8 HBCUs Contributing to the Field of Nursing

by Carol Sandoval

As demographics in the United States become increasingly diverse, the demand for culturally-competent nurses is crucial to providing quality healthcare to diverse populations. By 2055, non-whites will be the majority in the United States (Cohn & Camount, 2016). Despite demographic changes, minority nursing students continue to remain disproportionately underrepresented in the nursing profession (McQueen & Zimmerman, 2004), as a survey completed by the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses (2009) found that black nurses represent 4.9% of registered nurses in the United States, while Latino/Hispanic account for only 2%. In an effort to address the low representation of underrepresented minorities in the nursing profession, Historically Black Colleges and Universities have worked diligently to create educational opportunities for nursing students. Today’s MSI Line Up highlights eight HBCUs with nursing programs.

1) Bowie State University (HBCU)—Bowie, MD

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Bowie State University offers both a bachelor degree in nursing and a Master of Science in nursing. In addition to taking nursing classes, students are required to complete community-based clinical shifts. Their state-of-the-art nursing simulation lab provides students with hands-on experience. Bowie’s mission further states that the Department of Nursing is “committed to increasing diverse representation in the nursing profession” (bowiestate.edu).

2) Tuskegee University (HBCU)—Tuskegee, AL

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Tuskegee University was the first university to create a nursing baccalaureate program in the state of Alabama. Since 1948, Tuskegee have accomplished remarkable achievements. In 2017, Tuskegee had a 94.1 percent graduation rate and a 98 percent employment. The ideal Tuskegee student is “a complex biopsychosocial, cultural, spiritual, being who responds holistically to diverse and changing needs” (tuskegee.edu).

3) Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (HBCU)—Tallahassee, FL 

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Established in 1904 as a hospital based program, the School of Nursing at Florida A&M University became the first baccalaureate nursing program at an HBCU in 1936. Currently, the program offers both baccalaureate and master’s degrees in nursing. The FAMU School of Nursing mission statement is “to create a student-centered environment where knowledgeable, innovative, caring nurses can apply high quality, culturally appropriate care to meet the health needs of the residents of the state, the nation, and the global community” (famu.edu).

4) Fayetteville State University (HBCU)—Fayetteville, NC

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Students at Fayetteville State University receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing after the completion of four years of pre-nursing and upper division nursing curriculum. Fayettville hopes to “collaborate with interdisciplinary teams to provide culturally competent, patient centered care to clients throughout the lifecycle” and “to teach their students to “utilize the principles of economics and social justices to enhance accessibility to health care and thereby decreasing health disparities” (uncfsu.edu).

5) Winston-Salem State University (HBCU)—Winston-Salem, NC

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Before students can apply for admission to the nursing major, they must complete clinical practicums. These classes combine theory and public service experiences. These opportunities teach pre-nursing students about kindness, compassion, cultural competence and sensitivity in the clinic (wssu.edu).

6) North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (HBCU)—Greensboro, NC

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Founded in 1953, the College of Health and Human Sciences School of Nursing at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has played a major role in training the next generations of nurses. The nursing school offers bachelors degrees in nursing with three different tracks: traditional, accelerated second degree, and RN completion. With these three paths, NCAT prepares students from a spectrum of educational backgrounds (ncat.edu).

7) North Carolina Central University (HBCU)—Durham, NC

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North Carolina Central University largely contributes to the number of nurse practitioners. The Department of Nursing at NCCU graduates 60-75 nursing students each year. One of NCCU Nursing’s main objectives is to “integrate principles of culturally competent care for individuals, groups, and/or communities within diverse populations” (nccu.edu).

8) Hampton University (HBCU)—Hampton, VA

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With campuses in Hampton, VA and Virginia Beach, VA, the Hampton University School of Nursing offers nursing programs at all levels of higher education. It offers bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and Ph.D.s in nursing. For all degrees, Hampton pushes its students to understand how “social, cultural, economic, political, and biological environments affect both personal and community health (hamptonu.edu).

Know of other exceptional nursing programs at HBCUs? Share in the comments below!

Historic HBCU Chapels

by Kevin Lamár Peterman

For more than 150 years, chapels at historically black colleges and universities have been vibrant spaces for students to learn, connect and grow. It is here that students develop spiritually and practice their respective faith traditions. HBCU chapels render unique experiences for students who seek to connect their scholarship with their faith. Chapels have also served as the hub for activism and civic learning on HBCU campuses. Many chapels regularly host nationally recognized speakers, clergy members and elected officials. This week’s MSI Line Up highlights a few historic HBCU Chapels.

1) Tougaloo College Woodworth Chapel (HBCU)Tougaloo, Mississippi


The Woodworth Chapel at Tougaloo College sits at the center of the physical campus and is central to the student experience. It was named in honor of Dr. Frank G. Woodworth who served as Tougaloo College president from 1887 to 1912.The Queen Anne style building was constructed in 1901. The Chapel served as a meeting place during the Civil Rights Movement for those who sought to gather as they advanced causes for freedom, justice and equality in Mississippi. The mission of the chapel is supported by the United Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ. The Rev. Larry Johnson is responsible for the affairs of the chapel as the current College Chaplain.

2. Howard University Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel (HBCU)Washington, D.C.


The Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel at Howard University was constructed in 1896. The chapel is named after the brother of Jeremiah Rankin, the university’s sixth president. At total of 5,000 was donated to the university to build the edifice by the Rankin family in his honor. For more than a century, it has served as an incubator for activism and spiritual life and revered as the “heart of the Mecca”. Howard University became the university in the Unites States to designate a Dean of the Chapel when Dr. Howard Thurman was appointed to lead the university’s spiritual and religious affairs. Today, the chapel is led by the Dr. Bernard L. Richardson. The Office of the Dean of the Chapel host weekly worship services that expose students to some of the world’s most outstanding clergy, scholars and civic leaders.

