National Black Nurses Association Moving 2024 Conference Out of Florida

National Black Nurses Association Moving 2024 Conference Out of Florida

The National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) released a statement regarding the association’s decision to pull its 2024 Conference out of Florida.

Following a survey of our membership, today the National Black Nurses Association, Inc (NBNA) is publicly announcing its decision to move its 52nd Institute and Conference, originally scheduled to be held at the Diplomat Beach Resort (A Hilton Branded Property) in Hollywood, Florida from July 24th – 28th, 2024 to San Francisco, California from July 23 – 28, 2024.

Our primary reason for this cancellation and move is our duty to ensure the safety and well-being of NBNA members, given the current political and social climate in Florida. The passage of anti-Black policies and laws, which have taken a destructive position to erase and silence Black history and restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools, together with the NAACP travel ban and the recent senseless, racially motivated, hate-fueled murders of three innocent Black Americans in Jacksonville, Florida has created a hostile, dangerous environment in the state. Thus, as a Black-identified multigenerational professional nursing association, we cannot risk the safety or well-being of our members or subject them to unpredictable, unknown, and unconscionable threats to their life, liberty, and First Amendment rights. Also, policies, politics, and hostility perpetuated upon Black-identified and other marginalized peoples are in direct conflict with the NBNA mission and vision. Finally, as a member-driven association dedicated to uplifting and preserving life, our membership was resolute in this decision.

Our attempts in good faith to negotiate with the hotel property in Florida to reschedule our conference to a later year when the conditions would hopefully be safer for Black-identified groups like ours were unsuccessful. This would have avoided a huge cancelation fee, which NBNA will now have to adjudicate.

However, NBNA reaffirms its dedication to working tirelessly to fight social injustice in all its forms. We must develop tangible and practical ways to shift the path of this country toward the achievement of health equity for all Black communities. We join with other organizations and healthcare partners, imploring legislators to take urgent action to remove any laws that harm people and, most notably, those that intentionally, with hate and malice, plan the demise of persons based on their race. NBNA will unrelentingly advocate for policies so everyone can enjoy the privileges of public activities such as learning, worshipping, jogging, attending concerts, and shopping without the fear of being injured or murdered.

Lastly, we recognize the economic, political, and personal impacts that this decision will have on our association and local communities in Florida. Thus, we want to affirm the support of our ten NBNA chapters in Florida and the communities they serve. These chapters will continue their work to improve the lives of historically underserved and marginalized populations in Florida in keeping with our mission.

NBNA Announces New Board of Directors and Nominations Committee 2021-2022

NBNA Announces New Board of Directors and Nominations Committee 2021-2022

NBNA is pleased to announce its newly elected Officers, Board Members and Nominations Committee Members.


President and CEO (re-elected)
Martha A. Dawson, DNP, RN, FACHE, Associate Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Nursing, Birmingham, AL

Secretary (re-elected)

Sasha DuBois, MSN, RN, Nurse Administrator, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA

Board of Directors
Kim Cartwright, LPN, Account Manager, Medstar Visiting Nurse Association, Clinton, MD

Mary Kelly, DNP, MSN, MHA, NEA-BC, Senior Director, Cancer Center and Infusion Services, University Medical Center New Orleans, New Orleans, LA

Angelo Moore, PhD, RN, NE-BC, Program Manager, Duke Cancer Institute, Office
of Health Equity, Chapel Hill, NC

Ardenia Norris, Student Representative, Auburn University at Montgomery,
Montgomery, AL

New Nominating Committee Members
Joni Lovelace, RN, BS, CCM, CNC, President and CEO, Lovelace Multi-Care Health Services, LLC, Atlanta, GA

Vaple I. Robinson, PhD, RN, MSL, CHES, Associate Professor, Coppin State University, Helene Fuld School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD

Appointed New Officers

Lovene Knight, PhD, RN, Retired.

Cynthia Bell, MSN, BSN, RN, Retired, Nurse Manager/Assistant Chief, Homeless and Mental Health Residential, Rehabilitation Treatment Center, Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Medical Center, Cleveland, OH

The remaining Officers and Board Members are: Dr. Sheldon Fields, First Vice President; Dr. Marcia Lowe, Second Vice President; Dr. Evelyn Collier-Dixon, Treasurer; Dr. Eric J. Williams; Immediate Past President; Constance Brown, Dr. Shirley Evers-Manly, Dr. Denise Ferrell, Dr. C. Alicia Georges, Dr. Rebecca Harris-Smith.

The NBNA mission is “to serve as the voice for black nurses and diverse populations ensuring equal access to professional development, promoting educational opportunities and improving health.”

For more information, please visit

In the Spotlight: Dr. Irene Daniels Lewis,  NBNA Historian

In the Spotlight: Dr. Irene Daniels Lewis, NBNA Historian

For all their individual approaches and unique sets of beliefs, nurses share a common bond of a very rewarding, if not grueling, career. They focus on the present, but cannot help be moved by all the nurses who have saved lives, comforted patients and families, changed lives with research, and brought the profession to the point it’s at today. And they bear the weight of laying frameworks for the nurses who will come after them.

So when Dr. Irene Daniels Lewis, RN, FAAN, was appointed as the current historian of the National Black Nurses Association, she knew the importance of the task at hand.

My job is to relay the history of the organization and to connect the past with the present while looking to the future,” says Lewis. Lewis, now in her second year of what’s generally a two-year appointment by the NBNA president (currently Deidre Walton, JD, MSN, RN), knew she wanted to inspire nurses and make them feel a connection with each other and a sense of accomplishment in what they have all done.

This spring, Lewis’s book, The National Black Nurses History Book, Volume 2, will be published and includes stories and sentiments from nurses nationwide.

Lewis asked local chapters across the country to relay their own legacy to her to include in the book’s compilation. She asked for information about how the chapter started and what inspired them.

This was a source of inspiration for me,” says Lewis. “I wanted to share where we have been over the last years. I also asked the chapter presidents to share what they see for the future of the NBNA. That excites me.”

Lewis is a pioneer in her own right. With 52 years of nursing experience, she was the first black woman to graduate from the University of California San Francisco’s doctor of philosophy, nursing program. “I’ve seen lots of changes over a half century, and they are for the better,” she says.

For Lewis, the historian role is poignant. She retired from nursing and teaching (she was a professor of nursing at San Jose State University) in 2012, but knew she wanted to be a nurse since she was only 5 years old. Growing up in the projects in San Francisco, Lewis clearly remembers the caring and compassionate public health nurse who provided routine visits in the community. As a child, Lewis loved to take charge of her younger siblings by “listening” to their hearts, and she never forgot the influence of one nurse. “It’s important because even as we have technology that allows us to interact, it doesn’t allow us to interact on a level to share our dreams or with particular strategies we find to be helpful,” she says.

With that kind of sharing in mind, Lewis embarked on gathering stories for the book so nurses can access the stories and even network with others to find out more details if they want.

And in her role, Lewis says she’s found one common theme. “We’ve come a long way baby, but we still have a long way to go,” she says. The stagnant or even declining numbers of black nurses who are having a difficult time matriculating to graduation and passing the state boards the first time is worrisome and needs to be addressed, she says. The nation needs to take a new approach and provide strategies and supports for nurses to advance, she says, and finish their degrees.

The book can be ordered from the National Black Nurses Association website later this spring.