Our History

Visionary Eunice Gibson

Founder (President from 1936-1946)

Our History

The Barbados Nurses Association (BNA) was formerly the Barbados Registered Nurses Association (BRNA) and is a not for profit Association.

It was founded in the decade of the thirties by a great nurse, the innovative and visionary Eunice Gibson, who saw the need for unity and a professional fraternity, at a time when there was growing restlessness and discontent among nurses at the Barbados General Hospital, due to appalling conditions of service at the time.

The vision and foresight of Miss Gibson along with support from eleven farsighted colleagues resulted in the formation of the BRNA in July 1936. The association has been blessed with a number of outstanding persons at the helm and the present President is Mrs. C. Joannah Waterman.

The Association was incorporated by an Act of Parliament on February 15th, 1943 under CAP 354 of the Laws of Barbados through the BRNA Act 1943-146. The Act makes provision for the BRNA as a body politic and corporate to:

• Manage its own internal affairs (set its own rules/regulations)
• Plan and execute programmes for the benefit of its members
• Engage in real estate transactions
• Negotiate loans for the benefit of its members
• Have perpetual succession – continue as an organization under its registered name.

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The BNA is a Professional Nurses Association and the second of its kind in the commonwealth Caribbean. It is recognised by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) as the duly representative National Nurses Association for Nurses in Barbados since 1957.

The BNA obtained trade union status in 1990 and has a Trade Union (SEW & Industrial Relations) Department. The BNA is a founding member of the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB). It negotiates with government under the umbrella of CTUSAB for terms and conditions of service for its members. The BNA meets with the Ministry of Health and the management of various institutions to discuss and agree on terms and conditions of service for its members, as well as other areas of concern to the members.

The management of the BNA is guided by the by-laws which are set out in the Constitution. The management structure of the BNA comprises the Executive Committee elected by the members and made up of 8 officers, 2 floor members, 5 Chairmen of committees and the Immediate Past President. These Executive Members with the exception of the Immediate Past President are elected every two years.

The Constitution is the final authority on the governance and management of the BNA. The Executive shall decide on any matter not addressed in the constitution, and the decision shall be binding on the members. The Executive Committee shall seek to canvass wide member opinions before making its decision on those matters. The Constitution makes provision for addressing vacancies, if occurring at times other than at elections. The structure provides for a potential 20 member Executive Committee to conduct the business of the BNA. An Administrative Officer and an Assistant administers the secretariat. A firm of Chartered Accountants audits the Association’s financial accounting annually.


Miss Eunice Gibson
1936 - 1946
Lady Rosita Scott
1946 - 1952
Miss Eunice Chandler
1952 - 1959
Mrs. Grace Jordan (now Grace Lady Jordan)
1959 - 1960
Mrs. Floretta Reeves
1960 - 1961
Mrs. Ilene Murray-Aynsley
1961 - 1965
Miss Grace Pilgrim
1965 - 1969
Rev. Colton Bennett
1969 - 1974
Mrs. Perleta Hinds
1974 - 1976
Mrs. Maria Babb
1976 - 1977
Miss Dorothy Ramsay
1977 - 1978
Mr. George Griffith
1978 - 1982
Mrs. Patricia Wickham
1982 - 1984
Mrs. Olga Devonish
1984 - 1987
Miss Eleane Hunte
1987 - 1990
Mrs. Peggy Rickinson
1990 - 1994
Mrs. Flynn Denny
1994 - 1996
Mrs. Angela Crawford
1996 - 2001
Mrs. Marion Howard
2001 - 2005
Mrs. Paulette Drakes
2005 - 2011
Mrs. Blondelle Mullin
2011 - 2017
Mrs. C. Joannah Waterman
2017 - 2020
Mrs. Valarie Francis-Miller
Dr. Fay G. Parris
PresidentsTerm of Office
Miss Eunice Gibson1936 - 1946
Lady Rosita Scott1946 - 1952
Miss Eunice Chandler1952 - 1959
Mrs. Grace Jordan (now Grace Lady Jordan)1959 - 1960
Mrs. Floretta Reeves1960 - 1961
Mrs. Ilene Murray-Aynsley1961 - 1965
Miss Grace Pilgrim1965 - 1969
Rev. Colton Bennett1969 - 1974
Mrs. Perleta Hinds1974 - 1976
Mrs. Maria Babb1976 - 1977
Miss Dorothy Ramsay1977 - 1978
Mr. George Griffith1978 - 1982
Mrs. Patricia Wickham1982 - 1984
Mrs. Olga Devonish1984 - 1987
Miss Eleane Hunte1987 - 1990
Mrs. Peggy Rickinson1990 - 1994
Mrs. Flynn Denny1994 - 1996
Mrs. Angela Crawford1996 - 2001
Mrs. Marion Howard2001 - 2005
Mrs. Paulette Drakes2005 - 2011
Mrs. Blondelle Mullin2011 - 2017
Mrs. C. Joannah Waterman2017 - 2020
Mrs. Valarie Francis-Miller2020-2023
Dr. Fay G. Parris2023-2025