Florence E. Jones-Clarke of Chester was elected Director-At-Large for the American Nurses Association last week in Washington D.C. About 600 delegates from around the nation met at the Capital to vote in elections.
Susan Motley, Executive Director of the Virginia Nurses Association (VNA) attended the elections and remembers hearing the results. “We couldn’t have been more proud of her, ” Motley says. “She’s a Virginian, but of course she’s the best person for the job. It really doesn’t get much better than that. Virginia has only nine delegates. She couldn’t have been elected if people didn’t know she can get the work done.”
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the nation’s oldest and largest national organization for nurses. The role of its Director is to lead and facilitate policy development that affects the nursing profession. “We look at the role of the nurse and nursing profession in our health care community, and determine how we can address their needs,” Florence says. It’s a two year term that will send her in Washington D.C. several times a year working as part of different committees.
She ran on a platform that emphasized the importance of addressing nurse shortages through legislation and the development of policies to increase Association membership. “We also want to look at workplace issues,” she aims.
Jones-Clarke graduated with a Bachelor’s in Nursing in 1965 from North Carolina A&T. She has been honored for excellence throughout her career. In 1988, the VA Medical Center in Richmond awarded her “Woman of the Year.” Additionally, she has been named “Outstanding Volunteer Nurse” by the Richmond area chapter of the National Black Nurses Association, as well as “Outstanding Nurse” by the VNA in 1999.
She is known as a generous mentor. As Executive Director of VNA, Motley has worked with Florence for almost two years. “When I started my job here,” she says, “Florence was one of the first key people I wanted to meet with because I knew she’d been a director-at-large for the Center for American Nurses. That’s a workplace advocacy affiliate of the ANA. She gave me a unique perspective on where nursing is, where it needs to go, and how we need to get there. Florence has great perspectives on nursing.”
Florence retired in 2006 from Department of Veteran’s Affairs, where she was a Clinical Investigator. She currently teaches part time as a Clinical Instructor in the Nursing Department at Virginia State University, specializing in research and medical issues of the elderly.
“All the places she’s worked, all the people she’s connected to, she has a very broad yet deep perspective on nursing,” Motley says. “She’s someone I can rely on for telling me what the deal is. She gives you the bottom line. She can cut right through to the heart of the matter. I really appreciate that in working with her.”
But it’s not all work and no play for Jones-Clarke. Later this month, she’ll visit South Africa with friends. “We’re just going to do some touring and do exciting things. We may look at some of the hospitals since we’re there and because there are two other nurses that will be in our group. But this is a vacation.”
She smiles widely to talk about her Lhasa Apsa-Spaniel mix, “Chafe,” and she’s very active in her church, New First Baptist, of Petersburg.
Congratulations to Florence Jones-Clarke!
Cesca Janece Waterfield