Founded in 1971 in response to concerns regarding the growing inequities in health care for African Americans and the lack of a voice from black nurses on their issues. The National Black Nurses Association's mission is to provide a forum for collective action by black nurses to investigate, define and advocate for the health care needs of African Americans and to implement strategies that ensure access to health care, equal to, or above health care standards of the larger society.
NBNA is committed to improving the quality of life of persons who share the African American heritage and other ethnic groups by:
- building consumer knowledge and understanding of health care issues;
- educating and mentoring registered nurses, licensed vocational/practical nurses, nursing students and retired nurses;
- facilitating the professional development and career advancement of nurses in emerging healthcare systems; and,
- promoting economic development of nurses through entrepreneurial and other business initiatives.
As a professional nursing organization representing more than 150,000 African American registered, licensed vocational/practical nurses, nursing students and retired nurses throughout the United States, NBNA is guided by the principle that African American nurses have the understanding, knowledge, interest, concern, and the expertise to make a significant difference in the health care status of African American communities across the nation. Thus, since its inception, improving the health of community-based African Americans through the provision of culturally competent, community-based programs has been the cornerstone of the National Black Nurses Association. NBNA members are leaders in their communities in the delivery of health promotion and disease prevention programs and public health education programs.
Affiliate chapters are the primary mechanism through which the national, state and local community-based programs are successfully implemented. NBNA has 76 chapters, established throughout the United States in large urban cities such as; Boston, New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston, and in smaller urban cities and rural areas like El Paso, Texas; Kalamazoo, Michigan; Memphis and Riverbluff, Tennessee, just to name a few. Although chapters are the primary mechanism through which NBNA's programs are successfully implemented, African American nurses who are direct members (in cities where no chapters are established) also assume leadership roles in mounting community-based programs.