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VITAS Honors National Black Nurses Association for Black History Month
by Pam Chwedyk Minority Nurse Writer
What better way for a national health care organization to commemorate Black History Month than by honoring the historical contributions of African American nurses?
For Black History Month 2009, VITAS Innovative Hospice Care, the nation’s largest provider of end-of-life care services, has issued a commemorative poster honoring the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA), which since 1971 has served as a collective, powerful voice representing black RNs, LPNs, nursing students and retired nurses in the U.S., the Eastern Caribbean and Africa.
The attractive three-color poster, featuring both historic and contemporary images of African American nurses—including current NBNA president Debra A. Toney, PhD, RN—showcases the association’s nearly 40-year history of leadership in the nursing profession. The poster also highlights the NBNA’s current programs and accomplishments, such as the annual National Black Nurses Day on Capitol Hill. Held each February, this event gives NBNA members the opportunity to meet with legislators in Washington, D.C. to discuss important issues such as the nursing shortage, nursing education and eliminating minority health disparities.
In recent years, the NBNA has been partnering with Miami-based VITAS to help increase black nurses’ knowledge and skills in the area of end-of-life care. For example, both the 2007 and 2008 NBNA annual national conferences included a full-day End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) certification course sponsored by VITAS.
For more information about the National Black Nurses Association, visit www.NBNA.org. Information about VITAS Innovative Hospice Care is available at www.VITAS.com.