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DiversityNursing Blog

NBNA Program Encourages Young Students Of Color To Consider A Career In Nursing

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Mar 02, 2022 @ 02:07 PM

NBNAA key tool to reducing health disparities in patient care involves diversifying the Nursing field. The Nursing population should be as diverse as the patient population they serve.

According to research, the majority of Nurses in the US are White/Caucasian at 73.3% and only 7.8% are African American. 

Jennifer Coleman, a Samford University Professor and Pediatric Nurse, is one of several National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) members working toward increasing diversity in Nursing. To help accomplish this goal, the association created a program called NBNA Mini Nurse Academies, which encourages elementary school students of color to consider a career in Nursing. 

"The purpose of this innovative program is to increase student awareness of Nursing as a career option and to provide students with knowledge and skills related to professional Nursing practice," said UAB School of Nursing Associate Professor Loretta Lee, PhD, CRNP, FNP-BC, CNE. "In these academies, students in third through sixth grades from school districts where there are large communities of color will be introduced to the Nursing profession by professional Nurses who share similar backgrounds and lived experiences."

The NBNA represents approximately 200,000 African American Nurses from the USA, Canada, Eastern Caribbean, and Africa, with 115 chartered chapters nationwide. They recognize the need to increase diversity within the Nursing field and are being proactive to do something about it.

The Direct Relief’s Fund for Health Equity awarded the NBNA with a $248,000 grant for the Mini Nurse Academy. The Fund was created to increase access to health care and improve health outcomes for marginalized communities. 

With this grant more mini academies will be able to offer learning modules that include class discussions, guest presentations, interactive hands-on activities and ongoing mentorship. It will also address social determinants of health by educating students about healthy lifestyles, according to the, University of Alabama at Birmingham

In a Direct Relief article Lee said, “Students in our communities probably don’t see people who look like them very often as Nurses. I believe you have to role model, meaning if a Black student or Brown student sees a Registered Nurse, has interactions with a Registered Nurse throughout their youth, then they are more apt to become a Registered Nurse if they can get information, if they can know what that profession is about. And they’re more apt to want to emulate what they see.” 

New programs will begin in the Fall of 2022 in Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, Illinois, Connecticut, Oregon, and South Carolina. 

Topics: diversity in nursing, NBNA, national black nurses association, mini nurse academies

Nurses Are Providing First Aid Care To Injured Protesters

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Jun 05, 2020 @ 10:59 AM

blacklivesmatterprotestsBlack Lives Matter protests are happening all across America and as people take to the streets to protest, medical workers are doing their part in supporting protesters.

After working tirelessly for long hours and risking their own lives on the front lines caring for coronavirus (COVID-19) patients, Nurses are leaving their shifts and going straight to protests to help those who've been injured.

Martha Dawson, DNP, RN, a professor and the president of the National Black Nurses Association, said Nurses and frontline healthcare workers of color were deeply saddened after the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at 46 after a white policeman pushed his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.

Dawson told Refinery29, “For Nurses of color working on the frontlines, it’s disheartening to still realize that you’re living in a country where you’re under-appreciated and judged, first, on the color of your skin, rather than the content of your character. And you have to recognize that the concern with the death in Minnesota is just now emerging as one stressor on top of the many stressors of the pandemic.” 

Nurses want their voices heard at rallies but they also want to help protesters who have been shot with rubber bullets, sprayed with tear gas, or have been otherwise physically injured. 

Not all protests have become violent. But when they have, healthcare workers have also found themselves in the line of fire while treating injured protesters.

According to an article from, a Minneapolis Nurse said police stormed a medical tent and opened fire with rubber bullets while she was working to treat a man bleeding badly from a rubber bullet wound.

"I was trying to look at the wound and they were shooting at us." The wounded man tried to protect her, she said, but eventually, she decided to leave. "I told him I wouldn't leave him, but I did. I feel so bad. They were shooting. I was scared," she recounted through tears.

Nurses are using social media to share tips on how to stay safe from coronavirus while protesting and where to find free medical help for those injured during protests.

One Nurse tweeted, "I am a licensed Nurse with an organized group of frontline medics. We are all healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, EMTs) and we provide safe spaces of first aid care for anyone who might have minor injuries related to police protest. We prioritize care for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) folks."

Another person tweeted health safety tips for protesting during a pandemic.

“Bring an extra mask. Yours will get hot and sweaty so switching it out halfway through is smart. If you have a cloth mask throw a bandana on top too!” Saba wrote. 
She also metioned bringing gloves, using hand sanitizers, and stepping away from crowds to eat or drink. “Remember, folks are screaming... it is inevitable that their spit (droplets) are flying,” Saba added. “Dispose of/wash your mask as soon as you get home. Also, sunglasses or goggles protect your open eyes from exposure, too!” 
The Minnesota Nurses Association issued a statement saying, "Nurses care for all patients, regardless of their gender, race, religion, or another status. We expect the same from the police. Unfortunately, Nurses continue to see the devastating effects of systematic racism and oppression targeting people of color in our communities. We demand justice for George Floyd and a stop to the unnecessary death of black men at the hands of those who should protect them."
Whether or not Nurses can physically attend protests, many of them are raising their voices to lend their support.

