ANA Hall of Fame Inductee
Dorothy Smith, a Florida Nurses Association member, was a national pioneer in nursing education who served as founding dean of the University of Florida College of Nursing and chief of nursing practice at the university's teaching hospital. Smith led the college from its inception in 1956 until her retirement in 1971, creating national recognition of the program by introducing several important nursing innovations.
Her belief that clinical nursing practice was the essence of professional nursing motivated all her innovative contributions to nursing, including: fully integrating nursing education and nursing service (which laid the groundwork for advanced practice registered nursing); fully integrating nursing education into the university; and insisting that nurses in the university's teaching hospital develop a written plan of care and systematically evaluate patient's responses (known as evidence-based nursing practice today). Smith also insisted that nursing educators be directly involved in nursing care, an idea which was unheard of then. Until Smith developed the "unification model," nursing was taught as an apprentice-like technical training program in hospitals. Her work helped nursing education become a science-based curriculum at top universities.
Prior to coming to the University of Florida to help implement one of the first interdisciplinary health sciences centers in the country, Smith was a professor at Duke University School of Nursing. Smith authored more than 30 articles and co-wrote a textbook called System of Nursing Practice.