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BNA was founded in 1971 as a support group for African-American nurses to empower one another through mentoring and open discussion. Members committed themselves to preserving and protecting the professional standards of practice for minority nurses, created a foundation of educational excellence for minority nursing students, and became active and visible in Indianapolis' minority community activities. Lillian B. Stevenson, a founding member and first president of BNA, established the organizational structure through the creation of bylaws and a constitution. During the 70's, in addition to health screenings, BNA members participated in clothes, food, and toy drives that supported their policy of community activism and provided tutoring and test taking strategies to minority nursing students.

When and where ever BNA nurses participate, it is a volunteer effort and accomplished with the resources of individual members. Record growth of BNA membership and community activism is noted during the years of 1980 - 1995 due to a large part to the tireless and dedicated efforts of Delores J. Moon. Under Mrs. Moon's leadership, BNA began to host organized fund raising events for annual nursing scholarship awards.

Under the leadership of Kathleen Russell and Maple Murrell, incorporation and non-profit certification was accomplished. BNA's outreach has expanded to include educating the general public and public policy officials about the need to eliminate disparities in minority health care, continued mentoring of minority students in professional and advanced nursing studies and careers, and expanding health education and screening projects. The current membership is comprised of volunteer nurses with over four hundred years of collective clinical practice and administrative experience.

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