The Columbia Area Black Nurses Association was birthed by the president Whakeela James inspired and supported by her close group of wonderful nurses. After reviewing the web page of The National Black Nurses Association two years ago, I felt the desire to be a part of something wonderful but did not proceed. Two years later still with the same desire to become a member of the Black Nurses Association and observing that Columbia did not have a chapter decided to pursue application for chaptering in the Columbia area. South Carolina has two other chapters: Tri-County BNA in Charleston, SC and Upstate BNA in Greenville.
The desire to assist with disparities through health promotion and health education as an advocator to the underserved within our communities, was the driving force. The establishment of such association in the area would provide other nurses the opportunity to be of service and assist with many health disparities surrounding our communities and families alike. The chapter association will provide a vehicle for myself and other nurses to be active in the fight to increase healthier individuals and stabilize/decrease the many health disparities identified within our communities.
The nurse will provide community service through health fairs and summits with community collaborations, associations, and health organizations. We will utilize tools and knowledge provided through our professional training to assist in the fight against health disparities and to increase health literacy for all.
We are proud to be nurses and pray that this association can bridge the many gaps needed to increase health awareness, provide togetherness for the profession, and increase our own knowledge regarding the health profession to become better nurses.
Whakeela M. James, MSN, BSN, RN