Women at the Medical University of South Carolina

Hazel D. Alston, L.P.N.

Nursing School photo
Hazel D. Alston’s graduation portrait, Roper Hospital School of Practical Nursing, 1953.
Courtesy of the Alston Family.
Hazel AlstonVP
Hazel Alston served as First Vice President of the Charleston County Licensed Practical Nurses Association in 1978. The Charleston County LPN Association was organized in 1950.
Courtesy of the Alston Family.

One of the first African-American LPNs to work at the Medical College Hospital, 1955

Hazel Doris Alston was born in Kingstree, SC, on April 27, 1931. A graduate of Thomason High School, Mrs. Alston earned her practical nursing diploma from the Roper Hospital School of Practical Nursing in 1953. After graduating, Mrs. Alston worked in Roper Hospital’s isolation ward for a year before spending a year with the Methodist Hospital in Philadelphia. Mrs. Alston returned to Charleston after getting engaged and joined the Medical College Hospital in August 1955 as a licensed practical nurse (LPN), just prior to its opening for patients. She was instrumental in the preparation for admission of the hospital’s first patient.

During her career at the Medical College Hospital, Mrs. Alston cared for patients undergoing a variety of treatments and procedures including cancer treatments, kidney transplants, and heart surgery. In recognition of her professional attitude towards patients and co-workers, she was named MUSC’s Employee of the Month for January 1978, and was appointed to the “MUSC Key 100” for 1990-1991. This group, established by MUSC President James B. Edwards, DMD, in 1986 was a “gathering of those outstanding, loyal employees who serve as role models in relating to others as leaders and as concerned professionals who truly care about students, patients, and their families.” The appointment was an acknowledgement of Mrs. Alston’s valuable service to MUSC as well as her positive attitude.

Mrs. Alston was also active in state and local practical nursing societies and organizations. In 1978 the South Carolina Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses crowned Mrs. Alston “Miss Charleston County LPN”. In addition, she was nominated for the South Carolina Hospital Association’s Nurse of the Year in 1981.

In her 37 years at MUSC, Mrs. Alston was recognized not only for her exceptional interactions with patients and co-workers, but also her dedication to her family and her longstanding membership in Old Bethel United Methodist Church. Mrs. Alston retired from the Medical University Hospital in 1993.