It is with deep sadness that we inform you of the passing of our venerable colleague, Florence Wald, RN, MSN, FAAN. Florence Wald passed away at her home in Connecticut on Saturday November, 8th at the age of 91. She was internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of hospice care.
Florence Wald earned a Bachelors degree from Mount Holyoke College and three degrees from Yale University: Master of Nursing, Master of Science, and an honorary degree of Doctorate of Medical Science. She began her career in the New York Visiting Nurse Service and then accepted a position teaching psychiatric nursing at Rutgers University. Wald joined the Yale School of Nursing faculty in 1957 and one year later was chosen to be Dean. She served in the role of Dean for nine years at Yale University's School of Nursing.
Wald studied hospice care in London. Upon her return to the states, she developed a hospice model that provides holistic and humanistic care for the dying person and requires appropriate understanding of the concepts of death and dying among nurses giving care in the hospice environment. Since that time, her exemplary work with the dying has influenced the further development of hospice care throughout the nation.
Florence Wald has published widely and earned many distinctions, including a Founders Award from the National Hospice Association, a Distinguished Woman of Connecticut Award from the governor of Connecticut, fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing, and three honorary doctoral degrees. She was inducted into ANA’s Hall of Fame in 1996. The Connecticut Nurses Association established the Florence S. Wald Award for Outstanding Contributions to Nursing Practice in her honor.
Our deepest sympathies are with the Wald family, and our hope is that they derive some comfort from the great affection and respect felt for their beloved family member by the nursing community.