Ida Moffett

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Ida Moffett

Ida Vines Moffett (born April 9, 1905 in Toadvine - died November 17, 1996 in Birmingham) was a pioneer in nursing practice and education in Alabama.

Ida Vines was born in 1905 to Mary and Perry Vines of Toadvine. She graduated from Alliance High School in 1923 and entered nursing school at Birmingham Baptist Hospital, finishing in 1926. She worked as a registered nurse at Baptist Hospital and for a private physician for a year before continuing her education at the University of Iowa Hospital and the University of Cincinnati.

She returned to Birmingham in 1928 and became an operating room supervisor. In 1929 she married electrician Howard D. Moffett and moved with him to Atlanta. The couple returned to Birmingham in 1934 and Ida took a position as head nurse at Highland Avenue Baptist Hospital. By 1941 she was directing the education of nurses there as well as at Birmingham Baptist. She organized Alabama's first Cadet Nurse Corps unit in 1943 and oversaw expansion of the nursing school facilities at the hospital.

In 1946 Moffett was appointed by Governor Chauncey Sparks to the Alabama State Board of Nurses' Examiners and Registration, which she chaired. She worked to achieve state accreditation for Tuskegee University's four-year college program in nursing. Through her implementation efforts the development of licensed practical nurses took hold statewide, beginning with a program at Gadsden's Baptist Hospital which graduated its first class in 1948.

Moffett was named Birmingham Woman of the Year for 1954. She served on the committee that founded the University of Alabama School of Nursing and subsequently arranged for cooperation between the Birmingham Baptist Hospital School of Nursing and the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham. She guided the Birmingham Baptist Hospital School of Nursing toward national accreditation and helped found the Birmingham Regional Hospital Council.

In 1961 Moffett was appointed to the United States Surgeon General's Consulting Group on Nursing which laid the groundwork for the Nurses Training Act of 1964. In 1967 she became chief of nursing for the Baptist Health Care System. A year later the nursing school was re-named in her honor.

Moffett retired in 1970, but returned to work eight years later as "Chief of Nursing Emeritus" for Brookwood Medical Center, a position she held until 1981. She died of heart failure at Baptist Medical Center Montclair in 1996. Throughout her career Moffett made daily rounds visiting patients under her charge.

Moffett was a member of the inaugural class of the Alabama Health Care Hall of Fame. Her papers are archived at Samford University Library's special collections.


  • Allen, Lee N., and Catherine B. Allen (1988) Courage to Care: The Story of Ida V. Moffett. Birmingham: Samford University Press
  • Allen, Lee N. and Catherine B. Allen (February 13, 2008) "Ida Vines Moffett". Encyclopedia of Alabama. beta version - accessed May 8, 2008