Carrie Early Broadfoot, RN founder NCACGN

Biography of Carrie Early Broadfoot - Founder, North Carolina Association of Negro Registered Nurses. Born June 13, 1870 in Lynchburg, VA, died January 8, 1945 

  • Carrie Early BroadfootCarrie Early Broadfoot was educated at Frederick Douglass Memorial Hospital in Philadelphia, graduating in 1899.  She was Superintendent there from 1900-1904 and moved to Raleigh in fall 1904 or winter 1905. There, she became the Superintendent of St. Agnes Hospital School of Nursing which had been established in Raleigh in 1896 for the African American community. She joined the Red Cross and planned to go overseas during World War I. Instead she was directed to work at home to help control the influenza epidemic sweeping the country at the time.
  • In 1923, North Carolina opened a Negro Division of the State Sanatorium for tuberculosis patients and Broadfoot served of the Nursing Superintendent of the African American division of the Sanatorium as well as Director of its African American nursing school. She directed this Division until 1944, when a stroke forced her to move in with her sister in Roxbury, MA. In 1920, she and four other North Carolina African-American nurses attended a meeting of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses in Washington, DC. In 1923, these five nurses founded the North Carolina Colored Graduate Nurses Association (later renamed the North Carolina Association of Negro Registered Nurses). Broadfoot served as its president for the first eight years. This professional organization continued until 1949 when it merged with the North Carolina Nurses Association.

Upon her "leave of absence" from the State sanitarium, the Board of Directors passed the following resolution (from the June, 1944 issue of the Sanatorium Sun, p.2)

"The Board of Directors of the North Carolina Sanatorium learns with deep regret of the sickness of Mrs. Carrie E. Broadfoot and desires to express their earnest wish for her speedy and complete recovery.  For twenty years, Mrs. Broadfoot has been the Superintendent of Nurses of the Negro Division of the North Carolina Sanatorium and she has labored unceasingly and oftentimes at teh expense of her health for the welfare of the institution.  We were exceedingly fortunate in securing her servicesin the organization of the NOrth Carolina Sanatorium Training School for Negro Nurses, the secondTUberculosis Training School in the UNited States.    Her outstanding ability, splendid character and lofty ideals and her prestige as organizer of the Negro State Nurses Association of North Carolina in 1923 and as president for the first eight years and as recording secretary of the National Association of Negro Nurses have done much in establishing the Sanatorium and the Training School  in th confidence of the Negroes over the State and in getting them to take advantage of the faciltiies offered for the treatment and prevention of tuberculosis.

Be it resolved That the Board of Directors pf the North Carolina Sanatorium express their appreciation for the outstanding services Mrs. Broadfoot has rendered the institution and the cause of tuberculosis in the state."

Despite the esteem she recieved from co-workers and other nurses, she showed seom weariness cuased by establishing and buiding an organization in the face of racism, lack of money and lack of other institutional support. On April 2,1934 she wrote a letter to Lula West, President of the White NCSNA saying:

I have been President [of the NCACGN] for 9 years, long enough for the Association to Incorporate and with a few hundred dollars in the treasury, and so I do feel that I did accomplish something for the good of the Association.  Of course, in organizing the Association and being its President for 9 years was not smooth sailing and no doubt I made errors.

 

 

 

  • Additional information here.

Nurse Adah Thoms in her 1929 book Pathfinders mentions Broadfoot on pages 148-149.  She writes:

Carrie Earle [sic] Broadfoot was born and educated in Lynchburg, VA.  She entered the Fredrick Douglas Memorial Hospital, Philadelphia, PA and graduated in its 3rd class. After nine months of private nursing she was called to her Alma Mater as head nurse, which position she held for 5 years.  On leaving there she went to St. Agnes Hospital at Raleigh, NC where she served for 2 years as head nurse.  She then married and retired from nursing until the World War when nurses were in great demand on account of the influenza epidemic.  She immediately returned to the nursing service doing private nursing at Fayetteville, NC, until she was urged to take the position which she now holds as head nurse in charge of the Negro Division at the NC Sanatorium for the treatment of tuberculosis.  She has been a member of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses for 15 years acting as recording secretary for 4 years. Mrs. Broadfoot is also one of the organizers of the NCACGN, and has been its president for 6 years.  During this time its organization of seven members has grown to 55 members.  She is, of course a RN in the State of NC and is a member of the American Red Cross Nursing Service.

 

In 1923, the state of North Carolina added a Negro Division to the State Sanatorium for tuberculosis patients in Hoke County.  Mrs. Carrie Early Broadfoot became the first Head Nurse of the Negro Division with Beulah Write and Lucy Taylor as the nursing staff.   Broadfoot was born June 13, 1870 in Virginia, and educated at Frederick Douglass Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Philadelphia.   She graduated in 1899 and served as nursing Superintendent of that hospital from 1900-1904.  In 1905, Broadfoot moved to North Carolina to become the Superintendent of Nurses at St. Agnes Hospital in Raleigh.  She joined the Red Cross and planned to go overseas during World War I to serve in the U.S. Army nurse corps.  Instead she was directed to work at home to help
control the influenza epidemic sweeping the country.  After that influenza crisis passed, Broadfoot became a private duty nurse in Fayetteville until she was invited to be the Superintendent of the new Negro Divisions at the State Sanitarium.   In addition to
directing the nursing care at the Sanitarium, she opened one of the few nursing schools for African Americans there.  Dozens of nurses who graduated from the program in the 1920s, 30s and 40s owe their education to Broadfoot's determination.  In addition to directing and providing nursing care and nursing education, Broadfoot was a nursing leader.  In 1920, she and four other North Carolina
 African-American nurses attended a meeting of the National Association of 
Colored Graduate Nurses in Washington, DC.  In 1923, these five nurses founded the North Carolina Colored Graduate Nurses Association (later renamed the North 
Carolina Association of Negro Registered Nurses). Broadfoot served as its 
president for the next eight years.  This professional organization continued until 1949, and then it merged with the North Carolina Nurses Association. Broadfoot directed this Division until she suffered a stroke in 1943 and her failing health forced her to give up her position. By this time she was widowed, so she moved to Boston to be with her sister.  Broadfoot died January 6, 1945.