Practice Matters

NCEMNA celebrates 25 years

By: Debra A. Toney, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Angelica Millan, DNP, RN, FAAN

The need continues for an organization that promotes healthcare equity.

Debra A. Toney
Angelica Millan

Since 1998, the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations (NCEMNA) has served as the unifying body for five national ethnic minority-nursing associations: Asian American/Pacific Islander Nurses Association, Inc.; National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association, Inc.; National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Inc.; National Black Nurses Association, Inc.; and Philippine Nurses Association of America, Inc. NCEMNA has continuously pursued member associations to act as a unified force advocating for equity and justice in nursing and healthcare for ethnic and racial minority populations.

During the May 1997 Third Invitational Minority Nursing Congress, five national presidents discussed forming a collaborative organization to consider the issues, opportunities, and advantages as a unified entity. Initially, NCEMNA aimed to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities and increase the number of minority nurse researchers. The coalition’s leaders built on their contacts with private and public organizations and identified areas of mutual concern.

As NCEMNA celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, you may ask why we still exist and what we’re doing. Our members believe our organization is more important than ever and that we’re critical as nursing moves toward achieving health equity and improving the health outcomes of diverse and marginalized racial and ethnic groups. We understand the need for a diverse nursing workforce. We recognize and celebrate nursing diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, geography, and individual experiences among nurses. We realize that such a diverse nursing workforce would alleviate barriers to healthcare access.

Few nurses of color occupy leadership, academia, and research roles. NCEMNA focuses on developing our members as leaders. For example, we support our nurse members in completing their PhDs to prepare for leadership, academia, and research. NCEMNA mentors nursing students and supports minority nurses throughout their careers.

In addition, NCEMNA holds an annual Policy Summit to highlight our members’ work related to policy that advances our goals. We do this by influencing how resources are allocated and shaping policies to eliminate systemic and structural inequities in healthcare and the workplace. As the only U.S. coalition that represents the diverse needs of one million racial/ethnic minority nurses, NCEMNA serves as a voice for ethnic minority nurses and the lived health experiences of a constituency marginalized from mainstream health delivery systems. NCEMNA has performed on the frontline, driving healthcare policies to address disparities and ensure ethnic minority populations have access to culturally appropriate healthcare. Through its core values of equity, advocacy, relevance, and diversity, NCEMNA aims to reduce health disparities via innovative research projects, leadership development, and the endorsement of best practices for models of nursing practices and education.

Our goals include support to develop a cadre of ethnic nurses that reflect our nation’s diversity, health equity, and advocacy for culturally competent, accessible, and affordable healthcare. NCEMNA supports the promotion of the professional and educational advancement of ethnic nurses; education of consumers, healthcare professionals, and policymakers on health issues of concern to ethnic minority populations; development of ethnic minority nurse leaders in areas of health policy, practice, education, and research; and the endorsement of best practice models of nursing, education, and research for minority populations.

Debra A. Toney is vice president of quality management at Nevada Health Centers in Las Vegas, president of the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations, and past president of the National Black Nurses Association. Angelica Millan is a healthcare consultant and educator, vice president of the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations, and past president of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses.

American Nurse Journal. 2023; 18(9). Doi: 10.51256/ANJ092388

Let Us Know What You Think

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.

cheryl meeGet your free access to the exclusive newsletter of American Nurse Journal and gain insights for your nursing practice.

NurseLine Newsletter

  • Hidden

*By submitting your e-mail, you are opting in to receiving information from Healthcom Media and Affiliates. The details, including your email address/mobile number, may be used to keep you informed about future products and services.


Recent Posts