Linna Hamilton Denny

Born in Illinois, Linna Denny moved to Alabama in her early 20s. She left the state for a brief period but returned in 1900 to make Alabama her home. During the next 55 years of her life she would embody the ideals of caring and achievement within the nursing profession. She became the first Red Cross nurse in Alabama and 46th in the nation. After helping to organize the Alabama State Nurses’ Association, she became its first president and its first executive secretary. She was the first chairman of the Alabama League of Nursing Education and a charter member of the National Organization of Public Health Nursing. She pushed for the passage of the first Nurse Practice Act in Alabama, which provided for a state board to examine and license registered nurses in Alabama. During the 19 years she served as executive secretary to the state board, she pioneered in setting standards for nursing education in Alabama. At age 55, she traveled to Poland at the end of World War I to help wounded and dying Polish soldiers being brought in from the battlefields. In 1952, one month before her 88th birthday, Linna Denny was awarded the honorary degree of doctor of humanities from The University of Alabama.