|Celebrating Jamaican Nurses|
|Friday, 11 May 2012 11:17|
The Jamaican Nurses Association of Florida, Inc. (JNAF) celebrated National Nurses Week with their annual thanksgiving service at the Norland United Methodist Church in Miami Gardens on Sunday, May 6.
The association celebrated under the theme chosen by the American Nurses Association (ANA) for 2012 – "Nurses: Advocating, Leading, Caring."
Rev. Donald Lawrence, JNAF's Chaplain, officiated the special service, with Revs. Julia and Leonia Quinlan, pastors for the Norland United Methodist Church, assisting. The much celebrated JNAF choir also led the congregation along with lead singer Cassandra Pitters, under the direction of Ian Brown.
JNAF President, Dr. Marcia J. Derby Davis, gave the keynote address, discussing the nursing shortage in the U.S. and its impact on national healthcare. By 2020, the U.S. may face an even worse nursing crisis when a large portion of the profession becomes eligible for retirement. Today, the median age of nurses is 46, which makes up more than 50 percent of the nursing workforce.
Dr. Derby Davis also encouraged nurses to become engaged in local, national, and global professional organizations, and to advocate for safe high quality healthcare services.
Past president of the JNAF, Vashti Gordon ARNP, was also awarded for her many years of service from JNAF founder Joyce Harris-Wright.
The JNAF also continued their tradition of awarding the Ralph Farquharson scholarship award to a promising student. The winner for 2012 is Dwain Minto, who is currently a sophomore at Florida International University.
Jamaica Consul General, Sandra Grant Griffiths and Cheryl Wynter, Information Officer at the Jamaican Consulate General office in Miami, were also special guests at the service. Consul General Grant Griffiths congratulated the association and outlined upcoming plans for Jamaica's 50th anniversary activities in South Florida.
The Jamaican Nurses Association of Florida was founded in 1983 by Joyce Harris-Wright. The association was originally founded to help Jamaican nurses transition to their new professional lives in America. The JNAF later expanded its services to group volunteer programs and educational advancement support for its members. Committed to improving standards of healthcare, encouraging professional education, and strengthening cultural diversity and awareness, the JNAF boasts an active membership of volunteers from various sectors of the medical industry.
The JNAF has led medical missions to the Caribbean, as well as collected and distributed medical equipment and supplies to medical centers and community organizations catering to the poor in the U.S.
For this year, the JNAF will hold their annual Tea Party at the Hallandale Community Center on June 23. They will also host their annual Gospel Concert at the Sierra-Norwood Calvary Baptist Church on September 29 and their first all-White Dinner/Dance at the St. Mary Armenian Church in Cooper City on November 17.
National Nurses Week pays tribute to the thousands of nurses in the United States every year from May 6 through May 12. Established in 1997 by the American Nurses Association (ANA), National Nurses Week begins May 6 with National Nurses Day and honors students on May 8 for National Student Nurses Day. National Nurses Week concludes on May 12 with the celebration of International Nurses Day.