Blanche Catherine Hayes Sansom

Blanche Catherine Hayes Sansom
Early African American School Nurse

images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcTItC6UV9Nus6nzQLnwzFuQVTHRj6VtmvYBjFu-A0VSTcwswOGzA tribute to Nurse Sansom is on page 38 of the December 1959 Tar Heel Nurse:

Throughout the state recently several nurses have received plaudits and recognition in various ways from their own communities where they live and work.  Because accomplishments of an individual nurse reflect honor on the entire profession, we believe all NCSNA members will be interested in the recognition which has come to these nurses.

Mrs. Blanche Hayes Sansom recently retired after 39 years in public health nursing with the Charlotte Health Department and was the subject of a feature article in the Charlotte Observer.  As senior nurse, Mrs. Sansom was supervisor of midwives and had charge of the birth control clinic.  She was employed by the City of Charlotte in 1920 as its first full-time Negro school nurse.

On the day of her retirement, the City and County Health Departments paid tribute to her with a party, presents, and speeches.  A former supervisor of public health nurses said of her: “While she climbed in status she never lost contact with her people.  She remained a true humanitarian.”

Mrs. Sansom sent to members of NCSNA a special message of appreciation for the cards and letters sent to her on her retirement and these gems of wisdom gleamed from nearly 40 years of nursing: “Patients are people; learn to listen – don’t talk too much; and don’t know everything.”

She is a graduate of St. Agnes Hospital School of Nursing, Raleigh, and had post-graduate work at Columbia University, North Carolina College, and the University of Michigan.

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Compiled by: 
Phoebe Pollitt