In 1872 America's first nursing school opened at Roxbury, Massachusetts, and Linda Richards became its first graduate. She accepted a post as night superintendent at Bellevue Hospital in New York. conditions were primitive. There was not enough heat and any night work had to be done by candlelight. Patiently, stubbornly, Linda instituted reforms that brought humane conditions into the wards and raised the standards of nursing.

Her remarkable career took her to England to study the methods of Florence Nightingale and then to Japan to train their first professional nurses.

A fighter against ignorance and prejudice, Linda Richards won international fame for her controversial ideas. She revolutionized medical care in hospitals.