Undine Sams Nursing Collection

Born on July 21, 1919, in Wachula, Florida, Undine Sams graduated from Jackson Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1940 and received her BSN from Barry College (now Barry University), in 1961 she worked in emergency, industrial, school and private duty nursing and was a volunteer Red Cross nurse. Sams was one of the few nurses to win the Army-Navy Excellence Award at the Richmond Field Blimp Base during World War II. Her contributions to the profession were recognized earlier this year when she was listed in “Faces of the Century” in 100 Years of American Nursing. Sams’ commitment to her professional association was equally significant. Her service in the Florida Nurses Association began in 1949 when she assumed the FNA presidency and in 1998 she was awarded the ANA Special Recognition Award for her 58 years of continued membership in FNA and her activism as an American Nursing Association delegate since 1942. Sams also served as chair of the FNA District V Charitable Trust and as founding president and eventually as life member of the Florida Nurses Foundation. Under the umbrella of the foundation, she established several funds in her name, personally matching any donations made to them. One of Sams’ final achievements was receipt of an honorary Doctor of Public Service from Florida International University on April 23, 1999. In addition to her professional nursing responsibilities she kept personal scrapbooks and mementos of her roles within FNA and ANA, her volunteerism with the Red Cross, newspaper articles pertaining to nursing and activism, and her worldwide travels during her retirement. She passed away on May 24, 1999.