20 Nurse Leaders Advocating for Health Equity to Follow on Social Media

Gayle Morris, MSN
Updated March 3, 2023
    Leaders can set the direction and inspire a vision for the future. These nurse leaders are shedding a light on health disparities and advocating for change.
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    Black History Month’s theme for 2022 is “Black Health and Wellness.” In addition to celebrating the legacy of Black nurses and healthcare providers, this month’s theme highlights how the American healthcare system often underserves Black communities and the ways to advocate for change.

    Social media is a powerful way to connect with those who are advocating for health equity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health equity is only achieved when every person has the opportunity to achieve their full health potential.

    On this page, meet 20 registered nurses (RNs) fighting for health equity. The hope is to eliminate disparities and achieve optimal health for all who want it. The brief profiles of these nurse leaders may inspire you to take steps in your own community.

    Nurse Leaders Promoting Health Equity to Follow on Social Media

    Leadership is required for change to happen, and leaders can cast a vision for the future. The following nurse leaders are at the forefront in the fight for health equity. Follow them to stay up to date on the latest research and discussions on healthcare equity and learn how you can advocate too.

    1. Patrick McMurray, RN | @NursePatMacRN

    McMurray created a website for nurses to focus on diversity and equity in nursing practice and education. He started his career with an associate degree, and then completed a bachelor’s and a master of science in nursing. He has a background in cardiovascular critical care medicine.

    2. Anna Maria Valdez, Ph.D., RN, CEN, CNE, CFRN, FAEN, FAADN | @drannamvaldez

    Valdez is a lifetime member of the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) and a presenter on diversity, equity, and inclusion. She supports and promotes the ENA Diverse Voices Research Fellowship for researchers from underrepresented communities.

    3. Charlene Platon, RN | @CharlenePlaton

    Platon launched Fifth Window to prioritize the well-being of healthcare providers. The site plans to have tools and a community space to promote a culture of resiliency. She is a nurse leader, innovator, and millennial living in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    4. Rachel Radyk (WaabanoKwe), RPN, BScN, BAComMS | @RadykRachel

    Canadian nurse Radyk is passionate about advocating for health equity for Indigenous peoples. She’s a member of the Indigenous Nurses and Allies Interest Group. The group’s goal is to foster an environment free of racism and discrimination, It also promotes culturally focused healthcare.

    Radyk’s nursing experience includes cardiology, emergency medicine, medical/surgical care, and Indigenous healthcare.

    5. Ravenne Aponte, BA, BSN | @RavenneAponte

    Aponte is a Ph.D. student at the University of Pennsylvania. She is active on Twitter where she shares news and information that supports health equity and Black history.

    6. Margaret Moss, Ph.D. | @mpm40

    Moss was recently named one of Forbes 50 Over 50 Impact women. Criteria included people who change their communities through entrepreneurship, advocacy, and education. She has a Ph.D. in nursing and a JD. She lives in Vancouver and is the author of “American Indian Health and Nursing.”

    7. Jess Dillard-Wright, Ph.D., MA, RN, CNM | @jdillardwright

    Wright is a feminist and activist in her community, seeking to develop an equitable future. She is from Augusta, Georgia, where she is a faculty member at Augusta University College of Nursing. She is also the director of the college’s Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

    8. Lucinda Canty, Ph.D., CNM | @LucindaCantyPhD

    Canty is a nurse midwife, researcher, professor, historian, and feminist. She advocates for reproductive health rights and is a faculty member at the University of St. Joseph, Connecticut. She is also a passionate advocate for social justice. Canty works to reduce maternal mortality and on how nurses can address health disparities in maternal outcomes. She promotes the creation of a safe space for Black women in healthcare.

    9. Misty Wilkie, Ph.D., RN, FAAN | @MistyWilko

    Wilkie is the Bemidji State University director of Niganawenimaanaanig, a support community for Indigenous students in the university’s bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) and RN-to-BSN programs. The community provides a culturally grounded, supportive community to advocate for staff and students.

