The 20th Century: 1980-1989


North Carolina became the first and only state in the nation in which nurses vote for all the members of the Board of Nursing, in accordance with the Nurse Practice Act of 1981.

Nurse Sam Beam, RN became the first nurse elected to the North Carolina Legislature. He represented the 38th North Carolina House District made up of portions of Gaston and Lincoln counties. He voted in favor of the revised North Carolina Nurse Practice Act supported by the North Carolina Nurse Association. (Tar Heel Nurse, Jan-Feb 1981. pg 9).


Brigadier General Clara Adams-Ender, RN became the Chief of the Army Nurse Corps, the second African American and the second North Carolinian to be named Chief. While managing 22,000 professional nurses worldwide, Adams-Ender implemented a program enabling enlisted personnel to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, which is necessary to be commissioned as an officer in he Army Nurse Corps.

Newspaper Clippings from 1988


UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing initiated a PhD program in Nursing, the first in North Carolina.