Black History Month
The Academy spotlighted the following individuals during Black History Month, centered on Black Health and Wellness
, in February 2022:Rhetaugh Dumas, PhD, MA, BSN, FAAN
Dr. Rhetaugh Dumas was a founding member of the American Academy of Nursing and was named a Living Legend in 2002. Dr. Dumas was the first woman and nurse to serve as Deputy Director of the National Institute of Mental Health. She was only the second African-American and was the first Black woman to be named and to hold the position of Dean at the University of Michigan when appointed in 1981.
Mary Eliza Mahoney
Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first Black licensed nurse in the United States after becoming one of four nurses to complete the New England Hospital for Women and Children graduate program in 1879. She helped found the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN) in 1908 and opened their first national convention.
Vernice Ferguson, BSN, MA, FAAN
Vernice Ferguson served as Academy President from 1981-1983 and was named a Living Legend in 1998. She was nationally and internationally known for her leadership role in fostering excellence in nursing care and education. She served as a nurse executive within the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, leading the nation’s largest staff of nurses, as well as the nursing department head at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.
Colonel Lawrence Washington
Colonel Lawrence Washington was the first commissioned male Army Nurse Corps officer; the first black male Army Nurse Corps officer to receive the rank of colonel; and the first black male nurse to receive certification for residency education at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. Lawrence has received numerous awards, including the US Legion of Merit.
Captain James Lavelle Dickens, DNP, FAAN, FAANP
Captain James Lavelle Dickens serves as the Survey Operations Group Long Term Care Manager for five states for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Dallas. Through a social determinants of health lens, he has led multiple government initiatives to provide high-quality care in complex situations, including the Afghanistan Health Initiative to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates.
Felesia Bowen, PhD, DNP, APRN, FAAN
Dr. Felesia Bowen began her career as a US Army Nurse and is a veteran of the first Gulf War, having served in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. She is a renowned nurse scientist and leader, specializing in the study of childhood asthma and trauma in urban communities. Dr. Bowen currently serves as Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Guardia Banister, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN
Dr. Gaurdia Banister is known for her research and work to establish innovative models of interprofessional education, transition to practice considerations for culturally-diverse nursing students, and the impact of mentoring on career success and progression. Dr. Banister currently serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for Patient Care at Massachusetts General Hospital and on the Institute for Nursing Leadership’s National Advisory Council.
Gina S. Brown, PhD, MSA, RN, FAAN
Dr. Gina S. Brown serves as the Dean for the College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences at Howard University, a prominent HBCU. In her role as Dean, she has improved the NCLEX pass rates. In her 25 years of nursing, she has helped prepare over 1,000 underrepresented clinicians for entry into the workforce, helping to diversify the profession as a whole.
Dorothy L. Powell, EdD, RN, FAAN
Dr. Dorothy Powell has been a force in the nursing profession. Beyond her academic roles, Dr. Powell’s dedication to service is evidenced through her leadership to develop a convalescent unit for homeless individuals in a large shelter in Washington, DC. She was also responsible for the development of a unique career training program, Nursing Careers for Homeless People, which has won national recognition.