Vincentian nurse receives Black Nurses Annual Award

Dr. Olga Husbands with plaque.   Kyle Bailey
Dr. Olga Husbands with plaque.
Kyle Bailey

Dr. Olga Husbands, the incumbent president of the Brooklyn-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Nurses Association and executive member of the Caribbean American Nurses Association, Inc. (CANA) on Friday received the Black Nurses Annual Award for “Excellent Service to the Nursing Profession and the Community-at-Large.”

Dr. Husbands, who holds a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) from Wilkes University in WilkesBarre, PA, was nominated by CANA for the honor.

“First, I thank God for seeing me through all that I have gone through in life,” Dr. Husbands, manager for Nursing Operations and Systems at NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital on Manhattan’s lower East Side, told Caribbean Life in an exclusive interview. “I am grateful and truly humbled that the Caribbean American Nurses Association and St. Vincent and the Grenadines Nurses Association considered me for this award.

“In my mind, I do what many nurse leaders do — which is to advocate not only for the care of our patients but for our staff to have the tools they need to deliver safe and effective care for our patients,” she said. “Again, I thank the Caribbean American Nurses Assoc, Inc., the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Nurses Association, Inc., my family and friends, who have and continue to support me and my mentor, Dr. (Althea) Mighten (Jamaican national).”

Dr. Husbands dedicated the award in memory of her mother, Mary Diamond, who went to the Great Beyond on April 2, 2012, and to her husband, Anthony Husbands, who succumbed to COVID-19 on June 2 last year.

She said her late mother was “the driving force of my becoming a nurse, even organizing my first job at the very hospital she worked at as a nurse’s aide.”

Dr. Husbands said her late husband had “encouraged” her throughout her nursing career.

“He was my number one supporter and never discouraged me from the many times I decided to go back to school and further my education,” she said. “He was especially supportive when I was acquiring the Doctorate in Nursing Practice by proofreading my papers and picking me up when I stayed back many late nights completing assignments. I know he is smiling down from Heaven.”

Dr. Husbands said she began her nursing career as a nurse’s aide and climbed the academic ladder becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), then earning an associate’s degree as a Registered Nurse (RN).

She followed them up with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN) from the College of Mount St. Vincent on Riverdale Avenue in the Bronx.

In continuing her education, Husbands obtained a master’s degree as an Adult Nurse Practitioner (NP) at Adelphi University, Garden City, Long Is. She also certified an Orthopedic Nurse and intends to sit the exam for Nurse Executive Certification.

In her role as Manager for Nursing Operations and Systems at NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital, Dr. Husbands said she leads staff nurses in the development of safe systems “that support coordination of operational and clinical practice, which includes the selection of products and the implementation and optimization of the electronic health record.”

Besides being very active in CANA and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Nurses Association, Dr. Husbands said she finds time to participate in activities with, among others, the Brooklyn-based Vincentian umbrella group in the United States, Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organizations, U.S.A. Inc. (COSAGO); the annual Vincy Day USA celebration at Heckscher State Park, East Islip, Long Is.; the New York Organization of Nurse Executive Leaders (NYONEL); the National Association of Orthopedic Nurses (NAON); and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).