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Central Florida Advanced Nursing Practice Council

Nursing Heroes: Caring for the Community

Posted over 6 years ago by Elizabeth Rash

For Immediate Release
April 6, 2012
Contact: Julia Gorzka Freeman

Nursing Heroes: Caring for the Community
How nurses in Tampa Bay have shaped the delivery of health care

Tampa, FL – As the first exhibit to tell the story of local nurses who have shaped the delivery of health care, Nursing Heroes: Caring for the Community honors the rich and unique history of nursing in Tampa Bay. Born from the passion of dedicated and historically oriented registered nurses from Former District IV of the Florida Nurses Association (FNA) representing Hillsborough County, the exhibit will be featured in the Community Case at the Tampa Bay History Center from May 2 - June 30 2012.

“This is nurses time to shine,” says Linda Hankins, exhibit committee chair, “Nurses tend to be invisible. They are behind the scenes, doing the work and getting it done. They typically don’t take the time to appreciate and recognize one another’s contributions.” 

Curated by Julia Gorzka Freeman, the exhibit features the stories of 5 nurses who took risks to break through gender and racial barriers to serve their country, save lives, and improve the health of all citizens. They are:

  1. Clara Frye (1872-1937) – Inventor and Founder of the Clara Frye Negro Hospital
  2. Joyce Ely (1889-1979) - Pioneer in public health nursing and the first licensed Nurse Midwife in Florida
  3. Mary T. Brown Cash (1892-1993) – Florida’s first African American Registered Nurse
  4. Dorothy Ebersbach (1914-2011) – Pioneering WWII female aviator, recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal, and Registered Nurse for the Hillsborough County Public Health Department
  5. Imogene King (1923-2007) – Internationally reognized Nurse Theorist, Researcher and Educator 

From opening the first hospital in Tampa to care for Black patients, pioneering midwifery training to improve survival rates of mothers and infants, and developing a scientific theory of nursing practice to improve patient care, these nursing heroes took on historic challenges that transformed the delivery of health care. 

Visitors will also experience the diverse ways in which today’s registered nurses, who comprise the largest health care profession, are working to improve health care. From flight nursing at 15,000 to 30,000 feet in the air to bedside nursing in hospitals and long-term care facilities to the halls of research institutions, state legislatures, and Congress, the depth and breadth of the nursing profession continues to evolve to meet the health care needs of our community.

We are thankful for the generous support of our sponsors including University of Tampa, Memorial Hospital, Sigma Theta Tau – Delta Beta Chapter-at-Large, and the Tampa Bay Advanced Practice Nursing Council.

SAVE THE DATE & Register Here

The exhibit opens with a special opening reception to celebrate this historic nursing exhibit and kick off National Nurses Week. The evening will feature an Angel Gallery paying tribute to today’s nursing heroes in honor of National Nurses Week. 

Every year, National Nurses Week focuses attention on the diverse ways America's 3.1 million registered nurses work to save lives and to improve the health of millions of individuals. Annually, National Nurses Week begins on May 6, marked as RN Recognition Day, and ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, founder of nursing as a modern profession. 

When: May 2, 2012
6:00-8:00 pm

Where: Tampa Bay History Center

Cost: $10 Registered Nurses
$10 Friends of Nursing
$5 Nursing Students

Register Here