School of Nursing Centennial

April 24, 2018

Nursing workforce diversity

Frances Workcuff Frazier Demisse

Mentored young black nurses

Frances Workcuff Frazier Demisse was born in Butte, Montana, the granddaughter of a runaway slave. She decided to become a nurse after she contracted tuberculosis as a child and spent over two years in a hospital north of Seattle. Demisse applied and was admitted to the university in 1953. She and Vivian Lee were the only black students enrolled at the time. After graduation, Demisse worked as one of the first black nurses at Group Health Cooperative Hospital. Through the Mary Mahoney Registered Nurses Organization, a professional group for black nurses, Demisee encouraged many other black women to become nurses.


BSN (1958)


Alumni, Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Association, Harborview Medical Center

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