Got a Funny Story to Share?

Got a Funny Story to Share?

Have you ever had a funny encounter with a patient or your nursing peers? If so, we want to hear from you! Minority Nurse is looking for minority nurses with funny stories for an upcoming humor column in the magazine. These can be stories that happened to you on the job, while in school, or while teaching a class. The only catch is that the story must somehow relate to the nursing profession.

E-mail your funny tales to Michele Wojciechowski today! If we publish your story, we’ll only use your first name and last initial to protect the innocent—and to be HIPAA compliant.

NAINA Receives Leadership Grant from Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

NAINA Receives Leadership Grant from Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

As a minority organization in the United States, the National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA) represents first generation immigrant nurses, second generation nurses, and students of Indian heritage. Currently, NAINA stands strong with 14 chapters all over the U.S. and an approximate membership of 2,000 nurses of Indian heritage.

NAINA advocates diversity in health care leadership and aims to increase the representation of Indian nurses in leadership roles in the health care system. NAINA also recognizes the urgent need to mentor nurses who aspire to be leaders to develop leadership skills that will enable them to play a critical role in transforming health care.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation works with partners around the world to foster programs that develop environmental conservation, patient care, and science. The Betty Moore Lecture series is one such initiative to develop areas of patient care. NAINA is proud to partner with this prestigious foundation to launch its own leadership development program.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation grant will support the Aspiring Leaders Development (ALD) program to develop and implement a transformational leadership program for a cohort of aspiring nurse leaders of Indian heritage that draws upon their strong heritage, focuses on individual leadership development, and furthers their mission.

The ALD program integrates the Betty Irene Moore Speaker Series, “Lessons in Nursing Leadership,” within the curriculum. The learning activities are also designed to develop leadership qualities described by leadership experts Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner (2012). According to these leadership experts, transformational leadership, a concept first introduced by James MacGregor Burns (1978), encompasses behaviors that are teachable and can be learned. Kouzes and Posner (2012) thus describe transformational leadership as consisting of five core practices: modeling, inspiring, challenging, enabling, and encouraging. The focus of NAINA’s ALD program is to help aspiring nurse leaders to assess and improve these five core leadership practices through a customized and systematic curriculum using interactive and experiential learning activities.

NAINA’s commitment is to develop leadership skills in aspiring Indian nurses and establish a formal leadership development program that develops nurses from under-represented backgrounds of Indian heritage. We hope to build on the train the trainee model to foster the growth of aspiring nurse leaders. The first cohort of aspiring nurse leaders will be trained in leadership skills to mentor other aspiring nurses. NAINA’s existing team of nurse leaders will continue to support and mentor the initial cohort of aspiring nurse leaders as they begin their journey as nurse leaders. We hope to continue this trend over the following years to make a noticeable impact to increase the number of Indian nurse leaders within the health care system with the ultimate goal to improve health care outcomes.

To learn more about the ALD program, visit

Minority Nurse 2015 Scholarship Announcement

Minority Nurse 2015 Scholarship Announcement

Each year, Minority Nurse awards scholarships to three outstanding nursing students. Selecting our recipients can be quite the challenge, and this year was no exception. We received a record-breaking 107 scholarship applications! Our scholarship committee, formed by members of the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations, reviewed each application and selected our winners after much deliberation.

And the 2015 scholarship recipients are…


Amazing-Grace Ighedo
Mount Mercy University

Amazing-Grace was inspired to pursue a career in nursing after surviving a ghastly car accident in Nigeria when she was just 16 years old. She immigrated to the U.S. in 2009 to start a family with her spouse, which gave her the opportunity to pursue that dream. Despite being a mother of three with no previous background in the sciences, Amazing-Grace has been awarded the Outstanding Student Award, has been on the Dean’s List every semester, and maintained a 4.0 GPA. She is an active volunteer at the free clinic in her community as well as her church, and she often tutors students. Her long-term career goal is to become a nurse anesthetist and work in under-served communities.


Erika Colindres
New Jersey City University

As the daughter of teenage immigrant parents consumed by working two jobs, poverty, and a language barrier, Erika’s life was filled with making adjustments. Despite facing such adversity, she was the first person in her family to receive a college degree and graduated from St. Lawrence University with a B.S. in biology in 2012. During an internship with the University of Michigan School of Public Health,  she worked closely with the nonprofit organization MPH Salud helping doctors in mobile clinics and providing health sessions for migrant farm workers. Afterwards, she was given the opportunity to present at the Centers for Disease Control conference in Atlanta on the work conducted during her internship. She is currently enrolled in an accelerated nursing program and wants to help Hispanics whose language barrier is an impediment to them receiving adequate treatment.

YiWan Wu
Stony Brook University

YiWan has overcome language barriers and succeeded in college both in academic and extracurricular activities. She has been an active volunteer at the Stony Brook Medical Center and has hosted multiple bone marrow drives to help spread awareness about blood cancers. She was a recipient of the 2014 New York State College Health Association Outstanding Student Award and was selected as a student representative of the American College Health Association. She aspires to be a pediatric nurse practitioner.

Be sure to pick up a copy of the Fall 2015 issue of Minority Nurse to learn more about these amazing individuals! The staff at Minority Nurse would like to congratulate our winners and thank all of you who applied for our scholarship.


In Memoriam: Brenda Dockery

In Memoriam: Brenda Dockery

It is with great sadness that we inform you that Brenda Dockery, director of community wellness and patient education at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, died on April 22, 2015, after losing her battle with a rare and extremely aggressive cancer.

