CHESTThought Leader BlogStronger Together: Danielle McCamey on Founding Specialty Group, DNPs of Color

Stronger Together: Danielle McCamey on Founding Specialty Group, DNPs of Color

Danielle McCamey, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC, FCCP

Danielle McCamey, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC, FCCPWhen Danielle McCamey, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC, FCCP, saw a lack of representation among her classmates while training for her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), she decided to found a new place for clinicians of color seeking greater connection and community. What started as online outreach has grown into DNPs of Color (DOCs), a 501c3 nonprofit nursing organization with the mission to increase diversity in doctoral studies, clinical practice, and leadership for nurses. Now, the organization offers its more than 2,000 international members a variety of opportunities for engagement in academia, research, and clinical practice, including an annual meeting featuring insights from leaders in medicine.

We spoke with Dr. McCamey about her path to starting DNPs of Color, what inspires her as a woman of color, and what Black History Month means to her.

What was your motivation behind starting DNPs of Color?

DNPs of Color was inspired by my experience of being the only Black woman at the start of my DNP program at a predominately White institution. I was the first in my family to pursue doctoral studies, and I found that I really needed a community to rely on for support that shared similar lived experiences. So I created a Facebook group to see if there were other nurses that felt the same way. Within a month of creating the group, nearly 200 individuals joined the private group sharing similar stories of needing a place that validated them, created a sense of belonging; a place to network, share ideas/best practices; and, most importantly, [a place that provided] acknowledgement—to be SEEN—because most often than not, a lot of individuals felt invisible or were constantly being told, whether overtly or subliminally, that they did not belong on this journey toward earning their DNP degree.

Why are organizations like DOCs important?

The DNP is the highest level of education a nurse can attain which focuses on clinical practice. DNPs influence health care outcomes through health care policy, organizational leadership, and translating nursing research into evidenced-based practice. DOCs brings together individuals who share similar experiences and perspectives, providing a supportive community for those who may feel underrepresented in the broader nursing community. Organizations like DOCs are important because focusing on diversity plays a crucial role in promoting equity and inclusion within the nursing profession. In addition, we can help to raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by nurses from diverse backgrounds and work toward creating a more inclusive work environment that ultimately plays a critical role in shaping the future of nursing and advancing health equity.

What inspires you as a Black woman in medicine?

I am inspired by the many opportunities we have in medicine to honor humanity through our service and commitment to health and advancing health equity.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History Month is a reminder of the spirit of resilience and resistance Black Americans have abundantly exuded time and time again, and it is a reminder that Black history is American history and should be recognized and honored every day.

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