After 23 years of hard work in the field of nursing, Shawntay Harris earned a prestigious honor — induction into the Academy of Emergency Nurses.
The program, which was founded in 2004, spotlights nurses who have made significant contributions to the nursing industry, KXXV reports. And when she began reviewing the academy’s existing members, Harris realized her addition to the esteemed group of inductees was a major moment, with her making history as the first Black woman to be a part of the academy.
“Then when I looked at the other members of the academy, I was like ‘Oh, no, there’s no one else who looks like me,’ — I will be making history if inducted,” she said.
“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.
Harris, who resides in Killeen, Texas, first kicked off her nursing career in 2000 with a strong desire to make a positive impact. After serving as an emergency nurse for several years, she established Eminent CPR in 2006, focusing on providing comprehensive training in association with the American Heart Association and the Emergency Nurses Association, as well as her own specialized courses.
Her goal within the academy is to continue fostering diversity and helping others.
“My goal in the academy is to keep doing what we’ve done,” Harris said. “We want to diversify the academy, create mentorship programs so that others feel comfortable applying and help them through.”
Photo by Shawntay Harris / LinkedIn