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Speakers for the 48th Annual NBNA Virtual Conference


It’s time for this year’s annual National Black Nurses Association, Inc. Conference, which will be held online from September 24th through the 26th. You can register online at the official NBNA website. 2020 has been a truly exceptional year for healthcare providers all over the country and the NBNA is committed to tackling the biggest issues head-on.

A Year Unlike Any Other

Nurses continue to rise to the occasion during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the last few months have been exhausting and challenging in more ways than one. From the trauma of caring for coronavirus patients to new discussions of diversity of inclusion, the industry continues to evolve at lightning speed.

At this year’s NBNA virtual conference, we will hear from a range of talented speakers who are working through these issues in real-time, including representatives from Gilead Sciences, one of the many companies currently working on a COVID-19 vaccine, the Black Women’s Health Imperative, and the Epilepsy Institute. 

This is your chance to hear from some of the best and brightest minds in the nursing industry. We all need to work together to address these issues as we continue responding to the crisis around us and working towards a better and brighter future. Here are just some of the speakers to watch out for at this year’s NBNA conference:

All Star Speakers:

  • Bethsheba Johnson – Gilead Sciences

Bethsheba Johnson, DNP, MSN, CNS, BNP-BC from Gilead Sciences will be on hand to talk about her work combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic. She is the former Executive Director of Luck Care Center, an HIV clinic, and has volunteered with the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative. She’s also worked as a sub-investigator in clinical trials and will likely discuss issues related to the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine.

Working through the HIV/AIDS pandemic helped prepare Johnson for 2020. She has worked with vulnerable communities in the past to help facilitate a working vaccine. Johnson now finds herself in a similar position as the coronavirus pandemic continues to sow distrust among the general population regarding the healthcare industry. The latest polls show just half of Americans plan on taking a COVID-19 vaccine, which could hinder our response to the pandemic.

  • LaQueisa Haynes-Smith – The Epilepsy Institute

Several panels will focus on epilepsy. LaQueisa Haynes-Smith, MS, MCHES from the Epilepsy Institute, will discuss the complexities of treating and managing this condition. She will talk about how providers and caregivers can better recognize seizures in children and train themselves to provide first aid in emergency situations.

  • Patricia Osbourne Shafer – The Epilepsy Institute

Patricia Osbourne Shafer, BSN, MN, RN, Senior Director, Health Information and Resources at the Epilepsy Institute, will also be on hand to discuss these issues. As a provider living with this condition, she is expected to approach this issue from a personal perspective.

Around 1.2% of the U.S. population is believed to have active epilepsy. Shafer and her colleagues would like to see more institutions take up this issue. Providers and caregivers need to understand how this condition affects adults and small children so everyone can get the care they deserve.

  • Dr. Natalie Cineas – Equity and Access Council

Another standout will be Dr. Natalie Cineas, DNP, Rn, NEA-BC, Senior Vice President and System Chief Nurse Executive Co-Chair, Equity and Access Council. Directing more than 9,600 nurses and more than 970 social workers, Dr. Cineas will discuss best practices in nursing and how these trends can improve patient outcomes and reduce health disparities.

The healthcare industry has already lost over 1,000 providers to the coronavirus pandemic, which could affect the profession for decades to come. Facilities, corporations, and nurse leaders will need to look for ways to protect staff members on the ground, so we can rebuild this profession as the baby boomers continue to retire.

  • Tammy Boyd – Black Women’s Health Imperative

Bridging nursing and politics, Tammy Boyd, JD, MPH, Chief Policy Officer & Counsel at the Black Women’s Health Imperative, has helped craft healthcare legislation while reaching out to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to enact meaningful change in the industry. She wants to see more nurses take on leadership roles in the world of politics.

The coronavirus pandemic has been particularly challenging for black women. Boyd and her colleagues would like to see more providers of color in the field. She also wants existing providers to be more sensitive to the needs of black women, so they feel more comfortable seeking medical care.

Nursing and politics have never been so aligned. Nurses and providers all over the country are standing up for their rights in the workplace. 2018 was also considered a landmark year for nurses and doctors running for elected office. That year, 17 medical professionals were elected to Congress. If you’re interested in politics, you won’t want to miss this presentation from Tammy Boyd.  

From diversity training to attracting the next generation of nurses, there are so many vital issues on the docket at this year’s virtual conference. Panels and sessions are going on now. If you’re serious about taking your career to the next level, sign up for the 48th Annual NBNA Virtual Conference today!


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