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Mon, 06.24.1929

Betty Smith Williams, Nurse, and Administrator born

Betty Smith Williams

*The birth of Betty Smith Williams is celebrated on this date in 1929.   She is a Black nurse and administrator.

Betty Smith was born in South Bend, Indiana. Her father was a minority rights activist and member of the Chapter of the NAACP. She was raised to advocate for equality and did just that. In 1954, Williams earned her bachelor's degree in zoology from Howard University. She graduated with a doctorate from Case Western Reserve University's (CWRU) nursing school in 1954, becoming the first Black nurse to graduate.

In 1956, Williams became the first black person to teach at California's college and university levels. She was hired to teach public health nursing at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In 1971, Williams co-founded the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA). From 1995 to 1999, Williams was the president of NBNA. In 1980, Williams became a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

To Become a Registered Nurse

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Sitting here alone, in peace With my private sadness Bared of the acquirements Of the mind’s eye Vision reversed, upended, Seeing only the holdings Inside the walls of me, Feeling the roots that bind me, To this... PRIVATE SADNESS by Bob Kaufman.
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