The History – In 1970 at the Convention of the American Nurses’ Association in Miami, Dr. Lauranne Sams called a special meeting of all of the Black Nurses present. They met, discussed their concerns and wrote a statement for the ANA, House of Delegates. Dr. Sams was asked to find a way to keep in touch with the Black Nurses . . . to provide on the program of the 1972 ANA’s convention, for a Black Nurses’ Caucus.
Since 1965, Dr. Sams had the conviction that there was a need for an organized, independent, Black nurses’ group. After meeting the many Black Nurses present at the 1970 convention, she decided to push forward on her conviction and called together a group of nurses to talk about the formation of an independent, Black Nurses’ organization. It was this Steering Committee, under the leadership of Dr. Sams that met in December, 1971 in Cleveland, Ohio, to unify all Black Nurses . . . to pool their efforts and resources . . . to aid in improving the health problems and status of Black people in America.
In May, 1971 Black Nurses in Dade County were planning and organizing Black Professional Nurses. Their purpose was to improve working conditions, patient care and the advancement of Black Nurses within the community.
The officers were Jackie Davis, President, Jessie Trice, Secretary, Willie Pearl Galloway, Treasurer. Members were Sue Harris, Wilhemena Bentley, Lydia Walker, Eleanor Coleman, Alsada Anders, Anita Small, Mildred Pinkard, Barbara Williams, Florence Bruton and Bloneva Johnson.
At the beginning, the meetings were held at Range Funeral Home and later Lydia Walker opened her hospitality room. Black Nurses worked diligently to organize and recruit members. Workshops and conferences were held. Their goal was to become involved in the health care planning for Blacks, establish dialog sessions with Black Doctors, and become advocates for the community.
In 1972 the Black Professional Nurses Association became Black Nurses Association and a chapter of the National Black Nurses Association, Inc. In the same year the organization became incorporated as a non-profit organization in Florida.
We are struggling to keep alive the flame lit by the founders of this organization. We need you to keep alive the flame lit by the founders of this organization. Keep the flame burning!