Nurses

When we talk of famous nurses, Florence Nightingale is undoubtedly the first name that comes to mind. Popularly known as the “The Lady with the Lamp”, she went beyond the call of duty while tending to wounded soldiers during the Crimean War. Another nurse who received praise for her wartime work is Clara Barton who served as a hospital nurse in the American Civil War and was actively involved in humanitarian work. Well known for her role as a birth control activist and sex educator, American nurse Margaret Higgins Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the United States. Nurses throughout history have played a pivotal role in bringing about a difference in not just the lives of individual patients, but in promoting major social changes. When Mary Eliza Mahoney, a black woman, became a professionally qualified nurse in the United States in the late 19th century, she challenged professional discrimination against African Americans. This section provides you information about the life and works of famous nurses from all over the globe.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale
4
Famous As: Social reformer, Statistician
Birthdate: May 12, 1820
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: August 13, 1910
The Lady with the Lamp Florence Nightingale is remembered for her relentless efforts in nursing soldiers during the Crimean War. She founded London’s St Thomas' Hospital to train nurses. She also pioneered the use of the polar area diagram and was the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society.

 2 Margaret Sanger

Margaret Sanger
8
Famous As: Activist
Birthdate: September 14, 1879
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Corning, New York, United States
Died: September 6, 1966

Margaret Sanger was an American writer and sex educator. She is credited with popularizing the term birth control. A birth control activist, Sanger established the first birth control clinic in America. She also set up organizations that later became the well-known non-profit organization Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She also played a key role in legalizing contraception in the US.

 3 Irena Sendler

Irena Sendler
4
Famous As: Humanitarian & Social worker
Birthdate: February 15, 1910
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: May 12, 2008
Polish social worker and nurse Irena Sendler was part of the Polish Underground Resistance in German-occupied Poland, during World War II. She was arrested for smuggling Jewish children out of Poland but never revealed much about her work. She had received many awards, such as Israel’s Righteous Among the Nations.
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 4 Clara Barton

Clara Barton
6
Famous As: Nurse, Founded of the American Red Cross
Birthdate: December 25, 1821
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Oxford, Massachusetts, United States
Died: April 12, 1912
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 5 Naomi Judd

Naomi Judd
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Famous As: Nurse, Motivational speaker, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Singer
Birthdate: January 11, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ashland

 6 Claudette Colvin

Claudette Colvin
4
Famous As: Civil Rights Activist
Birthdate: September 5, 1939
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States
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 7 Betty Shabazz

Betty Shabazz
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Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: May 28, 1934
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pinehurst, Georgia, United States
Died: June 23, 1997

Civil rights activist and educator Betty Shabazz, or Betty X, was the wife of Black nationalist leader Malcolm X. Raised by her adoptive parents in Detroit, she met Malcolm X at a Nation of Islam event in Harlem. She died when her apartment was set on fire set by her grandson.

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 8 Mary Seacole

Mary Seacole
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Famous As: Heroine of the Crimean War
Birthdate: November 23, 1805
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Died: May 14, 1881

Mary Seacole was a British-Jamaican nurse, businesswoman, and healer. She played a major role during the Crimean War, providing aid for wounded servicemen and nursing them back to health. In 1991, Seacole was posthumously honored with the Jamaican Order of Merit. In 2004, she was named the greatest black Briton for her contribution during the war.

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 9 Edith Cavell

Edith Cavell
4
Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: December 4, 1865
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Swardeston, Norfolk, England
Died: October 12, 1915

 10 Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna of Russia

Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna of Russia
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Famous As: Eldest Child of Emperor Nicholas II, and of Empress Alexandra of Russia
Birthdate: November 15, 1895
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: July 17, 1918
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 11 Violet Jessop

Violet Jessop
4
Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: October 2, 1887
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bahía Blanca, Argentina
Died: May 5, 1971

 12 Nancy Wake

Nancy Wake
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Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: August 30, 1912
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wellington, New Zealand
Died: August 7, 2011

Initially a journalist, Nancy Wake earned the nickname The White Mouse for her skilful spying on Germans. Working under the alias Helene for the SOE, the stiletto-wearing socialite earned respect for her 500 km bicycle ride to report a situation to London, while being chased by the Nazis.

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 13 Jennifer Worth

Jennifer Worth
3
Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: September 25, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, England, UK
Died: May 31, 2011

 14 Rachel Robinson

Rachel Robinson
3
Famous As: Nurse, Baseball player
Birthdate: July 19, 1922
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Los Angeles

 15 Anita Cobby

Anita Cobby
3
Birthdate: November 2, 1959
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sydney
Died: February 2, 1986

 16 Yetunde Price

Yetunde Price
4
Birthdate: August 9, 1972
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: September 14, 2003
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 17 Marie of Romania

Marie of Romania
3
Famous As: Consort
Birthdate: October 29, 1875
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Eastwell Park, Kent, England
Died: July 10, 1938

 18 Margarete Himmler

Margarete Himmler
3
Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: September 9, 1893
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Goncarzewo near Bromberg, Poland
Died: August 25, 1967
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 19 Elizabeth Fry

Elizabeth Fry
3
Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: May 21, 1780
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Norwich
Died: October 12, 1845

 20 Evelyn Mase

Evelyn Mase
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Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: May 18, 1922
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Transkei
Died: April 30, 2004
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 21 Sineenat

Sineenat
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Famous As: Thai nurse
Birthdate: January 26, 1985
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nan, Thailand

 22 Elizabeth Kenny

Elizabeth Kenny
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Famous As: Nurse & Health Administrator
Birthdate: September 20, 1880
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Warialda, New South Wales
Died: November 30, 1952

Elizabeth Kenny was an Australian bush nurse. A self-trained nurse, Kenny pioneered a new and then-controversial method to treat the victims of poliomyelitis. Her method, which she advocated enthusiastically, became the foundation of physiotherapy. Her life and career inspired the 1946 American biographical film Sister Kenny, in which she was played by Rosalind Russell.

