National Black Nurses Association

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The National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) was founded in 1971 in Cleveland, Ohio.


Formation of the group was proposed by Dr. Lauranne Sams and passed unanimously by all present. The founding members were Dr. Lauranne Sams, Betty Jo Davidson, Gertrude Baker, Barbara Garner, Dr. Mary Harper, Mattiedna Kelly, Phyllis Jenkins, Florrie Jefferson, Judy Jourdain, Geneva Norman, Betty Smith Williams, Ethelrine Shaw, Anita Small, Doris A. Wilson, and Gloria Rookard.

The goal of the NBNA was to improve the health status of black people in the United States and to open nursing education and leadership positions for African Americans. The official mission statement was to provide a forum for collective action by black nurses to investigate, define and advocate for the health care needs of African Americans and to implement strategies that ensure access to health care, equal to, or above health care standards of the larger society. The National Black Nurses Association is currently the only professional African American nursing association.[citation needed]

The founding members of the NBNA proposed to make strides by building consumer knowledge, and continuing education for registered nurses, nursing students, and retired nurses. The current president of NBNA is Rev. Dr. Deidre Walton. Notable members include Dr. Irene Daniels-Lewis, Dr. Audwin Fletcher, Dr. Beulah Nash-Teachey, Dr. Ronnie Ursin, and Dr. Bettye Davis Lewis (9th President). Other members are making significant contributions to the mission of the organization.

The National Black Nurses Association currently has educational programs and preventional measures related to heart disease, HIV/AIDS, cancer, women’s health, drug abuse, depression, and violence.

Being a member of the NBNA has many benefits, including: a subscription to NBNA News, a subscription to Journal of the National Black Nurses Association, a quarterly subscription to Minority Nurse, access to the NBNA Scholarship and Awards Program, continuing education programs, and inclusion in the national conferences.