Mary Adelaide Nutting

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Mary Adelaide Nutting
Mary Adelaide Nutting.jpg
Born (1858-11-01)November 1, 1858
Died October 3, 1948(1948-10-03) (aged 89)
Nationality American
Education Johns Hopkins School of Nursing
Medical career
Profession Nursing
Institutions Teachers College, Columbia University

Mary Adelaide Nutting (November 1, 1858 – October 3, 1948) was an American educator, administrator, and author in the field of nursing. She is considered the world's first Professor of Nursing.


Mary Adelaide Nutting graduated from the first class of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in 1891.


In 1893, Nutting, with the assistance of Lavinia Dock and Isabel Hampton Robb, founded the American Society of superintendents of Training Schools for Nurses of the United States and Canada, a precursor to the current National League for Nursing.

In 1907 Mary Adelaide Nutting joined the faculty of Teachers College, Columbia University and became the world's first professor of nursing. Nutting led the Department of Nursing and Health at Teachers College from 1910 until her retirement in 1925.[1]

In 1907 Nutting and Lavinia Dock published the first two volumes[2] of their 4-volume A history of nursing. The third and fourth volumes were published in 1912. There were several subsequent editions.

In the First World War, key decisions about nursing were made by Nutting along with Jane Delano, director of the Red Cross Nursing Service, and Annie Warburton Goodrich, dean of the Army School of Nursing.[3]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Review: A History of Nursing by M. Adelaide Nutting and Lavinia L. Dock". Literary Supplement to the Spectator. 100: 1007. June 27, 1908. 
  3. ^ Jennifer Casavant Telford, "The American Nursing Shortage during World War I: The Debate over the Use of Nurses' Aids," Canadian Bulletin of Medical History (2010) 27#1 pp 85-99.

Further reading[edit]

  • Marshall, Helen E. Mary Adelaide Nutting; Pioneer of Modern Nursing (1972); 396pp; scholarly biography

Primary sources[edit]

  • Nutting, Mary Adelaide. Educational status of nursing (US Government Printing Office, 1912) Online