Pioneering Bull Nurse to Receive 2019 USF Distinguished Alumna Award
As a member of USF College of Nursing’s first Bachelor of Science in nursing cohort, Geraldine McKinnon Twine was a trailblazer. Twine spent a career breaking down barriers and opening doors for black nurses.
The retired advanced registered nurse practitioner will receive the 2019 USF Distinguished Alumna Award in October. The award recognizes outstanding USF graduates who have reached the pinnacle of success in their profession.
The honor is the latest in a string of accolades awarded to Twine.
Last year, Twine received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the League of Women Voters of Hillsborough County.
Also in 2018, Twine’s family established a scholarship in her honor through the Women in Leadership & Philanthropy program at USF to help future nursing majors get an education and continue her legacy.
The Geraldine Twine Endowed Scholarship provides financial support to full-time undergraduate students studying within USF Health with a preference toward nursing majors and members of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
In March 2017, Twine was inducted into the Hillsborough County Women’s Hall of Fame.
Twine began her nursing career when most of the South was still segregated.
She and three other women carpooled to Gibbs Junior College in St. Petersburg, which served African-American students. After graduating in 1961, she got a job as a licensed practical nurse at Clara Frye Memorial Hospital.
In 1967, Twine became the first black nurse to transfer from Clara Frye to Tampa General Hospital when it officially integrated.
After graduating from a three-year program at Hillsborough Community College and receiving her registered nurse’s license, she learned that new standards would require RNs to hold a bachelor’s degree. So when USF started its nursing program in 1973, she was among the first to enroll.
Twine received her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1978 and earned her master’s in industrial arts in 1981 and a master’s in nursing in 1988.