Nannie Jacquelin Minor

Title: Nannie Jacquelin Minor
Introduction: Nannie Jacquelin Minor lives today in the work of the Virginia Nurses Association, the Virginia Board of Nursing, the Instructive Visiting Nurse Association of Richmond (IVNA) and wherever public health nursing exists in the Commonwealth. For twenty years, she led the IVNA in providing care to the citizens of Richmond. As the founding director of the Bureau of Public Health Nursing in Virginia, she established forty-five public health nursing services throughout the state.

"As sure as any woman who came to Jamestown, she was a pioneer; but she was more than a pioneer. Her dream was not that of some new adventure beyond the traveled world; it was that of a city eased of pain, a social order free of injustice, a society of happiness."

Douglas Southall Freeman, Richmond News Leader, January 31, 1934
  • Charter member of the Virginia State Association of Nurses (now Virginia Nurses Association)
  • First Staff Nurse and later Director of the Nurses Settlement, Richmond, Virginia
  • Original member of the Virginia State Board of Examiners of Nurses
  • First Director of the Bureau of Public Health Nursing, Virginia Department of Health
Birth Date: 1871-06-15
Birthplace: Charlottesville, Virginia
Death Date: 1934-01-30
Death Place: Lewisburg, West Virginia
  • Early education at home with governess
  • Old Dominion Hospital Training School, Graduated 1900
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, postgraduate studies
  • Thomas Wilson Sanatorium, Pikesville, Maryland, postgraduate" studies
Nursing CV:
  • Private Duty, 1900-1902
  • Nurses Settlement, Richmond, Virginia, Staff Nurse and later Director, 1902-1922
  • Virginia Board of Health, Bureau of Child Welfare, First Director of Public Health Nursing, 1922-1932
Biographical Text: Nannie Jacquelin Minor was one of the pioneers in public health nursing in Virginia. Working with Sadie Heath Cabaniss, she helped to found the Nurses Settlement in Richmond. She became director and the Settlement became the Instructive Visiting Nurses Association (IVNA). The IVNA existed before the Richmond Health Department was established and was the only source of social and health services during the first six years of its existence.

After twenty years with the IVNA, Minor became the director of Public Health Nursing in the Bureau of Child Welfare with the Virginia Sate Health Department. She organized 45 public health nursing services throughout the Commonwealth during her ten years. By 1932, public health nurses in rural Virginia were conducting one hundred classes in home nursing and hygiene.

Influenced by her teacher and friend Sadie Cabaniss, Minor was a charter member of the Virginia State Association of Nurses and worked to secure passage of the Virginia Nurse Practice Act. She was one of the five original appointees to the Virginia State Board of Examiners of Nurses and served as the second president of the board. Throughout her career, Minor was a proponent of public health education for nurses. In 1924, she published an article in Public Health Nurse entitled, "The Status of the Colored Public Health Nurses in Virginia" where she outlined the instructional programs available for African American women in Virginia.

In her later years, Minor devoted time to gathering information on the history and development of public health nursing in Virginia. She corresponded with nurses across the Commonwealth in an effort to compile a complete record of public health activities during the first quarter of the twentieth century. In 1952, the Medical College of Virginia named its new dormitory facility Randolph-Minor Hall in honor of Minor and Agnes D. Randolph. Minor was also honored by the Virginia Nurses Association in 2000 when she was selected as one of fifty-one Pioneer Nurses in Virginia.

Douglas Southall Freeman said in part, in an editorial in the Richmond News Leader on January 31, 1934: "How readily the historian of Virginia will find and fix her place, we cannot say; but always in the memory of those who knew her and were privileged to share even to a small degree in her work, she will remain a gracious and appealing figure, "Virginia's Sister of Charity."
“Nannie Jacquelin Minor,” VCU Libraries Gallery, accessed July 19, 2024,