Nurse and Author Jeanne Bryner to Speak at Kent State Tuscarawas
Jeanne Bryner, RN, B.A., CEN, will present “Juba: The Life of Nurse Humanitarian, Helen L. Albert” at Kent State University at Tuscarawas on Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. in Founders Hall Academic Learning Commons. Albert was the first black nurse hired in Trumbull County, Ohio. The presentation is free and open to the public.
“Helen Albert’s life is a history of firsts,” Bryner says. “As part of the great northern migration, she was the first black registered nurse hired in Trumbull County. A year later, the first black student was accepted at Trumbull Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. At St. Joseph’s Hospital, she served as the first black head nurse, and later, nursing supervisor of the entire hospital.”
Albert also was the first black citizen to be the honorary mayor of Warren, Ohio. She practiced nursing for more than 50 years and is the recipient of numerous local, national and international awards.
“The written history of black nurses is not commensurate with their contributions to society,” Bryner says. “Preserving such history teaches us how geography, race and education affect our lives and world. When we learn how education has been delivered in the past to nurses, especially minority nurses, we have a deeper appreciation of progress in professionalism. Studying past racial and gender issues explores the dynamics of power and marginalized populations.”
Bryner has been a practicing registered nurse for more than three decades and a writing teacher for more than 25 years. A graduate of Trumbull Memorial Hospital School of Nursing and Kent State University’s Honors College, she has won awards for community service, nursing and writing. Her prose and poetry appears in national and international journals, anthologies and textbooks. To facilitate the healing power of language, she teaches writing workshops in cancer support groups, nursing homes, schools and universities.
Bryner has received writing fellowships from Bucknell University, the Ohio Arts Council and Vermont Studio Center. Her poetry has been adapted for the stage and performed in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania and Edinburgh, Scotland. Her new play, Foxglove Canyon, is adapted from one of her short stories. Her books in print are Breathless; Blind Horse: Poems; Eclipse: Stories; Tenderly Lift Me: Nurses Honored, Celebrated and Remembered; Now Matter How Many Windows; and Smoke: Poems.