The professional imagery of the nurse in the United States is historically representative Western-European, White women who have been socialized to believe that the views and principles of the dominant culture are applicable to all patients and nurses of other cultural backgrounds. The biased perspectives of the majority have helped to shape the profession for hundreds of years. Historically, Black students were banned from entering the same programs of nursing as Whites and White nurses did not accept their Black counterparts as equals, but viewed Black nurses as inferior, lacking intelligence and sound judgment. Within the last 20 years, White nurses continue to dominate the profession and the hierarchy of nursing leadership. Although the representation of Blacks and other minorities in nursing has increased, discrimination is still prevalent in the workforce.
In the recent literature, Black nurses have described feeling isolated, overlooked, and in some instances overworked due to the inequitable distribution of patient care in comparison to their White counterparts. Black nurses felt disregarded by physicians and other healthcare providers, citing that their opinions are not sought after as readily as their White colleagues. Black nurses also reported that they were denied opportunities for career development and advancement and feeling as if they were not compensated fairly.
Furthermore, the need for mentorship, especially from successful leaders of the same racial or ethnic background, was a recurrent theme. In addition, the lead governing bodies within healthcare and the nursing profession, acknowledge the need for increased diversity as a means of improving patient care and eliminating health disparities. It is this historical and current context from which the inspiration for the creation of LEBN was formed.
The mission of The League of Extraordinary Black Nurses is to cultivate, nurture, and inspire current and future Black nurses, to improve the representation of Black nurses in positions of leadership, and to advocate for equitable and quality healthcare for people of color.
LEBN is a professional nursing membership association/organization. It supports Black nurses with resources for mentorship, professional development, and networking. It also promotes scholarship and the advancement of nursing practice through research and education, and celebrates the accomplishments of Black nurses. It is our vision that all Black nurses feel supported, nurtured, and encouraged to achieve greatness in their chosen nursing career paths.
LEBN Guiding Principles And Strategic Plan
A. Design and implement effective mentorship programs for schools of nursing and healthcare organizations to
facilitate the academic and professional development of Black nursing students and new graduates
B. Create and facilitate networking and mentorship opportunities for Black nursing professionals
A. Develop and support aspiring Black nurse leaders in the areas of clinical practice, as well as, management,
administrative, and executive roles
B. Establish programs that advocate for the issues that affect nursing education and practice, and the health and
wellness of Black nurses and people of color
C. Lobby for healthcare policies that eliminate racial healthcare disparities
A. Leading and participating in research and innovative practices that contribute to nursing science and knowledge
B. Establish a forum for the recognition of excellence in professional nursing practice and the achievements of Black
C. Provide scholarships to students pursuing nursing careers
Daihnia Dunkley, PhD, RN is originally from Jamaica, West Indies, and has resided in New York since the early 90's. In the span of her 16-year nursing career, Dr. Dunkley has worked extensively in the arena of maternal-child health, and is an experienced nurse leader with a demonstrated history of working in both hospital and community healthcare, as well as academia.
She is currently serving in a full time academic role as a lecturer in the Graduate Entry Pre-Specialty in Nursing (GEPN) and Masters of Science in Nursing programs at Yale School of Nursing. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Hampton University, and earned both her Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Phoenix.
Her doctoral research was focused on the experience of being Black and female in nursing leadership. While conducting her research, Dr. Dunkley was inspired to create a forum dedicated to Black nurses that would provide guidance and support and celebrate the contributions of Black nurses worldwide.
LEBN Board Chair
MPA, RN, NEA-BC
DNP, RN, FNP-BC, NP-C
Social Media Relations
Community Engagement & Partnerships
MSN, APRN, FNP-C