LUDIE CLAY ANDREWS
NURSE. FOUNDER. Activist.
2018 Honoree, Georgia Women of Achievement
“The Dean of Black Nurses”
– reference often made of Ms. Andrews
September 4, 1872
January 6, 1969
City, Town, Region
1872: Born to mulatto parents, Thomas Clay and Penny Trawick, Milledgeville, GA
1884: Fire, Ludie cannot save her two youngest siblings; they do not survive
1888: Married Isaac Andrews, Baldwin County
ca 1890: Graduated Eddy High School, Milledgeville GA
1906: Graduated from Spelman College with a three-year Registered Nursing Degree
1906: Organizes Colored Nursing Training Program, Atlanta School of Medicine; Created three year Registered Nurse Curriculum at Lula Grove (later merged with Emory Hospital)
1908: Co-Founding Organizer of the Neighborhood Union Club of Atlanta
1914: Founded and Licensed Grady Hospital Municipal Training School of Colored Nurses
1919: Secured state registration for colored nurses statewwide after 10 year effort
1920: Becomes certifies as the 1st AA Registered Nurse in Georgia
1921: Leaves Grady Training School of Colored Nurses
1928-1948: Serves as Superintendent, MacVicar Hospital, Morehouse College, Atlanta
1943: Presented with Mary Mahoney Award, National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses
1948: Received Certificate of Merit for Lifelong Service by Morehouse / Spelman College
1969: House fire, died from injuries; Buried at Southview Cemetery
1975: Ludie Andrews Award created by the Georgia Nurses Association of Atlanta
Mrs. Ludie Andrews was born a proud mullato in 1872 in Milledgeville, Georgia, where she graduated from Eddy High School. She entered nurse training at MacVicar Hospital at Spellman Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia and graduated in 1906.
Following graduation, Ludie Andrews was hired as Superintendent of Lula Grove Hospital and Training School, an affiliate of the Atlanta School of Medicine. At Lula Grove Hospital, she was responsible for educating student nurses. When Emory University merged with Lula Grove Hospital, Ludie Andrews became superintendent of the Colored Department at Grady Hospital. Because of her superior skills in organization and nursing, Dr. W.B. Summerall acquired her expertise to organize the Municipal Training School for Colored Nurses.
Classes began, and three years later in 1917, the first class graduated. Ludie Andrews worked diligently to meet State requirements, and in 1917, the school was chartered and accredited. The 1920 class was the first to graduate from the accredited school.
Continuing to follow her dream, Ludie Andrews worked against tremendous odds for almost ten years to secure state registration for Black nurses in Georgia. The State offered her a license to conciliate her; however, she refused because other qualified Black nurses were not given the same opportunity. At her own expense, she initiated legal action against the Georgia State Board of Nurse Examiners.
Subsequently, in 1920, all Black nurses who graduated from an accredited schools of nursing in Georgia, were allowed to take the same State Board Examination for Registration as White nurses. She became the first Black Registered Nurse in Georgia.
Following her departure from Grady Hospital and the Municipal Training School for Colored Nurses, Ludie Andrews worked from 1922 until 1928 as Superintendent of the Morehouse College Infirmary. From 1928 until 1948, she was Superintendent of Morehouse-Spelman-Atlanta University Infirmary. She retired from active duty in 1948.
Throughout her 40+ year career, Ms. Andrews fought for interracial inclusion for all. Her legacy of excellence in nursing is responsible for legions of graduate nurses with lifelong careers in such specialties as Career Surgical Nursing, Diabetes, Sickle Cell Research, and Tuberculosis.
Ms. Andrews maintains a strong legacy as a negro nursing pioneer and influencer in Public Health and Social Change for African Americans in Atlanta and throughout Georgia, as well as, nationally.. She had a Grady Hospital Nursing Ward and Gainesville Ga Community Center named in her honor. The Georgia Nurses Association (GNA) which she was not allowed to originally join due to fear of “professional spoilage", and the National Conclave of Graduate Grady Nurses (NCGGN) created organizational awards for excellence in nursing in her honor which are still active to this day. The NCGGN hosts a biannual celebration attending by hundreds of registered nursing professionals from around the world to continue to the excellence in nursing initiated over 100 years ago.
Ludie Andrews did not confine herself to activities of her profession. She worked with many worthy social, political, and religious community organizations. Among her contributions are:
President of, and health teacher for neighborhood Union of Atlanta,
Chairman of the Relief Committee of the Atlanta Tuberculosis Association,
Teacher of Health Education at Spellman-Morehouse summer school,
Member of State and Local Interracial Committees,
Member of Y.M.C.A., and
Trustee of the Atlanta Urban League.
Mrs. Ludie Andrew’s life of service and dedication ended in January 1969. She has appropriately been named the "Dean of Georgia Black Nurses" and is now a 2018 honoree of Georgia Women of Achievement.