As we ponder on Black history and look towards Women’s history, this month provides a wonderful opportunity to take a moment to reflect on the remarkable and positive impact Black Americans and women have had on people around the world. Lest we forget our history we are bound to repeat it. Teach it to our families, colleagues, and friends around the country/world and let’s be stunning role models for our colleagues here in Colorado.  

Nationally, there are more than 150,000 African American nursing professionals who care for patients in acute care facilities, clinics, long-term care facilities, schools/universities and underserved communities. Many are also serving in vital roles as mentors, administrators, health policy advocates, experts, and professors. Let’s join our hearts and hands to push our hopes higher for our young people. We need them to know their history and to get on a road that leads to constructive rather than destructive outcomes. We must be the best professional that we can be and help others reach great levels of accomplishments.

Black nurses are serving all over thisnationandwe, the Colorado Council of Black Nurses. know firsthand the very dramatic contributions that have been made by African-Americans. Nursing, leading to health and wellness in communities across this state, is of primary concern to our community’s health. We are just over three percent strong in the state; therefore, we must act to increase our numbers in schools and in care facilities. Many ask why mentor other Blacks into nursing? Here are a few reasons.

•CCBN’s goal is to nurture our nurses while fulfilling our mission. We work together to increase the participation of local Blacks in nursing careers, strengthening their professional networks and supplementing their professional development via specialized training and volunteer opportunities.

•We are the voice of health care in the Black community and the vehicle for nurses to gain the opportunity to face fearful issues in a group where nurses and students can get support and learn how to deal with negative issues in a productive and positive arena.

•The Black nurses are proactive professionals with students who can handle limited resources while doing mighty things.

•We serve as a beacon with a sound infrastructure so that folks can get rejuvenated after participating in its growth producing workshops.

•Black nurses are rich in caring so that those of us who have gained from each other and become stronger can understand “pay-forward” or give back to others who need to become stronger.

•We are the “Sojourner Truth’s” and we can do and be all things in Him who strengthens us. This means we will be known for our going back and pulling more slaves out (those who are slaves to drugs, materialism, chronic levels of low esteem yielding to selfish gains, negative words and actions toward others). We will be recognized by the courage in our souls as we work to make our community the healthiest in the nation.  Our community (The Village), then, will be a healthier place to raise new nurses for the nurture and care of our people.

•We’ve become the strong voice for Blacks in the unyielding role as health education advocates, siblings, teachers, and mentors. We value our nurse’s efforts and applaud their professional success where ever they serve.

•We’ve leveraged the professional pride exhibited by our nurses as the platform through which we strive to improve the health of Blacks and other under-represented families. As a result, you’ll find Black nursing professionals serving communities throughout this rich nation.

The Colorado Council of Black Nurses serves as an essential vehicle and voice for the state’s Black nurses to facilitate the conversation with the national body and other nurses at the international level.
Celebrate our journey.  Put away selfish interest and join hearts with fellow African Americans in the journey. We’ve only just begun.

Editor’s note: Dr. Margie Cook is president of the Colorado Council of Black Nurses.