Abstract This article focuses on female kidney transplant nurses, whose contributions, while often overlooked and underappreciated, were critical to the success of transplantation. It reveals that white and, from the 1980s onwards, Black kidney transplant nurses made two central contributions. First, they developed specialised skills in dialysis that were vital to transplant success. Second, through countless hours of close observation of post-transplant patients, nurses gained confidence and knowledge that enabled them to improve medical and care procedures initially established by medical doctors. At the same time, this article recognises that nurses's contributions were powerfully shaped by inequities of gender, race and language.