Dr. Lauranne Sams, National Black Nurses Association
In 1971, Dr. Lauranne Sams organized the National Black Nurses Association
and subsequently became its first President. The National Black Nurses
Association was organized to help African American nurses. The NBNA is
active lobbying for equal rights and pay for all nurses, providing training
opportunities and working government and other nursing organizations to
improve and change the nursing profession.
Dr. Sams spent 16 years teaching at the Indiana School of Nursing.
While there she was actively involved in recruitment and retention of minority nursing
students. Since leaving the university, the Davis-Sams Distinguished Visiting Professorship
was established in 1999. This provides an opportunity for a distinguished leader in nursing
to spend a week consulting with faculty, lecturing to students, engaging with the larger
community, and like activities. The award was named to honor Anna Mitchem-Davis as the
first African American graduate of Indiana School of Nursing and Dr. Lauranne Sams, the
first African American faculty member hired in 1958. Both of these women were nursing
leaders, helping to open doors for minorities in the nursing field.
She then took a position as Dean of the School of Nursing at Tuskegee University
After retiring, Dr. Sams continued to pursue her post-doctoral studies.
There is now a scholarship in her name providing funding for nursing student's to
continue their education sponsored by the National Black Nursing Association. The
Dr. Lauranne Sams Scholarship
provides funding for continuing education. An applicant must be currently enrolled in
a nursing program (BSN, AD, Diploma, or LPN/LVN), in good scholastic standing, be a
member of NBNA and of a local chapter (if one exists in his or her area), and have at
least one full year of school remaining. This specific award is given to a student
nurse based on scholastic achievement, financial need, and community service. The
amount of the scholarship is $1,000, but the number of scholarships awarded each year
varies dependent upon the amount of funds received at the Ecumenical Service held during
the Annual Conference.