Undine Sams (1919-1999) 2000 Inductee

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Undine Sams
ANA Hall of Fame Inductee

A member of the Florida Nurses Association (FNA), Undine Sams, doctora honoris causa, or "Sammy," spearheaded sweeping changes that advanced the nursing profession. In the 1940s, when segregation laws were in full force, FNA, with Sams' leadership, was one of the first southern state nurses associations to permit black nurses to join.

Mary Elizabeth Carnegie, also a member of the ANA Hall of Fame,  was one of the first black members of FNA. In the early 1950s, Sams implemented the recommendations for the FNA's Economic Security Program, and helped create the Nurses Charitable Trust of FNA District 5 (Miami-Dade County). Sams also played a key role in the "Nursing on the Move" campaign, which raised $2 million to support the 1992 relocation of ANA's headquarters from Kansas City, MO, to Washington, DC, to better position the association to influence national health care policy.

In 1998, Sams' 58th year as an FNA member, ANA honored Sams with a special recognition award for her lifelong contributions. She received her diploma in nursing from Jackson Memorial Hospital, a BSN in nursing at Barry University and an honorary doctorate in public service from Florida International University. Sams also was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International, Beta Tau Chapter at the University of Miami, and the FNA has named an award in her honor. In addition, Sams was one of the founders of the Florida Nurses Foundation in which three funds have been established in her honor -- a scholarship, a research grant and a "nurses in need" fund.