Third Annual Series Running Through Spring 2008

NYU College of Nursing has announced the names of 18 Fellows who are participating in the third annual Leadership Institute for Black Nurses. The goal of the institute is to empower nurses who seek career advancement in education, research, and administration.

“This program was established in keeping with a long tradition of commitment to Black nursing leadership,” says Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the College of Nursing. “Through education and mentorship, the institute serves as a resource to assist nurses who have shown great potential as health care leaders and seeks to expand the opportunities available to them.

The Institute was conceived by Dr. Fulmer with Yvonne Wesley, PhD, RN, FAAN, adjunct associate professor of nursing and an alumna of the NYU College of Nursing. It is directed by NYU faculty member May Dobal PhD, RN, co-directed by Dr. Wesley, and is sponsored by a grant of $100,000 from HIP Health Plan of New York. It was founded not only to advance Black nurses’ careers but also to address the extreme disparities in health between African-Americans and other groups in the United States.

The Institute’s six training sessions, held monthly, address topics such as individual efficacy, leadership paradigms, and negotiation and collaboration. Participants not only build on personal strengths to develop leadership ability, but also gain practical management skills, such as developing a vision, evaluating and measuring program outcomes, and understanding health care management and finances. Each participant is paired with a leading African-American nurse in the New York City area who serves as Project Mentor and advisor on a community-health project. In addition, the program has invited 10 outstanding nursing leaders in the New York City area to be Career Mentors available to the fellows for additional consultation.

The Institute’s director, Dr. Dobal emphasizes the significant role of race in nurses’ self-image and in how they are treated in the workplace. “Black nurses, even those in managerial positions, often feel powerless,” she explains. “The Institute focuses on helping participants to express and pursue their career goals within the workplace and to negotiate across an uneven table.”

The Leadership Institute recruits nurses by contacting chief nursing officers in hospitals, deans of nursing programs, and Black nursing associations. Participants must have a minimum of a baccalaureate degree and have shown leadership ability. Of the participants, nearly all hold master’s degrees, and all serve in management-level positions.

In moving Black nurses toward positions of greater authority, the Institute’s founders aim to develop health-system leaders who will be in positions to find solutions to racial disparities in health care. African-Americans are more likely than members of other groups to die from some of the leading health problems today, such as cancer, heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes.

“Research shows that Blacks receive lower-quality care even when they have insurance and access to health care,” says Dr. Wesley, who hopes that with more black nurses in executive leadership positions, these problems will receive closer examination and greater resources.

The 2008 Leadership Institute for Black Nurses Fellows are:

  • Kanisha Boyd-Basden, RN Nurse Manager Trinitas Hospital
  • Suzanne Cushnie, RN Clinical Nurse Manager Mount Sinai Medical Center
  • Dana Deravin Carr, RN, MPH, MS, RNC, CCM Nurse Case Manager- Acute Care Jacobi Medical Center
  • Amy M. Fletcher, RN Registered Nurse Nightingale Nursing Agency/ Atlanticare Regional Medical Center
  • Gemma George-Jackson, RN, MSN Assistant Administrator Mount Sinai Medical Center
  • Jacqueline Gulstone, RN, BC, CNS, CNOR, MSN, CFNP Family Nurse Practitioner Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center
  • Barbara Hall-Atkins, RN, MSN, APRN, BC Public Health Nurse- Coordinator of Care Visiting Nurse Service of New York
  • Doreen Johnson, RN, MSN, ONC Nurse Educator Hospital for Special Surgery
  • Benita Kinard, RN, MSN, ANP-BC Adult Nurse Practitioner Montefiore Medical Center
  • Kymara Kyng, RN, MIA Program Director, World Trade Center New York University School of Medicine
  • Karen La Guerre, RN, MSA Assistant Director of Nursing Kings County Hospital Center
  • Gemma Lanier, RN, MSN Clinical Nursing Coordinator Mount Sinai Medical Center
  • Illouise Murillo, RN, MSN, NPP Nurse Manager St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center
  • Paulett Opoku, RN, MPA, CCM High Risk OB Case Manager HIP Health Plan of New York
  • Linda Phinazee, RN, CCRN, CEN Nurse Manager Maimonides Medical Center
  • Layla Qaabidh, RN, MSN Registered Nurse Montefiore Medical Center
  • Renee Roosa, RN, MSN, APRN, BC, FNP, CH Take Care Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Coordinator Take Care Health Care Systems
  • Simone Turner, RN, MPA Nurse Manager Hackensack University Medical Center

The College of Nursing at the College of Dentistry is located on New York University’s historic Greenwich Village campus in New York City. The College of Nursing is one of the leading nursing programs in the United States. The College offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Master of Arts and Post-Master’s Certificate Programs; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Research Theory and Development. For more information, visit

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