Grau recognized by NAHN

Photo of Grace Grau
NAHN President Adrianna Nava with Grace Grau at the 2023 awards dinner

By Laura Gasque

University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing Adjunct Assistant Professor Grace Grau, DNP, CRNP, ACNP-BC, AACC (DNP 2015), is the 2023 recipient of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses President’s Award. The award recognizes Grau’s dedication to the organization and to advocating for Hispanic nurses and the health of Hispanic communities. Grau received the award at the NAHN Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon.

Grau serves on the NAHN Board of Directors, was on the planning committee for their inaugural Health Policy Summit this past year and is charged with leading the planning for 2024. Under Grau’s leadership, NAHN also was recently awarded a $10,000 climate and health subgrant to educate and increase engagement in climate advocacy.

“I am honored and appreciative for this acknowledgement and recognition by President Nava for my leadership and efforts doing what I am passionate for and comes naturally—serve,” Grau said. “As the newest board member, my goal over the past year was to get to know my fellow board members and management team, familiarize myself with the processes, and understand the priorities of the organization in order to achieve more for the members and our communities. By serendipity, I was charged with chairing the Policy and Advocacy Committee. I was put in a position to rediscover the fire and passion I have always had for health policy. I am committed and looking forward to continuing to advance NAHN’s priorities.”

In 2021, Grau received NAHN’s Janie Menchaca Wilson Leadership Award, recognizing her leadership contributions and positive impact on the Hispanic community. Grau is the founding president the Alabama Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses.

“Now more than ever it is critical for the next generation of nurses to join professional organizations given the increasing challenges the profession faces with scope of practice and projected critical nursing shortages,” Grau said. “Membership in organizations informed a lot of the lasting and ongoing contributions I have made to reduce barriers, advance nursing credentialling and education, and improve health outcomes and research participation. We need the next generation to step up and take the reins while we are still here to mentor and support them.”

From 2011-2021, Grau held a dual appointment as faculty at the School in the Adult Gero Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Track and as a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner at UAB Medicine in the department of Structural Heart and Interventional Cardiology. Following her retirement, she returned as Adjunct Assistant Professor with the School’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

“I want to continue to promote a culture of understanding and one that embraces diversity and safety for students, nurses and the people we collectively serve,” Grau said. “I want to challenge nursing students to join professional organizations of identities different from theirs for the purpose of immersion and continued knowledge development of other languages and other beliefs and practices.”

Grau earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the School in 2015 and credits the program with helping her develop a greater appreciation for research evidence to support and add credibility to efforts aimed at influencing any type of change.

“Having the DNP degree and the title ‘Doctor’ has been key to my voice being heard and some doors opening, allowing me to make a greater impact where I otherwise might not have been able to,” Grau said.

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