ANA Hall of Fame Inductee
Acknowledged nationally and internationally as a distinguished pediatric nurse and an advocate for advanced education in pediatric nursing, Florence Guinness Blake was also an eminent scholar, teacher, and researcher.
Blake was born in Wisconsin on November 30, 1907, to Thelma Dunlap Blake, a talented musician, and James Blake, a Baptist minister. In her youth, Blake was encouraged by family members to choose a career in nursing, and she subsequently entered the Michael Reese Hospital School of Nursing in Chicago, where she earned a diploma in 1928. By 1932, Blake's interest in improving the care of children had grown to the extent that she enrolled in Teachers College, Columbia University, for preparation as a teacher of pediatric nursing. Completing the requirements for a bachelor of science degree in 1936, Blake taught pediatric nursing at Union Medical College in Peiping, China for the next three years. During that time, she refined her innovative ideas regarding the relationship between advanced clinical education and nursing practice.
After attaining a master of science degree from the University of Michigan in 1941, Blake taught pediatric nursing at several prestigious schools, and in 1946, established and directed the graduate program in advanced nursing care of children at the University of Chicago. A prolific writer, Blake authored the classic, The Child, His Parents, and the Nurse, and co-authored various editions of Essentials of Pediatric Nursing, and Nursing Care of Children, both of which were outstanding textbooks in the discipline. A recipient of numerous awards for her achievements, Blake was frequently consulted by national organizations concerned with child care.
In the final years of her career, she served as professor and director of the graduate program in pediatric nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing, where she inspired and challenged nursing students, nurse colleagues, and the physicians with whom she collaborated. Following her retirement in 1970, Blake continued her involvement in community affairs until her death on September 12, 1983.
A pioneer in advanced clinical education, Florence Blake left a legacy of nursing knowledge that continues to influence the care of children in the United States and abroad.