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Tue, 03.03.1874

Ludie Clay Andrews, Nurse, and Nursing Advocate born

Ludie Clay Andrews

*Ludie Clay Andrews was born on this date in 1874. She was a Black nurse and administrator. Ludie Clay Andrews, a Mulatto was born in Milledgeville, Georgia, where she graduated from Eddy High School. Shortly after, she entered into nurse training at MacVicar Hospital at Spelman College in Atlanta, graduating in 1906. Spelman College later closed its nursing program in 1928. 

Noteworthy among her accomplishments was her superintendence of the Lula Grove Hospital in Atlanta and her founding of the Municipal Training School for Colored Nurses at Grady Hospital in Atlanta in 1914. Her ten-year legal battle against the Georgia State Board of Nurse Examiners was a victory that fulfilled her early aspirations "to work for my people." She recalled, "I worked unceasingly for almost ten years against tremendous odds to secure state registration for colored nurses in Georgia, and finally succeeded in 1920 with the result that all colored nurses graduating from certified training schools are permitted to take the examinations and register." The board offered to license her alone as an "exceptional individual," but she refused unless all were allowed.

She succeeded in her effort in 1920. In recognition of her pioneering efforts to secure registration for Black nurses in Georgia, Ludie Andrews was the recipient of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses Mary Mahoney Award in 1943. On January 6, 1969, Andrews was tragically found dead after a house fire caused massive damage to her home. Her funeral was held at West Mitchell Christian Methodist Episcopal Church on a Friday afternoon, and she was buried at South-View Cemetery.

In 1995 the Georgia Nurses Association established a Ludie Andrews Award, given annually to a nurse who epitomizes the characteristics of this Georgia nurse pioneer. The Grady Nurses Conclave annually presents a "Ludie Andrews Distinguished Service Award," and nurses in Georgia affectionately refer to her as the "Dean of African American Nurses."

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