Learn more about nursing history in Pasquotank County
Health Care Institutions
- Albemarle Regional Health Systems Timeline with information about the Pasquotank County Health Department.
- Photograph of Ensign and World War II Nurse Mary Elizabeth Hill (Furtwanger) from Elizabeth City.
Margaret Sanger, pioneering family planning nurse from New York City speaks in Elizabeth City, 1919
The US Navy built the Elizabeth City Hospital in 1914. In 1922, after WWI, the Navy gave the hospital to Pasquoatank County to use as a community hospital. The name was changed to Pasquotank Municipal Hospital. It was used until the 1950s when Albemarle Hospital was built.
Miss Minerva Senft of Spring Grove, PA was the first Nursing Superintendent of the Elizabeth City Hospital.
According to the 1922-23 Pasquotank City Directory, the following nurses worked at the Pasquotank Municipal Hospital: Lydia Daily, Margaret Hanf, Essie Murphy, Nell Sanderson, Etta Truitt. Sadie Aycock was the nursing Superintendent. The 1916 report of the NC Board of Public Charities notes that Elizabeth City gave $700 a year to the hospital to pay for care for the poor and that there was a nurses training school associated with the Hospital with a class of 5.
Mrs. Osceola West Jurash was born in Elizabeth City on November 21, 1913 to Osceola and Thomas Jurash. She was a graduate of Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing in New York City, where she developed her interest in Public Health Nursing. Her first job was at the Henry Street Settlement House in the slums of New York City. After working at DePaul Hospital and Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia, she retired as director of nursing of the Pasquotank, Perquimans, Camden and Chowan health district after 25 years. She was president of District 19 of the North Carolina Nurse Association for several years in the 1970s. Demonstratiing her broad interest in the health of the citizens of Pasquotank County, Jurash served on the Pasquotank County Home Health Advisory Board, Pasquotank County Nursing Home Advisory Board and the Albemarle Mental Health Board. She was instrumental in establishing Albemarle Home Health Services. Nurse Jurash received the Rankin Award for Distinguished Service in Public Health from the NC Public health Association in 1978. The words on her gravestone sum up her life's work. They say "She lived to serve".
The Virginia-Pilot (Norfolk, VA) "Osceola Jurash led Public Health Nurses in Four Counties" Tuesday August 4, 1992.
Tar Heel Nurse, March 1972.
"A public health nurse's experiences at the NC Sanatorium" By Nurse Frances Stanton, Senior Public Health Nurse, Elizabeth City. The Health Bulletin, Feb 1948, pg 12-13.
Captain Edna Wright Few - Pioneer African American WWII nurse
Edna Wright Few was born in Wilmington, N.C. on April, 18, 1918 and departed this life on Nov. 10, 2006 at her son's home in Roanoke Rapids, N.C. She was the daughter of the later Sylvester Wright and Annie Wright Collins. She graduated from P. W. Moore High School and Elizabeth City Normal School. She then entered Saint Phillips School of Nursing at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Va. She graduated and was commissioned a Captain in the United States Army. Many career milestones occurred during this most difficult time for African Americans. Edna was one of the first African American Nurses to serve our county. After a honorable discharge she returned to Elizabeth City. She was a registered nurse at the Albemarle Hospital for over 30 years and also did private duty nursing during her distinguished career. After her retirement she still found time to administer health care to many citizens of Elizabeth City. She was a devoted member of the American Nurse Association and the American Legion. For many years she proudly displayed the "RN logo on the license tag of her automobile. Edna joined Mt. Lebanon A.M.E. Zion Church at an early age and was a faithful member for many years. She was a member of the Progressive Club, Nurses Aide Unit, Sunday School Adult Class, and the Annie Collins Missionary Society. Edna was married to Tyus S. Few Sr., who preceded her in death and to this union on a child was born.