The Dimock center/mary eliza mahoney home

Serving the Brave

About the namesake of The Dimock Centers Mary Eliza Mahoney Homeless Shelter. 


Mary Eliza Mahoney was born a free, non-slave in 1845 in Dorchester, Massachusetts. She would be the first African-American woman in the United States to complete a nurses training program and become a registered nurse. Her journey started at the New England Hospital For Women and Children, in Boston, where she did domestic jobs, cleaning, washing, etc. Working at the hospital, she was inspired to pursue a nursing career and was accepted to the hospital's nursing school when she was 33. The program was grueling, and required her to work 16 hours a day 7 days a week. She was one of four students in a group of 42 candidates who would complete her training and graduate. 


After graduation Ms. Mahoney registered with the Nurses' Directory at the Massachusetts Medical Library and went into private practice in New England.  She set a precedent that changed the policy of the nursing school she attended.  Ms. Mahoney's many successes influenced her nursing school to loosen their policies regarding the admittance of African- American nursing candidates, paving the way for future nurses of color.


Her actions were admired and respected by both the African-American and Caucasian communities for her numerous contributions to the nursing and women's suffrage movement.


Ms. Mahoney advocated for the rights of all black nurses and went on to co-found the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN) in 1908.


Up until her death in 1926 from breast cancer, she continued to practice nursing.


This remarkable woman's accomplishment made history and she deserves to be honored by the Dimock Center, as a reflection of all the wonderful work they do to help the underserved community in the Greater Boston area.


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