth Thomas.