My mother always encouraged me to play with dolls of a variety of shades. She particularly would always want me to play with dolls that had the same complexion as myself. I never quite understood this until recently.

I remember waiting for my women’s health professor to arrive. I expected her to be an older woman and not a minority as most of my other professors were. When she showed up, I only recognized she may be our professor because she wore a white jacket. Then she walked up to us and introduced herself as our professor. She was younger than I expected and of the same ethnicity as myself. For some reason, until then, I had never seen myself as being a nurse educator. But, seeing her standing there and doing such a good job teaching my classmates and I, I suddenly considered nursing education as a route I may take.

When working among a diverse nursing faculty as I do, I hope that we can do the same for our students from diverse backgrounds. Perhaps by seeing someone who looks like themselves, maybe we can inspire our students to go beyond what they ever imagined. I had only thought I would graduate and be a nurse, but this young woman I mentioned was a nurse practitioner and an educator. She made me think suddenly that I could aspire to a similar career.

I wish I could see her today to tell her that her work with me inspired me to be the woman I am today: a minority nurse educator!

Tamara Jessica Brown

Tamara Jessica Brown, MSN, RN-BC, PCCN, CNE, CMSRN, is a nursing faculty member at New Jersey City University of Jersey City, New Jersey. She has eight years of experience in nursing with certifications in medical-surgical nursing, gerontological nursing, and progressive critical care. She is a certified nurse educator through the National League for Nursing and is currently a doctoral candidate of nursing education at NOVA Southeastern University.

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