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Martha A. Dawson is an Associate Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing (UAB SON). She is a transformative-servant leader and is the 13th President of the National Black Nurses’ Association (NBNA).Dr. Dawson practices in the domains of systematology, organizational culture, anti-racism, and translational science. She served in senior positions such as VP of Clinical Affairs & Operations, Chief Nurse Officer (CNO), Associate CNO, and Director of Nursing Finance.Her advocacy, service, and scholarship impact are fostering health equity, addressing career-mobility barriers, improving workforce diversity and dismantling systemic and institutional inequalities. She advocates to improve health outcomes by addressing healthcare inequities, policies, and community engagement.

Dr. Dawson is a co-convener of the Black Coalition Against COVID, reaching over 7 million individuals; co-lead of the American Nurses Association’s 2020 National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing; and serveson the Direct Relief Health Equity Advisory Board, providing 19.4 million to 99 local organizations addressing determinants of health. She is a Sparkman Global Health Scholar, Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Executive Fellow alumina, a Johnson & Johnson Wharton Nurse Administrative Fellow alumina, and a 2019 Alabama Nurse Hall of Fame recipient. In 2021, she started the NBNA Mini Nurse Academy in 10 elementary schools to increase diversity and grow the nursing workforce.

Dr. Dawson earned her BSN and MSN from UAB SON, and DNP from Case Western Reserve University Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. She completed her hospital administration residency at Gaston Memorial Hospitalin North Carolina.

Dawson 1

Martha Dawson


Associate Professor & President/CEO

University of Alabama at Birmingham & The National Black Nurses Association


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