The 20th Century: 1900 to 1909



An article from the Raleigh News and Observer Tuesday November 27,  1900

                        Trained Nurses’ Association

      The trained nurses of Raleigh have formed an association for their mutual advantage and protection.  Following are the names of officers:

            Miss Mary L Wyche, president.

            Miss Bessie Mordecai, vice president.

            Miss Rosa Hill, recording secretary.

            Miss Mary Pitman, treasurer.

     They will at an early date open a reading room and library where any member can go and spend her leisure moments.  They will have the latest works pertaining to their profession.  They will keep an official registry at McGee’s pharmacy, showing when and where any of the members may be found.

            Parties out of the city wishing the services of a nurse can communicate with McGee’s pharmacy, or Nurses’ registry.

Lydia Holman, a nurse from Philadelphia, arrived in Mitchell County in the North Carolina mountains to care for a wealthywoman who was ill with typhoid fever at her vacation home. Holman created a “nurses settlement” in Mitchell County which provided care for citizens in rural, Appalachian Northwest North Carolina for over 60 years.



Twin City Hospital and School of Nursing opened in Winston-Salem.

Dr. Henry F. Long’s Hospital School of Nursing opened in Statesville.

Almost all nurses worked in private dity.  Here is a newspaper advertisement from 1901:


The Durham Sun 
Durham, North Carolina
28 Sep 1901, Sat  •  Page 1



Fourteen nurses, called together by Mary L. Wyche formed the Raleigh Nurses Association, a forerunner of the North Carolina Nurses Association and the North Carolina Board of Nursing. Membership was restricted to white female nurses.

Good Samaritan Hospital and School of Nursing opened in Charlotte (the second nursing school for African American women to open in the state).

The Wilson Sanatorium with a school of Nursing opened in Wilson, NC.

Dix Hospital in Raleigh opened a nursing school with an emphasis on psychiatric and mental health nursing. Dix Hospital School of Nursing initially admitted both men and women of the white race. The men's program was shortly discontinued.



On March 3rd, the North Carolina Nurse Practice Act was enacted, making North Carolina the first state to ensure standards of education and clinical expertise before a person could use the title “Registered Nurse”.  The Nurse Practice Act has been modified many times throughout its first century, generally becoming more "nurse friendly" with each change.

Bill of 1903

On June 4th, Josephine Burton of Craven County became the first Registered Nurse in North Carolina and therefore the first Registered Nurse in the United States. The next day, Mary Rose Batterham of Asheville, long thought to be the first Registered Nurse in the United States, registered in Buncombe County. Shortly thereafter, Annie Lowe Rutherford of Fayetteville became the first African-American Registered Nurse in North Carolina.

Lincoln Hospital and School of Nursing opened in Durham (the 3rd nursng school for African American women to open in NC).

James Walker Hospital School of Nursing in opened in Wilmington.



Amanda Lawrison of Wilmington became the first Public Health nurse to practice in North Carolina.


 The Durham Sun 
Durham, North Carolina
02 Jan 1904, Sat  •  Page 4


Mercy Hospital, a Catholic Hospital and School of Nursing opened in Charlotte.

St. Leo’s Hospital, a Catholic Hospital and School of Nurisng opened in Greensboro.

Data reported in the 1906 Report of the US Department of Education for Schools of Nursing in North Carolina

The U.S. Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 is the first national law regulating purity of food and medicines sold in the United States.The Act required that certain special drugs, including alcohol, morphine, cannabis, heroin and cocaine be accurately labeled with contents and dosage. These and other such drugs continued to be legally available without prescription as long as they were labeled. Nurses along with physicians, other categories of health care workers and individuals could legally puchase and use these drugs as they saw fit.  Anyone could walk into a drug store and purchase cocaine, heroin, morphine or numerous other medicines. Heroin was a common ingredient in children's cough medicines, and cocaine was the namesake and key ingredient of Coca-Cola



1907 Amendents to the NC Nurse Practice Act

Rutherford Hospital School of Nursing opens at Rutherford General Hospital in Rutherford County.