3) Spelman College Sisters Chapel (HCBU)Atlanta, GA


Sisters Chapel in conjunction with the WISDOM Center is the home of spiritual life at Spelman College. The edifice was officially dedicated in 1927 and has become a transformative space for thinking women of faith who seek to integrate the mind and the spirit as they engage the world and become global leaders. Worship services are held each week under the leadership of the Chapel Staff, Chapel Assistants and Art Ministry Leaders. In 1968, the Chapel welcomed thousands of visitors as it held the remains of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  who laid in state for 48 hours. In 2013, the Lilly Foundation funded the Chapel’s first published anthology entitled, If I Do What Spirit Says Do: Black Women, Vocation, and Community Survival. Dr. Neichelle Guidry was recently appointed Dean of the Chapel and Director of the WISDOM Center.

4) Tuskegee University Chapel (HBCU)Tuskegee, AL


The Tuskegee University Chapel serves as the center of campus for religious, cultural and intellectual gatherings. The original edifice was designed and constructed by Robert R. Taylor, the first African American graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology between 1896 and 1898. This structure destroyed in a fire in 1957 and the present building was opened to the public in 1969. The present chapel is a work of art and is studied by students of architecture throughout the United States because of its unique and distinguish design, having no right angles. The chapel is known for its vibrant worship services held each Sunday. Dr. Gregory S. Gray presently serves as the Dean of the Chapel.

5) The Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel (HBCU)Atlanta, GA


The Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel was dedicated in 1978. The Chapel is a living memorial to the ministry and prophetic legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who graduated from the college in 1948. Dr. Lawrence Edward Carter has served as the Dean of the Chapel since 1979. He is credited for creating the Morehouse Chapel Assistants Program, a student organization that develops leaders while teaching practical skills needed to develop effective ministries. This program has produced many of the nation’s most effective preachers and clergymen. The Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel aims to teach excellence, ethics, equality and engagement. Each year the chapel honors religious leaders from across the United States at the annual Ministers & Laity Crown Forum and inducts these individuals into the Morehouse College Board of Preachers.

Know of other chapels at HBCUs? Share them in the comments below!

The History Behind 6 HBCU Seals

by Melanie Wolff and Kelly Lewis 

You see these symbols everywhere on campus, but do you know what they represent? Many college and university school seals represent interesting aspects of an institution’s heritage or mission. Today’s Morning MSI Line Up tells the histories of six HBCU seals!

1) Xavier University of Louisiana (HBCU)New Orleans, LA


As the only Catholic HBCU, Xavier’s seal reflects its religious history. The green field represents confidence in God. The lion is a symbol of courage and strength, standing for the Xavier student nourished with the wheat.The wheat can also stand for the founders of the universitythe Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. The Crescent has a double meaninga symbol of the city of New Orleans, as well as the Virgin Mary.

2) Howard University (HBCU)Washington, D.C.


Adopted in 1867, the original Howard seal represented the daring concept of a university open to education for all races, male or female. This is defined further by the different nationalities represented around the globe, and the original motto, “Equal rights and Knowledge for all.” Changed around 1910 to represent school trustee Booker T. Washington’s perspective on industrial education for blacks, the new seal represented a less “radical” approach to education than originally envisioned for the institution. Despite this shift, the school was still seen, as one school dean put it, as “the national university for the colored race.”

3) Spelman College (HBCU)Atlanta, GA


Spelman’s motto, “Our Whole School for Christ,” is embedded in the seal as a testament to the faith of the school’s founders, though the institution itself is non-denominational. The star in the seal is the “Star of Service,” representing the original 6 departments at Spelman – College, Teacher Training, Nurse Training, Music, Academy, and High School.

 4) Clark Atlanta University  (HBCU)Atlanta, GA


The University’s seal combines the emblems of its parent institutions – Clark College and Atlanta University – into one. The open book represents the search for and transmission of knowledge, containing the sword of truth and torch of knowledge. The pages of the book also contain the founding dates of the parent institutions. The lamp is meant to represent the illumination of the mind.

5) Morehouse College (HBCU)Atlanta, GA


Morehouse College might have one of the most recognizable seals in the HBCU community. Often illustrated in the color maroon, the Morehouse’s seal is a visual representation of its motto, Et facta est lux – the truth is light. The truth is represented by the sun emerging from the clouds.

6) Harris-Stowe State University  (HBCU)—St. Louis, MO


Harris-Stowe State was originally two schools, whose namesakes – William Torrey Harris and Harriet Breecher Stowe – appear on the seal. The Harris Teachers College, founded in 1857, only educated white teachers for the city of St. Louis, while Harris Stowe Teachers College was founded in 1890 as a normal school for black teachers in St. Louis. In a step to integrate the St. Louis Public School System, the two teachers colleges were merged into one in 1954. As such, it played a pivotal role in advancing racial equality in the area.

Harris-Stowe’s school motto is “affordable, accessible, diverse,” or, as it is written on the seal in Latin, “not many things, but much.” According to the school’s website, it is the most affordable Baccalaureate program in the metropolitan area, and about 85% of its students receive financial aid – holding true to its motto for its students.

Know of other HBCU official seal histories? Share them in the comments below!