Faculty, alumni recognized by NBNA

National Black Nurses Association honors individuals for excellence in teaching, research

NBNA By Erica Techo and Hunter Carter
Each year, the National Black Nurses Association Inc. recognizes outstanding nurses from around the country. For the 2021 NBNA Nurse of the Year Awards, three members of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing community have been recognized, all of whom are faculty and alumni.

These awards were presented at NBNA’s 49th Annual Institute and Conference, held virtually in early August.

Associate Professor Tedra Smith, DNP, CRNP, CPNP-PC, CNE (MSN 2004, DNP 2011), was named Nurse Educator of the Year. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to professional and/or patient education.

“I am honored and grateful to have been recognized for my contribution to the nursing profession. I strive to not only share my knowledge but to continue to learn in the process. I value education and attempt to utilize a variety of teaching strategies in my quest to prepare future nurse leaders,” Smith said. I hope that I inspire others to provide quality, evidence-based care to all their patients which includes equipping them with the tools to not only manage the illness but to promote health. Ultimately, I want to further promote excellence in nursing in all settings for all patient populations.”

Associate Professor Pamela G. Bowen, PhD, BBA, CRNP, FNP-BC (BSN 1988, MSN 1992, PhD 2012) was named Nurse Researcher of the Year. This award recognizes a nurse researcher who has completed an outstanding research study and who has excellent potential to develop a program of research that contributes to the well-being and health care of minorities.

Bowen’s program of research centers on reducing obesity-related health conditions and obesity health disparities among minorities, especially Black patients, who have a higher prevalence of chronic conditions, higher rates of mortality and poorer health outcomes when compared to white patients.

I am deeply thrilled to receive the NBNA on Nurse Researcher of the Year Award,” Bowen said. “It is important to me as a nurse scientist of color to engage in research to help ensure that the development of interventions and strategies are culturally and age appropriate to treat the Black population. Furthermore, I use my research as a tool to teach future nurse practitioner students about racial and ethnic health disparities and to provide them with evidenced-based strategies to self-evaluate their own biases, which may unintentionally contribute to disparities in health care.

Alumna and adjunct instructor Heather Hardy-Williams, MSN, CRNP (MSN 2017), was also named 2021 Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year, which goes to a nurse who has shown excellence in the clinical area at the advanced practice level.

“Initially, I was in disbelief, yet overjoyed as I received the news from the national headquarters,” said Hardy-Williams. “I began to reflect upon my journey from childhood to where I am in my career today as a nurse practitioner.”

Hardy-Williams is currently with Urology Centers of Alabama Women’s Center as a board-certified adult gerontology and women’s health nurse practitioner. She also is an adjunct clinical instructor for the UAB School of Nursing.

“Working as an adjunct instructor has enhanced my ability to communicate with and educate others,” said Hardy-Williams. “I believe that education is essential to quality health care and once a patient understands the ‘who, what, when, where and how’ regarding their plan of care, they are more likely to receive a good outcome.”

All three individuals are also active members in the Birmingham Black Nurses Association Inc. (BBNA).

Read 1161 times Last modified on September 30, 2021

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