My journey as an RN began almost 43 years ago when I received a BSN. I have worked in the med-surg, oncology, ortho, and cardiac care units. My first love was cardiology, but my passion is education. To see a new grad finally show confidence in their daily practice makes me proud. I had a new graduate who had to put in an NG tube for the first time. We practiced in the skills lab and I remember telling her, “You got this!” She went in and dropped the NG tube like an old pro — it was a great moment for both of us.
As a PhD-prepared nurse, I serve as a mentor and role model to my students and peers. I did not know any Black registered nurses when I decided to become a nurse, nor did I have any Black professors during my BSN or PhD programs. This lack of racial and cultural representation — not my passion for teaching — was the strongest motivating factor for my desire to become a nursing professor.
Black nurses currently represent less than 7% of U.S. nurse practitioners and CNMs (Data USA, 2018) and less than 9% of full-time U.S. nursing faculty (National League for Nursing, 2017).
My professional goals meet two desires: one for my own career satisfaction and the other for the optimal health and wellness of my community. I hope to create a synergy that culminates in an effective fight against health disparities among vulnerable women.