Nurse Leaders in the Past

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Lavinia Lloyd Dock is a nursing pioneer who was committed to fighting for equality for women. Lavinia Lloyd Dock was a nurse, feminist, pioneer in nursing education, and an author. She was born into a rich family on February 26, 1858 in Harrisburg, PA. Her parents wanted their children to study, which was unusual for women at that time. Lavinia was inspired to pursue nursing after reading a magazine article. Lavinia graduated from Bellevue Training School for Nurses in 1886. After graduation, Lavinia worked as a night supervisor in Bellevue Hospital. During this time Lavinia understood the problem students faced in studying drugs and solutions. Therefore she wrote one of the first textbooks for nurses titled Materia Medica for Nurses. Lavinia became an author to another book titled Hygiene and Morality in 1907 and co-authored with Adelaide Nutting the first two volumes of the four-volume History of Nursing. Volumes III and IV were completed by Lavinia alone in 1912. She further wrote several articles that were published in the first issues of American Journal of Nursing. Lavinia also published History of American Red Cross Nursing.

In addition to being an author, Lavinia Lloyd Dock was a suffragist and activist for women’s rights. She participated in protest movements, formed squads, participated in women’s activist marches, and was even jailed because of her efforts for the women liberation movement. Lavinia participated in activities that resulted in the passage of the 19th Ammendment to the Constitution which granted women the right to vote. In addition, she campaigned for legislation to allow nurses rather than physicians to control their profession.

In 1893, Lavinia, with the assistance of Mary Adelaide Nutting 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. Lavinia emphasized the importance of...
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