The National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) was organized in 1971 under the leadership of Dr. Lauranne Sams, former Dean and Professor of Nursing, School of Nursing, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama. NBNA is a non-profit organization incorporated on September 2, 1972 in the state of Ohio. NBNA represents 150,000 African American registered nurses, licensed vocational/practical nurses, nursing students and retired nurses from the USA, Eastern Caribbean and Africa, with 92 chartered chapters, in 35 states.
The National Black Nurses Association’s mission is “to represent and provide a forum for Black nurses to advocate and implement strategies to ensure access to the highest quality of healthcare for persons of color”.
NBNA salutes the Black Nurses who laid the foundation to establish the National Black Nurses Association: 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, Etherlrine Shaw, Anita Small, Doris A. Wilson, and Gloria Rookard.
Collaborative Community Health Model
Since its inception, improving the health of African Americans through the provision of culturally competent health care services in community based health programs has been the cornerstone of the National Black Nurses Association. NBNA is proud of its Collaborative Community Health Model developed by Dr. Linda Burnes Bolton and Dr. C. Alicia Georges, NBNA past presidents. This model is the basis for the collaborative partnerships and health programs that are the hallmark of the National Black Nurses Association. The 92 chapters are the primary mechanism through which the national, state and local community-based programs are successfully implemented. African American nurses who are direct members (in cities where no chapters are established) also assume leadership roles in mounting community based programs. NBNA chapters and direct members provide a host of preventative health screenings and health education including high blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, HIV, cancer, sickle cell and mental health.
Working in partnership with community based organizations, corporations and other organizations, NBNA has sponsored health fairs and health education and outreach for national organizations such as the National Urban League, International Black Professional Firefighters, One Hundred Black Men of America and the National Council of Negro Women. NBNA has collaborated with the Black Congress on Health, Law and Economics, a 17 member, multi-professional organization; Oncology Nursing Society, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, American Association of Nurses in AIDS Care; National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics; Partnership to Fight Chronic Diseases; and, National African American Drug Policy Coalition; Black Women’s Health Imperative; and, the International Society for Hypertension in Blacks, among others.
In 1998, the National Black Nurses Association became one of the five founding organizations of the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations, along with Asian American/Pacific Islander Nurses Association, Inc., National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association, Inc.; National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Inc.; and, the Philippine Nurses Association of America, Inc. This collaboration gives voice to 350,000 minority nurses. Dr. Betty Smith Williams was the first NCEMNA president and a past NBNA president.
Its goals include support for the development of a cadre of ethnic nurses reflecting the nation's diversity; advocacy for culturally competent, accessible and affordable health care; promotion of the professional and educational advancement of ethnic nurses; education of consumers, health care professionals and policy makers on health issues of ethnic minority populations; development of ethnic minority nurse leaders in areas of health policy, practice, education and research; endorsement of best practice models of nursing practice, education, and research for minority populations.
NBNA holds membership on various national and federal advisory committees. In 2011 NBNA was represented on the National Nursing Council of the American Red Cross and the National Advisory Board of the Center to Champion Nursing at AARP. Other appointments include the National Advisory Committee, Office on Women’s Research, NIH; National Advisory Committee for the Office of Minority Health; National Advisory Council on Nursing Education and Practice; FDA Nominating Group; Joint Commission of Healthcare Organizations Nursing Advisory Committee; National African American Drug Policy Coalition, Inc.; National Council of Negro Women; Balm in Gilead Cervical Cancer Advisory Board; Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease; STOP Obesity Alliance; CMS Medicare Partners; Coalition to End Cervical Cancer; U.S. Breastfeeding Committee; and Nursing Spectrum Magazine, just to name a few.
NBNA Signature Programs
NBNA’s signature programs and services make NBNA a superb organization to join.
NBNA Institute & Conference
NBNA annually hosts its Institute and Conference. Over 1200 nurses and nursing students obtain state of the art clinical instruction on such subjects as cardiovascular disease, cancer, children’s health, diabetes, end of life, HIV/AID, kidney disease, research and women’s health. Over 100 exhibitors showcase their services and products. Continuing education units are provided by Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California.
Outstanding Opening Ceremony keynote speakers have included Dr. Anne Beal, COO, PCORI; Dr. Beverly Malone, President and CEO, National League for Nursing; Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Dr. Freda Lewis Hall, Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs, Bristol Myers Squibb Company; U.S. Charles Rangel; Marie Smith, President, AARP; U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher; Ron Williams, President and CEO, Aetna; and Kevin Lofton, President and CEO, Catholic Healthcare Initiatives and past Chairman, American Hospital Association.
Closing Ceremony keynote speakers traditionally are NBNA members, have included Dr. Ora L. Strickland, Dean, Florida International University School of Nursing; Dr. Courtney Lyder, Dean, UCLA School of Nursing; Dr. C. Alicia Georges, Chair, Department of Nursing, Lehman University and past NBNA President; Dr. Stephanie Ferguson, Associate Professor and Director, Community Nursing Organization, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing; Dr. Loretta Sweet Jemmott, Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing; and, Rita Wray, Deputy Executive Director, Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration.
NBNA presents nursing awards in nine categories and Life Time Achievement Award and Trailblazer Awards. Scholarships are offered to nursing students at all levels and chapter awards are presented for community service; service to youth; and for chapter recruitment and retention.
In 2011 NBNA launched two new programs. The Under 40 Forum was developed by and for NBNA members who are under the age of 40 years old to help them build and sustain the base of younger members. And, to help fuel the pipeline, the NBNA Summer Youth Enrichment Institute was held for young people aged 9-18. Both programs were headed by NBNA President Dr. Debra A. Toney.
In 2012, through the vision of the NBNA immediate Past President, Reverend Dr. Deidre Walton, the Diversity Institute was launched. This four hours CEU session provides state of the art information on innovations related to nursing and health care by diverse providers to diverse populations to enhance health outcomes.