In honor of Black History Month, we are showcasing members of our Duquesne African American nursing community each week. Today, we met with 2021 Duquesne PhD in Nursing graduate, Khaliah Fisher-Grace, PhD, RN, CPHQ, PCCN-K, System Director, Policy at University Hospitals.
“The best part of nursing is the ability to be an advocate for change. No matter your position, you can change the health trajectory for a patient, the understanding that a family has as they try to care for a loved one, the confidence of a student nurse, or the culture of an organization. Nurses influence this type of change based on their knowledge and skills as well as the compassion that nurses bring when approaching any situation.
Throughout my career I have become an advocate for patients, families, and the community. In the past year I have had the opportunity to speak with a unified voice for the profession of nursing at the national level as a member of the American Nurses Association Membership Assembly.
What would I like to say to future generations of Black nurses? We need you. The world needs black nurses at all levels of the profession and for so many reasons. While it is true that we need black nurses as caregivers, faculty, administrators, APRNs and nurse scientists to bring diverse perspectives and to better serve an increasingly diverse community; it is also true that we just need more black nurses to comfortably exist in their professional path. Perhaps with no extra responsibilities based on race but just present and working comfortably to the top of their license. This representation and ability to just exist comfortably in your profession is what so many are working to ensure exists for the future generation of black nurses.
The professional accomplishments that I am most proud of are being inducted into the Ohio Nurses Association's Cornelius Leadership Congress in 2015 and receiving the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center Presidential Medal of Honor in 2019. Both of these awards are amongst the highest awards that can be received and they are based on nomination and recognition from other nurses and healthcare leaders. To earn the trust and recognition from my colleagues is a privilege and an honor of which I am most proud.”