WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Wichita Black Nurses Association celebrated its 50th anniversary in community service on Saturday.

They started out with blood pressure and glucose checks, then moved on to doing immunizations and helping with COVID-19.

The Wichita Black Nurses Association’s mission is to address health equities and disparities across the city. They also want to give nurses the knowledge they need to advance and serve their communities.

“One of the things we are wrestling with today is that there is a nursing shortage. So we are really going into the elementary schools and the junior high schools and high schools encouraging others to come into the profession,” said Martha Dawson, the 13th president of the National Black Nurses Association.

The Association also wants to encourage more diversity within the nursing field, pointing out that only 7.8% of nurses are African-American.