DOROTHY M. BLUME
Dorothy M. Blume, who retired from The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Nursing in 1986, passed away on February 13, 2011. During her thirty-one years in the School of Nursing, Ms. Blume held a number of key positions, including serving as assistant dean for the undergraduate program during the last three years before she retired. She was also the author of a nationally known and valued nursing textbook.
Ms. Blume was born on February 9, 1926, in north central Illinois, the oldest child of Roy and Margaret Pluister Blume. She was preceded in death by her brother, Dallas, of Mt. Morris, Illinois; her sister, Gladys Hartnett, of Kerrville, Texas; and nieces, Corrine Blume and Carri H. McKesson. She is survived by her sister, Allene Voss, of Rochelle, Illinois; sister-in-law, Elaine; three nieces and three nephews; and ten grandnieces and grandnephews.
Academic preparation for her long, successful career included a diploma in nursing from the Evanston Hospital School of Nursing in Illinois, as well as bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing from The University of Texas. She practiced nursing for nine years in a variety of roles from staff nurse to head nurse, primarily in the States of Texas and Illinois. She worked in varied clinical settings, such as maternal-child, operating room, pediatrics, medical-surgical, and physician clinic. Her expertise spanned from care of patients with polio to those with cancer at MD Anderson.
Ms. Blume’s contributions to the nursing profession and to The University of Texas included teaching, leadership for new programs, and student recruitment. She taught at two UT campuses—Galveston and Austin. Her leadership in the area of continuing education for nurses was vital for the school and the nursing profession. She helped to establish the continuing education program, first serving as director and then eventually as vice-president of continuing education for all six campuses of the UT System-wide School of Nursing.
After the UT System-wide nursing school was dissolved in 1976 to form individual UT Schools of Nursing, Ms. Blume became the Director of Special Projects, which included development of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program for registered nurses and licensed vocational nurses. This program has facilitated the educational advancement of hundreds of nurses since its inception. In addition to her guidance in developing the curriculum plan, she also taught these students in clinical practica in hospital settings. Ms. Blume consistently worked to attract and retain talented candidates into nursing with a focus on getting more men into the field. She promoted the establishment of a statewide health-careers organization for high school students in Texas to highlight nursing as a valued career to meet critical shortages in health care. Her final administrative role was as assistant dean for the undergraduate program in the School of Nursing. During her years as a faculty member at UT Austin, she was active in many professional organizations, events, and projects at national, state, and regional levels.
Throughout her career of providing leadership for the nursing school and teaching clinical nursing, Ms. Blume touched the lives of numerous students and faculty members. She was committed to excellence in nursing education and patient care, and she combined her passion for both by setting high expectations for her students. Her dedication to quality nursing education and to students was extraordinary and clearly evident in her continuous efforts to improve the learning experiences of her students.
Her colleagues believe Ms. Blume’s longest-lasting contribution to the nursing profession was writing a critically needed textbook to prepare nurses for safe medication administration. She was a pioneer in patient-safety efforts with her textbook, Dosages and Solutions, which was first published by F.A. Davis in 1970. The book’s fifth edition was produced in 1991 and titled Dosages and Solutions: A Programmed Approach to Meds and Math; this version of the book was a collaborative effort with another UT Austin faculty colleague, Emily F. Cornett, who served as first author of the edition. For decades, the book was used as the leading text in nursing schools throughout the United States for teaching and learning drug calculations. Ms. Blume’s on-going efforts to update this text improved the overall quality of nursing education in a seminal way.
In her retirement, Ms. Blume continued her passions as an avid reading, traveler, and nature lover. She enjoyed being out-of-doors and actively pursued her interests in gardening, farming, and numerous sports. Her love for traveling lead her to traverse all but three U.S. states and visit several other countries, including Australia, Canada, Mexico, and New Zealand.
The positive effects of Ms. Blume’s vision and stewardship of nursing education and clinical practice are still very much in evidence within UT Austin’s School of Nursing. Her professional contributions were far reaching in their impact on nursing competencies and the well-being of patients throughout the State of Texas and the entire country. Both as an individual and as a professional, Ms. Blume was greatly respected by her faculty colleagues and students, and she will be missed.
William Powers Jr., President
The University of Texas at Austin
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty
This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors Angela Clark (chair), Betty Skaggs, and Lorraine Walker.