By Nina Wujech

On February 23rd, 2013, I was privileged to attend the New England Regional Black Nurses Association (NERBNA) excellence in nursing awards. My expectations of the event were speculative at best but I was pleasantly surprised. The well-lit ballroom looked colorful and exquisite, the reception welcoming and the three course meal delicious. More importantly, the energy in the room was electrifying. It felt great to be among nursing’s finest and this surely reaffirmed my drive and passion for nursing. The support and commitment of the Boston College faculty to this ceremony was also motivating. The evening began with a welcome speech by the President, Margaret Brown, a former “eagle”, who set the stage for an evening of cheer. We also had a word from Dr. Lorraine Baugh, founder of NERBNA and Dr. Deborah Washington, director of diversity for patient care services at Massachusetts General Hospital, the latter of whom I was introduced to. Following the speeches, the awardees were called up stage, a brief narration of their benevolent nursing actions hailed and an award given. A common theme that emerged from the acceptance speeches was spirituality. There were quite a number of references made to the bible. Others used personal motto’s such as “treat others the way you would like to be treated.” I was particularly drawn to those recipients involved in global health initiatives such as Rose Mintor and Ketline Edouard, who volunteer their time and nursing expertise in Haiti. This was very inspiring since I have similar dreams and aspirations of leading a health initiative in the West African country, Cameroon. This event enabled me to network with great leaders, visualize my dreams as attainable and rekindle my inspiration.

To read about Laura Mata’s experience attending the NERBNA Excellence in Nursing Award Celebration, visit her post here.