Florence Marks earned her B.S. in nursing in 1953 and her M.A. in nursing administration in 1956, both from the University of Minnesota. From 1953 to 1954, she worked as a general staff nurse and assistant head nurse at University Hospital. From 1956 to 1961, she worked as a nursing supervisor at the Variety Club Heart Hospital at the University of Minnesota. In 1962, she became special assistant to the director of Nursing Services at the University Hospital.
Florence Marks begins by describing her background, including her education and why she went into nursing. She describes traveling to Denmark to temporarily work as a nurse; her experiences as a staff nurse and then assistant head nurse at the University Hospital; getting her master’s in nursing administration; working as nursing supervisor at Variety Club Hospital; her experiences as an instructor in the School of Nursing; and some of the other work she did after she had children. She discusses in detail her experiences as a nursing student at the University of Minnesota, including the School of Nursing curriculum when she was a student, clinical instruction and her experiences worked at different affiliated hospitals, her rural nursing experience, and living in Powell Hall. She describes working as a woman chemist in the early 1950s; the perceived and real differences between RNs, LPNs, and nursing assistants; the technologies she worked with; curriculum changes in the School of Nursing; and the different ways women physicians were treated from the 1950s through the 1970s. She discusses the different relationship between nurses and physicians in private hospital settings and teaching hospitals; minority nursing students; nursing shortages; nursing students failing the state boards in the 1960s; the reorganization of the health sciences in 1970 and the impact on the School of Nursing. She compares her experiences as a nurse in Denmark and at the University Hospital. She talks about Katherine Densford, Florence Brennan, Ray Amberg, and Edna Fritz.
Florence Marks was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1928. She received her BS from the University of Cincinnati in 1949, her BS in Nursing from the University of Minnesota in 1953, and her MA in Nursing Administration also from the University of Minnesota in 1956. Before coming to the University of Minnesota, she worked as a chemist. From 1953-54, she worked as a general staff nurse and assistant head nurse at the University of Minnesota Hospital. In 1955, she spent about six months working as a general staff nurse in Marselisborg Hospital in Aarhus, Denmark. From 1956-1961, she worked as a nursing supervisor at the Variety Club Heart Hospital at the University of Minnesota. In 1962, she was the special assistant to the director of Nursing Services at the University Hospital. She then stopped working as a nurse to have and raise her children but continued to be involved with nursing.