Hazle Elizabeth Walker Blakeney

Title: Hazle Elizabeth Walker Blakeney

Hazle Elizabeth Walker Blakeney influenced the education of numerous students even before she moved to Virginia in 1954. In that year she came to Norfolk to develop a new Department of Nursing at the Norfolk Division of Virginia State College, now Norfolk State University. There she organized an innovative two-year program leading to an associate degree in nursing, the second to be offered in Virginia. The program, accepted as one of the pilot schools in the research project directed by Dr. Mildred Montag of Teachers College, Columbia University, was approved by the Virginia Department of Education and by the Virginia State Board of Examiners of Nurses. Through her efforts Virginians of all races have greater access to the nursing profession.

"...Dr. Blakeney devoted her life to education, nursing practice, cooperation and collaboration to promote change and enhance nursing services, student enrollment and advancement and the promotion of health in the community. 'May the Work I've Done, Speak for Me' was sung at her memorial service as a testament to all those whose lives she touched."

Shelly Lewis, RN, and Bennie Marshall, RN, Blakeney Hall of Fame Nomination, 2005

  • First Chair of the Department of Nursing at the Norfolk Division of Virginia State College (now Norfolk State University) in Norfolk, Virginia
  • Initiated and led the associate degree in nursing program at the Norfolk Division of Virginia State College in 1955
  • Nationally recognized consultant and advisor in the field of nursing education
Birth Date: 1918-12-21
Birthplace: Pittsburg, Kansas
Death Date: 1997-03-27
Death Place: Baltimore, Maryland
  • Pittsburg, Kansas Public Schools
    Pittsburg Senior High School, 1935
  • Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing, Charlotte, North Carolina
    Diploma, 1940
  • Kansas State Teachers College, Pittsburg, Kansas
    Bachelor of Science in Biology, 1944
  • Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, New York
    Master of Arts in Nursing Education, 1951; Doctor of Education in Administration and Teaching, 1967
Nursing CV:
  • Good Samaritan Hospital, Charlotte, North Carolina
    Staff Nurse Progressing to Director of Nursing Services, 1940-1955 
  • Norfolk Division of Virginia State College (later Norfolk State University) Norfolk, Virginia
    Department of Nursing, Chairman, 1955-1961, 1965-1968
  • Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, New York
    Teaching Assistant, 1962-1964, Assistant to the Executive Director and Research Assistant, 1964-1965
  • Essex County College, Newark, New Jersey
    Director of Allied Health Program, 1968-
  • University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
    Department of Career Development, Graduate Programs in Nursing, Chairman, 1973-1985
Biographical Text: Hazle Walker Blakeney devoted most of her nursing career to the education of nurses. She began as Director of Nursing Services and Nursing Education at Good Samaritan Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, and obtained her Master's Degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. She demonstrated her initiative and willingness to take bold new steps when she arrived at the Norfolk Division of Virginia State College (now Norfolk State University) in 1955. She planned and secured the necessary support and approvals to begin an associate degree in nursing education program that year.

Blakeney was successful in having the Norfolk State program accepted into the Cooperative Research Project on Community and Junior College Education for Nursing, directed by Dr. Mildred Montag from Teachers College, Columbia University. There were six other pilot programs in the project, but the Norfolk program was the only one identified as located in an African-American college. In a letter to Dr. Montag in 1945, Blakeney discussed the great support of Dr. Lyman Brooks, President of the College, as well as that of the Director of Nurses at Norfolk Community Hospital, the major site for the students' clinical experience. Blakeney said that she had secured clinical experience at other local hospitals "but their tacit position was that our students would practice only in the Negro Wards. I must admit that I accepted that implied limitation without question." She then said, parenthetically, that she had enough problems without further complicating things with "racial issues." She concluded, "I'm finding this little fight to be rather stimulating. It focuses ones ideas when she is called upon to verbalize her support of a given position." In the thirteen years Blakeney was in Norfolk, the program she had developed expanded to meet an increasing need for registered nurses.

In 1968, Blakeney was appointed as Director of the Allied Health Program at Essex County College in Newark, New Jersey. In this position, she was responsible for the associate degree nursing program at Newark Beth Israel Hospital as well at programs for record librarians, unit managers, and medical secretaries. Blakeney also influenced students and educators in her work as a consultant to the Massachusetts Board of Regional Community Colleges and served as Chairman of Career Development, Graduate Programs at the University of Maryland. She was active in nursing organizations at the local, state, and national levels. She served as Chairman of the American Nurses Association Commission on Education from 1974-1978, and demonstrated her commitment to cultural diversity when she chaired a committee to seek Spanish speaking, Spanish surnamed nurses, and students for minority fellowship projects.

In 1974, the ANA received a $1,000,000 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct research and to help minority nurses earn doctorates. Blakeney was one of the members of the original advisory committee for this project directed by Dr. Ruth Gordon. A member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Phi Beta Tau, and Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc., Gamma Chapter, Blakeney was also actively involved in the health ministry at her church, Concord Baptist in Baltimore, Maryland. She participated in congressional hearings on nursing and reviewed applications for planning and disbursement of grants for the federal government. Honored in several ways, Blakeney valued her recognition as one of the founding Directors of the Associate Degree Education Programs in Nursing in Junior and Community College Education.
Bibliography: Writings by Hazle Elizabeth Walker Blakeney

Co-author with Heinert J. " Involvement is a must for the well-rounded graduate," American Nurse v. 7 no. 6 (Jun 1975): 6
"Extending the scope of nursing practice conference," Mississippi RN v.35 no. 5 (Sept 1973): 1-8
Co-author with Hallinan BC, Dechow GH, Channing RM. " Future directions for the AD nurse," Nursing Outlook v. 21 no. 2 (Feb 1973): 106-10
The associate degree nurse in the health care delivery system--now and in the eighties. Associate Degree Education for Nursing--Current Issues NLN Publication 23-1464 (1972): 37-42
"Professional nursing practice in relation to technical nursing practice and supportive personnel," NJSNA Newsletter v. 24 no. 6 (Nov-Dec 1968): 27-34
"The new concept in technology; reaction paper," Action for Quality NLN Publication 23-1327. (1968):10-2

Writings about Hazle Elizabeth Walker Blakeney

"Quality education reassuring to public, says Chairperson (Hazle Blakeney), American Nurse v. 9 no. 7 (July 15, 1977): 3,10
"In memoriam...Hazle Elizabeth Blakeney" Maryland Nurse v. 15 no. 5 (Jul-Aug 1997): 2
“Hazle Elizabeth Walker Blakeney,” VCU Libraries Gallery, accessed July 21, 2024, https://gallery.library.vcu.edu/items/show/77963.