The "gem of an idea" for an organization of Black nursing faculty took root when Dr. Sallie Tucker-Allen was a doctoral student at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Her dissertation study, Commitment of Leaders of Nursing, gave her the opportunity to locate the 42 Black faculty members teaching in eighteen (18) National League for Nursing accredited baccalaureate schools of nursing in the state of Illinois. She invited the 42 Black faculty members to her home for brunch on September 6, 1986, to which 21 responded. These 21 foresighted women elected a Planning and Advisory Committee and charged them with the task of drawing up a constitution and by-laws for continuation of the group. On March 1, 1987, the by-laws were ratified and the Association of Black Nursing Faculty in Higher Education, Inc., the first name selected became an official organization. Later, the name was shortened to and remains, Association of Black Nursing Faculty, Inc. (ABNF).
Founding members of ABNF are those fifteen members from Illinois who worked to form the organization from that first meeting in September 1986 to September 19, 1987 when ABNF became a national organization. Portia Foster of Alabama was the first Black nursing faculty member to join ABNF after the organization became a national organization. The First Annual Meeting with a theme of "Funded Nursing Research: A Critical Issue for Black Faculty" was held on August 6, 1988 at Loews La Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington, DC. Dr. Hattie Bessent and Dr. Helen Grace received the Lifetime Achievement in Education and Research Awards. Dr. M. Elizabeth Carnegie was selected as the first Honorary Member. Dr. Ada Sue Hinshaw, then director of the National Center for Nursing Research, was the first keynote speaker.
Northwestern University, The Arch
To reduce healthcare disparities among minority communities by contributing to the global scholarly discourse.
To promote and widely disseminate the research and other scholarly works of the minority nurse academician.
The purpose of the Association of Black Nursing Faculty is to form and maintain a group whereby Black professional nurses with similar credentials, interest and concerns may work to promote health-related issues and educational interests for the benefit of themselves and the Black community.