Topics: nurses, NBNA, black lives matter, black lives matter protests, BLM

NBNA elects new officers, board members

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Mon, Sep 23, 2013 @ 10:11 AM

NBNA resized 600

The National Black Nurses Association recently announced its newly elected officers and members of the board of directors and nominating committee. 

The Rev. Deidre Walton, RN-PHN, MSN, JD, of Keverdon and Associates, Valencia, Calif., also was elected to a second two-year term as NBNA president.

“Congratulations to the new officers, board members and nominating committee members in your new roles of service to the NBNA,” Walton said in a news release. “On behalf of the board of directors, I welcome you and look forward to working with you this upcoming year.” 

Other new officers include Secretary Martha Dawson, RN, DNP, FACHE, assistant professor, Department of Community Health, Outcomes and Systems, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing; and Student Representative Darnell Caldwell, student, Southern University School of Nursing in Baton Rouge, La. 

Newly elected board members are Monica Enn

is, RN, EdD, director of medical professions, Desert Winds Training Institute, Phoenix; U.S. Public Health Service Capt. Laurie C. Reid, RN, MS, senior public health adviser, Office of Health Equity, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, STD, Viral Hepatitis and TB Prevention at the CDC, Atlanta; and U.S. Army Reserve Col. Sandra Webb-Booker, RN, PhD, chief nurse, 330th Medical Brigade, Fort Sheridan, Ill.

Continuing board members are: First Vice President Eric J. Williams, RN, DNP, CNE, professor of nursing, Santa Monica College, Los Angeles; Second Vice President Lola Denise Jefferson, RN,C, BSN, CVRN, nursing supervisor, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, Houston; Treasurer Beulah Nash-Teachey, RN, PhD, president, Security Association and Services LLC, Evans, Ga.; Historian Irene Daniels-Lewis, RN, PhD, FAAN, professor emeritus, 

Community Health/Psychiatric Faculty Group, San Jose (Calif.) State University School of Nursing; Parliamentarian Ronnie Ursin, RN, DNP, MBA, NEA-BC, of Gaithersburg, Md.; Immediate Past President Debra A. Toney, RN, PhD, FAAN, Director of Clinical Operations, Nevada Health Clinics, Las Vegas; Trilby Barnes-Green, RN,C, Accountable Care Organization/Ochsner on Call, Ochsner Healthcare Systems, and Labor/Delivery staff nurse, Touro Hospital, New Orleans; Keneshia Bryant, RN, PhD, FNP-BC, assistant professor, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Nursing, Little Rock, Ark.; Audwin Fletcher, APRN, PhD, FNP-BC, FAAN, professor and director of multicultural affairs, University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Nursing, Jackson, Miss.; C. Alicia Georges, RN, EdD, FAAN, ex-officio member, professor and chairwoman, Department of Nursing, Lehman College of the City University of New York, New York City; Deborah Jones, RN,C, MS, former trustee of Galveston Independent School Dist

rict, Texas City, Texas; Melba Lee-Hosey, LVN, BS, Ameripro Home Health Care LLC, Spring, Texas; and Sandra McKinney, RN, MS, president and CEO of McKinney and Associates, San Jose, Calif. 

Vanessa Auguillard, RN, BSN, preceptor, DaVita Acute, Houston, and Joyce R. Spaulding, RN, MSN, CDE, outpatient diabetes educator, CNIV, Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, were named as new nominating committee members. 

Returning committee members include Azella Collins, RN, MSN, PRP, chairwoman; Rhonda Robinson, RN, MSN, case manager, Humana, Cincinnati; and Bessie Trammell, RN, BSN, staff nurse, Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston. 


Topics: NBNA, officers, board members, nominations, elections

Nurturing Nursing’s Diversity

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Fri, Jun 14, 2013 @ 11:47 AM

When it comes to nursing education, African Americans tend to aim for more advanced degrees, yet their percentage among all U.S. nurses is far lower than it is in the general U.S. population. Phyllis Sharps, PhD, RN, FAAN, intends to find out what is behind that disconnect as a key step toward correcting it.


Sharps, associate dean for Community and Global Programs, director of the Center for Global Nursing, and the principal investigator for a $20,000 grant from the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA), will use the funding to conduct a national survey to identify the drivers and barriers to success among African-American nursing students and nurses. Through research funded by the new grant, “Enhancing the Diversity of the Nursing Profession: Assessing the Mentoring Needs of African American Nursing Students,” Sharps hopes to determine what mentoring needs are essential to keeping African-American nursing students on track in their education and their career paths.

While African-Americans are underrepresented in the profession (5.5 percent of U.S. nurses vs. 13.1 percent of the U.S. population), the 2008 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses (NSSRN) shows that African Americans as well as other minority groups in nursing are more likely to pursue baccalaureate and higher degrees—52.5 percent pursue degrees beyond the associate level, while only 48.4 percent of their white counterparts seek equal degrees.

“As nurses, we all know what we needed while attending nursing school,” says Reverend Dr. Deidre Walton, NBNA President. “We need to have a better understanding of what this generation of nursing students needs in this new technological and innovative world of nursing.”

Source: John Hopkins University

Topics: African Americans, diversity, education, nurse, NBNA

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