The New York Black Nurses Association is a professional organization of African American nurses in the New York City area. New York Black Nurses Association, Inc. (NYBNA) was founded in 1971 by the following visionary nurses: Dr. Allisan Bennett, Charles Hargett, Phyllis Jenkins, Beverly James, Sylvia Jones, Dr. Janice Ruffin and Andre Vialet in response to the growing concern for the health status of the African American. These men and women of vision realized that black nurses had the responsibility of attempting to change the status of health and health care within the Black communities of NYC. When the National Black Nurses Association was later founded, NYBNA became one of its first chapters. The New York Black Nurses Association extends membership to all nurses both RN and LPN and also to nursing students.
Following the leadership of its first president, Charles Hargett, NYBNA continues to offer educational programs at its regular meetings and at special forums. Presenters have included noted practitioners from the field of education, nursing medicine, social services, mental health, politics, finance and administration. NYBNA has collaborations with Helene Fuld College of Nursing, NYU division of Nursing, Lehman college Department of Nursing, Hillcrest and Jane Addams Vocational High School Health Careers Program, as well as NYC Board of Education and Continuing Education Programs. Scholarships are awarded to nursing students through the Vivian Leslie Memorial Scholarship Fund. Vivian Leslie was the fourth president of the NYBNA. A bi-annual Leadership in Practice award is made to a practicing nurse in memory of Maggie Jacobs. Maggie Jacobs, who was a member of NYBNA amongst many other organizations, was also an advocate and educator. With her persistence and hard work, she targeted issues surrounding nursing as well as health care in the community and even globally. Maggie Jacobs’s commitment to nursing was commemorated by the New York State Nurses Association with their highest accolade “Honorary Recognition- for distinguished service to the nursing profession”
NYBNA participates in campaigns for social justice and healthcare issues. Extensive community outreach, health/safety teachings, illness screening and referrals have been made in collaboration with the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association; American Cancer Association; American Red Cross Disaster Health; Mental Health Association of New York City; Link to Life Bone Marrow Registry; John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Anhauser-Busch Community Health Mobile; Bronx Community Board #3; Greater Harlem Nursing; Caribbean American Nurses Association; Queens County Black Nurses Association; Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Kappa Eta/Theta Chi Chapters; NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; St. Matthews Roman Catholic Church; Springfield Garden United Methodist Church; Christian Parish of Spiritual Renewal; United Federation of Teachers, African American Health Committee; Injury Prevention Program at Lincoln Medical Health Center; African American Parade Committee, Hispanic Federation, NYC Parks Department, District 37, Quality Work Life.