It is my honor to introduce readers to Dr. Gaurdia Banister as a Guardian of our Discipline of Nursology. I have known of Dr. Banister for several years and most recently am having the pleasure of her membership on one of the University of Massachusetts Boston PhD nursology program learner’s dissertation committee (I am chair of the committee).
Dr. Banister has been providing exceptionally insightful and supportive comments and edits for the learner’s dissertation proposal. I am confident that Dr. Banister will continue to provide important input as our learner’s dissertation research progresses.
I recently learned that Dr. Banister is retiring from her position at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). On July 9, 2023, Dr. Banister shared this information with our learner and other dissertation committee members by forwarding Dr. Debbie Burke’s announcement of Dr. Banister’s retirement. With Dr. Burke’s permission, I am sharing her announcement of Dr. Banister’s retirement, which includes many of Dr. Banister’s impressive and important contributions to nursology. Debbie Burke, RN, DNP, NEA-BC, is the senior Vice President for Patient Care and Chief Nurse at Massachusetts General Brigham | Massachusetts General Hospital located in Boston, Massachusetts. She also holds the Jeanette Ives and Paul Erickson Chair in Nursing at the Institute of Health Professions School of Nursing, where she is the Associate Dean, Clinical Affairs
Dr. Burke wrote:
It is with mixed emotions but warm wishes that I announce the retirement of Dr. Gaurdia Banister, effective October 1, 2023. Dr. Banister joined Mass General in August 2007 as the inaugural executive director of the Institute for Patient Care and assumed the additional accountability as director of the Yvonne L. Munn Center for Nursing Research in April 2017. Gaurdia was appointed as the incumbent of the Connell–Jones Endowed Chair for Nursing and Patient Care Research and assists in ensuring that Nursing and Patient Care Services at MGH sustain and advances its exemplary professional practice environment. This includes supporting education and professional development, research, patient education, and innovation.
Gaurdia is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and received the American Nurses Association’s Mary Eliza Mahoney award and the American Organization of Nurse Executives’ Prism award for her outstanding achievements and leadership in promoting the integration, retention, and advancement of minorities in nursing. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Black Nurses Association.
Gaurdia is active professionally as a member of the American Nurses Association, the Organization of Nurse Leaders – MA, RI, NH, CT, VT., and the Institute for Nursing Leadership at the American Academy of Nursing. She serves as a board member of the New England Regional Black Nurses Association and is a Lifetime member of the National Black Nurses Association. In addition, Dr. Banister serves as a board member of the Massachusetts Health Council and an advisory member at the Museum of Science, Boston.
Gaurdia received a PhD in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing in Psychiatric–Mental Health Nursing and Nursing Administration from the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing. She was honored as an Outstanding Alumna. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The University of Wyoming, Laramie.
When I think of Gaurdia’s legacy at Mass General, here are just a few things that come to mind:
- Gaurdia’s leadership in promoting opportunities for nurses and other healthcare professionals to become the best clinicians and leaders they can be through the provision of robust professional development and advancement opportunities.
- Gaurdia’s commitment to ensuring that leadership and staff have a voice in key decisions that impact their practice and quality of work-life through collaborative governance.
- Gaurdia’s unwavering passion for advancing the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) agenda and weaving it into the fabric of all that we do. She has co-directed the Clinical Leadership Collaborative for Diversity in Nursing (CLCDN) since September 2007.
- Gaurdia’s pursuit of and acquisition of $897,000 of grant funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to study the “Resilience and Mental Health Among Health Professional Workforce” (Serves as Principal Investigator)
- Gaurdia’s collaboration with the Yvonne L. Munn Center for Nursing Research to conduct research during COVID-19, resulted in the following publication:
- Banister, G., Carroll, D. L., Dickins, K., Flanagan, J., Jones, D., Looby, S. E., & Cahill, J. E. (2022). Nurse‐sensitive indicators during COVID‐19. International Journal of Nursing Knowledge, [33(3), 234–244. https://doi.org/10.1111/2047-3095.12372]
- Gaurdia’s co-creation and co-leadership of the MGH-IHP [Institute of Health Professions] Research Collaborative.
- Gaurdia’s cultivation of an interest in nursing research with the creation of the Diversity Nursing Research Scholars program.
- Gaurdia’s enthusiasm and energy to ensure that the professional practice environment at Mass General is strong and supportive.
I am certain that the Mass General Community acknowledges these impacts and so much more. Please join me in thanking Gaurdia for her years of dedicated service and wishing her the best in the years ahead.
With admiration, Debbie
Jacqueline Fawcett adds:
I am confident that all readers of nursology.net will join me in congratulating Dr. Banister and wishing her much enjoyment in the next phase of her life.
Thank you, Dr. Banister, for all of your exceptional contributions to nursology, to all nursologists, and to the healthcare practice environment.