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 23 Sue Johanson

Sue Johanson
3
Famous As: Public Speaker
Birthdate: March 16, 1930
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 24 Lillian Gordy Carter

Lillian Gordy Carter
3
Famous As: Nurse, Politician
Birthdate: August 15, 1898
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Richland
Died: October 30, 1983
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 25 Mimi Smith

Mimi Smith
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Famous As: Nurse, Housewife, Secretary
Birthdate: April 24, 1903
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Liverpool
Died: December 6, 1991

 26 Philomena Lee

Philomena Lee
3
Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: March 24, 1933
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newcastle West, Ireland

An unwed mother in her late teens, Philomena Lee was forced to hand over her son to Irish nuns, who then sold her off to be adopted by an American Catholic family. Author Martin Sixsmith’s book on Philomena’s journey, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, was later made into an Oscar-nominated film.

 27 Ethel Roosevelt Derby

Ethel Roosevelt Derby
3
Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: August 13, 1891
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Oyster Bay (hamlet), New York
Died: December 10, 1977

 28 Rena Owen

Rena Owen
3
Famous As: Actor, Nurse
Birthdate: July 22, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bay of Islands
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 29 Elizabeth Freeman

Elizabeth Freeman
3
Famous As: midwife
Birthdate: 1742 AD
Birthplace: Claverack
Died: December 28, 1829

 30 Agnes von Kurowsky

Agnes von Kurowsky
3
Famous As: Former nurse who inspired the character "Catherine Barkley" in Ernest Hemingway's 1929 novel A Farewell to Arms.
Birthdate: January 5, 1892
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: September 25, 1984
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 31 John of God

John of God
3
Famous As: Soldier
Birthdate: March 8, 1495
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal
Died: March 8, 1550

John of God was a Portuguese soldier who spent most of his time in Spain as a health-care worker. He is remembered for inspiring the creation of a Catholic religious institute called the Brothers Hospitallers of Saint John of God, which was established by his followers. The institute aims at helping the sick, poor, and those suffering from mental illness.

 32 Suze Randall

Suze Randall
3
Famous As: Nurse, Photographer, Model, Director, Glamour model
Birthdate: May 18, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Worcester

Suze Randall is an English photographer, model, and pornographer. Randall worked as a staff photographer for Hustler and Playboy, becoming the first woman staff photographer for both the publications. In 1980, she directed a pornographic film titled Kiss and Tell, becoming one of the earliest woman porn film directors. Suze Randall has also modeled for magazines like Hustler and Playboy.

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 33 Cicely Saunders

Cicely Saunders
3
Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: June 22, 1918
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Barnet, Hertfordshire, England
Died: July 14, 2005
A pioneer of the hospice movement, English nurse and social worker Cicely Saunders not only developed the palliative care approach but also established the St. Christopher’s Hospice in London. A supporter of medical ethics, she was against voluntary euthanasia. She won numerous awards, such as the Templeton Prize.

 34 Bonnie Nettles

Bonnie Nettles
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Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: August 29, 1927
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States
Died: June 19, 1985

 35 Nella Larsen

Nella Larsen
2
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: April 13, 1891
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Died: March 30, 1964

 36 Mary Eliza Mahoney

Mary Eliza Mahoney
2
Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: April 16, 1845
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dorchester, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: January 4, 1926

 37 Anne Hutchinson

Anne Hutchinson
3
Famous As: Puritan spiritual adviser, Preacher
Birthdate: June 30, 1591
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Alford, Lincolnshire, England
Died: August 20, 1643

 38 Derek Longmuir

Derek Longmuir
5
Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: March 19, 1951
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Edinburgh

 39 Lillian Wald

Lillian Wald
2
Famous As: Nurse, Humanitarian
Birthdate: March 10, 1867
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Died: September 1, 1940

 40 Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner
3
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: December 13, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kirchdorf an der Krems

 41 Li Shuxian

Li Shuxian
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Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: September 4, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: China
Died: June 9, 1997

 42 Michaela Schaffrath

Michaela Schaffrath
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 6, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Eschweiler, Germany

 43 Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia

Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia
2
Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: April 18, 1890
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russian
Died: December 13, 1958

 44 Aurora Quezon

Aurora Quezon
2
Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: February 19, 1888
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Baler
Died: April 28, 1949

 45 Charles Cullen

Charles Cullen
2
Famous As: Serial Killer
Birthdate: February 22, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: West Orange, New Jersey, United States

 46 Sahra Noor

Sahra Noor
0
Famous As: Business executive
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Mogadishu, Somalia

 47 Mayinga N'Seka

Mayinga N'Seka
0
Famous As: She died from Ebola virus disease during the 1976 epidemic in Zaïre
Birthdate: 1954 AD
Birthplace: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Died: October 19, 1976

 48 Mary Kingsley

Mary Kingsley
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 13, 1862
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Islington, London, England
Died: June 3, 1900

English ethnographer and traveler Mary Kingsley was the daughter of renowned physician and traveler George Kingsley and the niece of Charles Kingsley. Unlike girls of her era, she was well-educated and later ventured on an exploratory trip to West Africa, becoming the first European to enter remote areas such as Gabon.

 49 Hildegard Peplau

Hildegard Peplau
2
Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: September 1, 1909
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Reading
Died: March 17, 1999

 50 Rouzan al-Najjar

Rouzan al-Najjar
2
Famous As: Nurse
Birthdate: September 13, 1997
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Khuza'a, Khan Yunis, Gaza Strip
Died: June 1, 2018