Katie Mae Grace Paul

Katie Mae Grace Paul
Pioneer Teacher of Licensed Pratical Nurses

Katie Mae Groce Paul was a pioneer teacher of Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in North Carolina.  She was born on May 10, 1909 in Person County to Reverend J.M. and Ida Gross.  The family moved many times during her childhood as her father accepted different calls to preach. 

When Paul was 17, her mother died of pneumonia, and Paul delayed her dream to go nursing school in order to help raise her younger siblings.  She graduated from the Roanoke Rapids School of Nursing in 1932.  Paul was interested in many types of nursing practice, and took advanced nursing classes in Washington DC, St Louis, and Philadelphia before returning to Washington, NC to work as an anesthetist at Tayloe Hospital. 

In 1949, just two years after the state legislature legalized the practice of Licensed Practical Nurses; Paul was approached by Nurse Miriam Daughtry, the head of Licensed Practical Nursing education in NC to start an LPN educational program in the region.  Katie Paul said yes.  She started in 1949 with a class of 20 students in the Tayloe Hospital.  She taught all of the courses, both in the classroom and clinical areas.  The program was a success.  In 1958, the program moved into the new Beaufort County Hospital. There, the LPN program used two small rooms behind the delivery room for classrooms, set up a library in the hall, and had no nearby restrooms.  They were pleased to move into well-equipped, spacious classrooms in 1967, with the opening of Beaufort County Community College (BCCC). 

Mrs. Paul retired in 1969 after 20 years of nursing and 20 years of teaching nursing.  The LPN program was discontinued at BCCC in 1971 when the new Associates Degree in Nursing program started offering the Registered Nurse (RN) credential.  Mrs. Paul was honored for her contributions to nursing education in Beaufort County when a new nursing education building on the BCCC campus was named for her in 1977.


Compiled by: 
Phoebe Pollitt