Her death is a tremendous loss to not only her family but also to Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare as well as the nursing profession, the Milwaukee community, and her church and other organizations she was involved with.
Brenda had a significant impact on the community through her work as a nurse, nurse practitioner, and leader. She was a founding member and past president of the Milwaukee Chapter of the Black Nurses Association and continued to be an active member after 35 years. The national organization named her Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year in 2004. She was also active in the community and had served on the YWCA Phillips Center, Day Care Services for Children Board, and the UWM Alumni Board. Additionally, she volunteered as a nurse at the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church and with Nurses Affecting Change doing breast exams in the community on a weekly basis.

Brenda first started with the Wheaton organization in 2000 serving as a nurse practitioner at St. Michael Hospital and has worked in a variety of roles since then with Wheaton including NP at the Angel of Hope Clinic. Over her career, she also worked as a nurse and NP in several other hospitals and community health clinics. She was dedicated to continual professional growth and was participating in Wheaton’s Nursing Ministry Leadership Development Program. In her application to the program, Brenda wrote, “I am passionate about giving back, being visible, and providing culturally appropriate and competent health care services to all. I believe in meeting individuals where they are at in a welcoming environment and engaging and supporting their efforts to be proactive with their own health care.” Brenda often shared how important her work was to her.

In addition to her own development, Brenda was committed to supporting others and served as a preceptor for NP students from UW-Oshkosh, UW-Milwaukee, and Marquette School of Nursing. She also accompanied Concordia University NP students on mission trips for the past seven years.

Please keep Brenda’s family in your prayers as they grieve her loss. Brenda touched so many lives, and we are invited by her family to share any memories or things that you would like them to know about her by e-mailing [email protected].

Many of us will remember Brenda as a passionate and extremely caring individual who often shared hugs with people throughout the organization. She will be greatly missed.

Hispanics’ Health in the United States

Hispanics’ Health in the United States

The first national study on Hispanic health risks and leading causes of death in the United States by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that similar to non-Hispanic whites (whites), the two leading causes of death in Hispanics are heart disease and cancer. Fewer Hispanics than whites die from the 10 leading causes of death, but Hispanics had higher death rates than whites from diabetes and chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. They have similar death rates from kidney diseases, according to the new Vital Signs.
Health risk can vary by Hispanic subgroup. For example, nearly 66% more Puerto Ricans smoke than Mexicans. Health risk also varies partly by whether Hispanics were born in the United States or in another country. Hispanics are almost three times as likely to be uninsured as whites. Hispanics in the United States are on average nearly 15 years younger than whites, so taking steps now to prevent disease could mean longer, healthier lives for Hispanics.

“Four out of 10 Hispanics die of heart disease or cancer. By not smoking and staying physically active, such as walking briskly for 30 minutes a day, Hispanics can reduce their risk for these chronic diseases and others such as diabetes,” says CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. “Health professionals can help Hispanics protect their health by learning about their specific risk factors and addressing barriers to care.”

This Vital Signs report recommends that doctors, nurses, and other health professionals

• work with interpreters to eliminate language barriers when patients prefer to speak Spanish.
• counsel patients with or at high risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, or cancer on weight control and diet.
• ask patients if they smoke and, if they do, help them quit.
• engage community health workers (promotores de salud) to educate and link people to free or low-cost services.

Hispanic and other Spanish-speaking doctors and clinicians, as well as community health workers or promotores de salud, play a key role in helping to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach to Hispanic patients.
The Vital Signs report used recent national census and health surveillance data to determine differences between Hispanics and whites, and among Hispanic subgroups. Hispanics are the largest racial and ethnic minority group in the United States. Currently, nearly one in six people living in the United States (almost 57 million) is Hispanic, and this is projected to increase to nearly one in four (more than 85 million) by 2035.

Despite lower overall death rates, the study stressed that Hispanics may face challenges in getting the care needed to protect their health. Sociodemographic findings include:

• About one in three Hispanics have limited English proficiency.
• About one in four Hispanics live below the poverty line, compared with whites.
• About one in three has not completed high school.

These sociodemographic gaps are even wider for foreign-born Hispanics, but foreign-born Hispanics experience better health and fewer health risks than U.S.-born Hispanics for some key health indicators, such as cancer, heart disease, obesity, hypertension, and smoking, the report said.
The report also found different degrees of health risk among Hispanics by country of origin:

• Mexicans and Puerto Ricans are about twice as likely to die from diabetes as whites. Mexicans also are nearly twice as likely to die from chronic liver disease and cirrhosis as whites.
• Smoking overall among Hispanics (14%) is less common than among whites (24%), but is high among Puerto Rican males (26%) and Cuban males (22%).
• Colorectal cancer screening varies for Hispanics aged 50 to 75 years.
• About 40% of Cubans get screened (29% of men and 49% of women).
• About 58% of Puerto Ricans get screened (54% of men and 61% of women).
• Hispanics are as likely as whites to have high blood pressure. But Hispanic women with high blood pressure are twice as likely as Hispanic men to get it under control.

“This report reinforces the need to sustain strong community, public health, and health care linkages that support Hispanic health,” says CDC Associate Director for Minority Health and Health Equity, Leandris C. Liburd, PhD, MPH, MA.

Just Published!

The Minority Nurse Spring 2018 issue is now available.

Improving Patient Care Through Unique Clinical Solutions

How Nurses Can Make Better Financial Decisions

 How to Protect Yourself from Stressful Work Experiences


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