The Central Florida Black Nurses Association of Orlando Awards Nursing Scholarships

Scholarship Recipients
CFBNA members
Dr. Martha Dawson, Immediate Past President NBNA (13th President) and Dr. Jennifer Sankey-Battles, CFBNA 13th President
Mrs. Bernice Edwards and Mrs. Susie Forehand, Co-Founders

ORLANDO – On September 30th, the CFBNA hosted its 39th Annual Scholarship and Awards Luncheon at the Rosen Plaza Hotel. Eloise Abrahams, chairperson, and committee members organized the program and beautifully decorated the room with blue and white décor. The program showcased the community’s organizational involvement and the recognition of the scholarship recipients.

There is a nursing shortage and the need for more people to enroll in and complete nursing programs. Nursing is a highly esteemed profession. Yet, nursing school is costly.

For the past 39 years, the Central Florida Black Nurses of Orlando has awarded scholarships to nursing students to incentivize the pursuit of a nursing degree and higher education in nursing.

A total of nine scholarship awards were given to the CFBNA members enrolled in nursing programs with degrees ranging from Associate of Science to doctorate level. Tenaka Brown, Judith Clark, Nycole Graham, Vanessa Johnson, Rose Miquel, Nadesha Phipps, Aisha Ryan, Trinity Shaw, and Iman Cyn Wilson were scholarship recipients. Funding sources for the scholarships were AdventHealth, Orlando Health, and Dan Kirby and family. This event aligns with the organization’s mission to advocate for the health and well-being of all.

During the luncheon, the room was filled with excitement and the attention of the audience captivated by the first-hand testimonials of the organization’s involvement in community activities and operational accomplishments. The program was emceed by Monica May, Mistress of Ceremony, with Bakari Burns as the keynote speaker. The highlights of the luncheon were:

  • The grand parade of the CFBNA members, CFBNA Advisory Board Members, and students of the Mini Nurses’ Academy from Ivey Lane Elementary School
  • Recognition of Founders Bernice Edwards and Susie Forehand, along with Mercedese Clark (deceased) for their vision of starting the organization 41 years ago.
  • Attendance by Dr. Martha Dawson, immediate past President of the National Black Nurses Association.
  • Host and hostess of the Jones High School LPN students

Heart-warming testimonials from Ivey Lane students of the Mini Nurse Academy and Principal, Community Health Worker, representative Sonia Stevenson, and the Jones High Licensed Practical Nursing students who benefited from services of the CFBNA reinforced the value that the CFBNA adds to the community.

The CFBNA of Orlando, 85 members strong, remains committed to advocating for the health wellbeing of all by being involved in the community and offering nursing scholarships to defray the cost of nursing education for undergraduate and graduate degree nursing programs. Dr. Jennifer Sankey-Battles remarked, “Our investment today is making a difference now, and preparing us for more fruitful services in the future”. If you are a nurse or know a nurse and want to become involved and learn more about our organization visit our website at We’d love to have you as part of our organization.