Harlem Hospital School of Nursing

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Harlem Hospital School of Nursing is a training school for African-American women established in 1923. It was founded due to the lack of nursing schools in New York that accepted African American women. Until 1923, the Lincoln Hospital School for Nurses in Bronx was the only school that allowed the enrollment of Black women.

Among the many civic leaders that participated in the creation of the school, primary credit is given to William Vassalls and his daughter, Lurline Vassals DeShields. When Lurline was denied access to the Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing because of her color, they led the drive for a school in Harlem hospital that provided quality education for Black women. The first class of twenty students graduated in 1925. All of the graduates passed the New York State Board examination which qualified them as registered, licensed nurses.

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