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Getting Personal

Local social media star Nurse Blake on his ideal day in Central Florida, making funny and inspirational content for health care professionals, and advocating for positive change in the medical community.

1. I’ve been a nurse for six years. I started nursing school in the concurrent Seminole State College-University of Central Florida program back in 2012. During that time, I worked in the hospital setting as a patient transporter, surgical assistant and patient care tech in the neurology intensive care unit to start gaining experience. I graduated from my program in 2014. About three years ago, I started my Nurse Blake Facebook page to make my coworkers laugh on social media and now I have over two million followers across my platforms.

2. I create funny and inspirational videos based on my experiences as a nursing student and nurse. Whenever I post a video, I love reading all the comments from people all over the world who can relate to the same experiences that I’ve had. My platform is a positive and supportive community of health care professionals sharing stories, laughing and connecting with each other and my hope is that it continues to grow as new nurses enter the profession.

3. I was born and raised in the Sanford/Lake Mary area. While I’ve been in Central Florida most of my life, I have also lived in South Carolina, Texas and Washington state.

4. My first job was in high school at The UPS Store near Heathrow. My experience at UPS helped me build a strong foundation for my professional career.

5. I graduated from Seminole High School in 2009 and received my Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Central Florida in 2014. #GoKnights

6. My favorite dish is the margherita pizza from Terramia Ristorante in Lake Mary.

7. I have two puppies named Zion and Ranger. They are sibling husky-pit bull mixes. They just turned 5 months old and graduated from the Central Florida K-9 Puppy Training program.

8. My perfect day in Central Florida, pre-COVID-19, would begin with brunch at KeKe’s Breakfast Cafe (French toast, please) before heading to Universal Studios for some roller coaster adrenaline and closing the evening watching fireworks at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Having worked at Disney, I’m a huge fan of theme parks so I’m a proud annual passholder to both Universal and Disney.

9. Being in health care was never a question for me as both of my parents are in the field and love what they do. While there are many different roles and paths one can take in health care, nursing was always my top choice. The beauty of nursing is that it combines so many elements from different health disciplines, allowing me to serve patients and their families and meet all their needs including physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.

10. Over the years, I’ve started different campaigns to bring light and change to important issues related to health care. After being turned away and permanently banned from donating blood back in 2013 for being a gay male because of an outdated U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) policy; I started Banned4Life. The goal was to bring awareness to this discriminatory policy and to pressure the FDA to make a change by hosting blood drives and collecting petition signatures. After two years of hard work, the FDA ended the lifetime ban in December 2015. I’ve also started the Nurses Support Their Young campaign to promote healthy work environments, especially for new nurses entering the profession. To me, being a nurse means being an advocate on and off the clock for both patients and our profession.

This article originally appeared in Orlando Family Magazine’s October 2020 issue.