    10. Shal (Diné), Ph.D., RN, PMHNP-BC, GNP | @shalkahnjohn

    John promotes and supports the Diné, or the people of the Navajo tribe. They are the largest tribe of Indigeneous Americans after the Cherokee, with more than 300,000 registered members. John speaks on KTNN radio with spiritual leaders about genetic research and supports spirituality, discipline, compassion, and positivity in her culture.

    11. Beverly Malone, Ph.D. | @DrBevMalone

    Malone lives in Washington, D.C., and is the CEO and President of the National League for Nursing. She has participated in education, policy decisions, administration, and clinical practice. She was the general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing and is dedicated to excellence in nursing and promoting health equity across all cultures.

    12. Adrianna Nava, Ph.D., MPA, MSN, RN | @Adrianna_Nava

    Nava is the president of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses and alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania. She has dedicated much of her career to serving the Latino/a community and the VA Healthcare system. As the Chief of QSI at VA Hines Medical Center, she works to empower other Latinos/as to overcome barriers in the workplace and take on leadership roles.

    13. Tiffany M. Montgomery, Ph.D., MSHP, RNC-OB | @drtiffmonique

    Montgomery is the associate editor of Nursing for Women’s Health Journal, with the mission to translate evidence-based science to practice. She is also an assistant professor in the nursing program at Temple University and founder of Nursing Dreams. This nonprofit organization supports nurses with direction, encouragement, and assistance.

    She cochairs the National Black Nurses Association Women’s Health Committee and is a mentor from Open-Door Abuse Awareness Prevention for high school girls.

    14. The Reverend Dr. Auntie Michelle Drew, DNP, MPH, APRN-BC | @iamn0tthe1

    Drew is an adjunct professor at Texas Woman’s University, certified nurse midwife, and advanced practice nurse at Christiana Care Health System. She is the executive director of Ubuntu Black Family Wellness Collective in Newark, Delaware, where she promotes work with the community to correct healthcare inequities in Black mothers and babies.

    Her goal is to watch Black families thrive through support, open care, education, and a community doula program.

    15. Monica McLemore, Ph.D., MPH, RN, FAAN | @mclemoremr

    McLemore is a scientist and associate professor of family healthcare nursing at the University of California, San Francisco. She is a self-proclaimed “badass thinker” who fights for reproductive justice. She has retired from clinical practice but focuses her clinical knowledge on reproductive health research.

    16. Lauren Underwood, MSN, MPH | @RepUnderwood

    Underwood is a nurse and health enthusiast who was elected to the Illinois 14th district House of Representatives. She advocates for the health and wellness of working families. Underwood is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and the Veteran Affairs Committee. She is the youngest Black woman to serve in the House.

    17. Danielle McCamey, DNP, CRNP, ACNP-BC, FCCP | @DrMcCamey

    McCamey is the founder and CEO of DNPs of Color, a 501(c)3 organization that focuses on empowering nurses to transform the landscape through diversity. Its mission is to serve DNPs of color through nursing mentorship, advocacy, and networking. The organization supports leadership opportunities, education, and mentorship for those pursuing a DNP.

    18. Jennifer Woo, CNM | @CnmWoo

    Woo is a midwife and assistant professor of nursing at Texas Woman’s University. She is a researcher with special interests in birth equity, health disparities, and how vitamin D affects birth outcomes, sleep quality, and preeclampsia.

    19. Kenya Beard, Ed.D., AGACNP-BC, CNE, ANEF, FAAN | @kenyabeard19

    Beard is the associate provost at Chamberlain University and a past senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement. She has a passion for providing ways to eliminate healthcare disparities through a diversified workforce.

    She currently is serving on the editorial board for the American Journal of Nursing and co-authored a National Academy of Medicine Perspectives commentary, “Dismantling Systemic Racism and Advancing Health Equity throughout Research.”

    20. Milagros R. Elia, MA, APRN, ANP-BC | @Milagros1Elia

    Elia is an advanced practice nurse in oncology with experience in the clinic and community. She advocates for environmental conservation and health equity through policy advocacy and as a certified climate for health ambassador.

    She is the founder of M. Elia Nature-Based Healthcare Solutions. This company offers program development, presentations, and workshops to carry out solutions to protect a community’s ecosystem and public health.