NBNA’s 50th Anniversary vision: Getting patients engaged in their own health by moving away from the illness model.

Incoming NBNA President Martha Dawson, DNP, RN, FACHE, shares her priorities for the organization as she becomes its 13th President. As the NBNA approaches its 50th anniversary in 2021, Martha is planning to highlight its founders and past leaders, and to focus on emphasizing the importance of meeting patients where they are, before they get sick. Martha describes how the 122 chapters are at the heart of NBNA, and ways their community programs have been effective in mitigating health disparities. Local programs include working with politicians on environmental aspects such as lead levels, addressing violence, recognizing the importance of social determinants, and facilitating better access to care. The NBNA is one of very few professional development organizations that bring together RNs, LPNs, and students under the same umbrella, and then supports them along varied career paths, which include business and management positions as well as the clinical track. Martha believes that legislation is perhaps the most important conduit to change, and she talks about why she supports mentoring future leaders to ensure there are strong voices from the black nurse community able to influence future health policy. With Carla Harwell, MD.