UW News

November 20, 2001

UW speech traces history of African-American nurses in Seattle

University of Washington School of Nursing Professor Lois Price-Spratlen will discuss the experiences of early African-American nurses in Seattle who overcame racial discrimination and adversity to achieve their dreams. Her free public presentation at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, in Hogness Auditorium at the UW Health Sciences Center is titled “Seattle African-American Nurses: How They Have Overcome.” It is the third in a series of public lectures sponsored as a community service by the UW School of Nursing.

Dr. Nancy Fugate Woods, dean of the School of Nursing, will introduce Price-Spratlen. Woods will address how early UW nursing school admission policies adversely affected African-American nursing students. Woods will also invite the current community of African-American nursing students and nurses to continue to work with the school to increase the number of African-Americans in nursing.

In 1896, hospitals and nursing schools across the country became strictly segregated when many states enacted laws intended to separate the races. As recently as 1948, African-Americans were denied admission to national nursing organizations. Price-Spratlen traced the local repercussions of these discriminatory acts in her recent book, African American Registered Nurses in Seattle.

The lecture will be followed by a reception in the adjoining lobby of the health sciences complex to honor the Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Organization, which supports African-Americans in nursing. Price-Spratlen, a board-certified psychotherapist and University Ombudsman, will autograph copies of her book.