Texas nurse now first Black woman to be inducted into the Academy of Emergency Nurses

Dollita Okine December 08, 2023
Shawntay Harris, the founder of Eminent CPR and a Texan nurse, has become the Academy of Emergency Nurses' first black woman inductee. Photo Credit: LinkedIn, Shawntay Harris

Shawntay Harris, the founder of Eminent CPR and a Texan nurse, has become the Academy of Emergency Nurses’ first black woman inductee. She started working as a nurse 23 years ago. Driven by her desire to assist others, Harris worked as an emergency nurse

She then launched Eminent CPR in 2006 to help individuals learn CPR. She explained to 25 News about her business, “It’s an AHA American Heart Association training center, and I also offer courses from the Emergency Nurses Association, then my own courses.” 

The pioneer’s years of hard labor and devotion to the field were recently acknowledged nationally by the Academy of Emergency Nurses, an organization founded in 2004 to honor nurses making a major contribution to the nursing profession.

She reminisced, “When I was approached as a potential candidate to be inducted, I was like, ‘Oh, am I worthy? Have I done enough? How do I feel? Then, when I looked at the other academy members, I was like, ‘Oh, no, there’s no one else who looks like me,’ — I will be making history if inducted.”

“It feels amazing to know that I’ve broken this ceiling so other nurses of color know they can; their work is great and exciting, has global impact, is sustainable, and they’ll see someone that looks like them,” she added.

The Academy of Emergency Nurses honors nurses who have made “consistent, significant contributions to emergency nursing and helped advance the emergency nursing profession, including the healthcare system in which emergency nursing is provided.”

Harris now aspires to inspire newer nurses of color and urge more people to join the field since diversity in healthcare is critical. A 2020 report cited by 25 News says that 20 percent of nurses are persons of color and less than seven percent are African American.

Harris told 25 News, “My goal in the academy is to keep doing what we’ve done. We want to diversify the academy, create mentorship programs so that others feel comfortable applying, and help them through.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: December 8, 2023


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