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New Leaders, Hall of Fame Inductee Highlight NC Nurses Convention

For Immediate Release


RALEIGH, N.C. – Nearly 500 Registered Nurses gathered in Winston-Salem last week to elect new leaders, honor award winners, network with colleagues, and earn valuable continuing nursing education. The 116th Annual Convention of the North Carolina Nurses Association (NCNA) featured internationally renowned speakers and home-grown leaders who are working to lead Nursing Forward® for the benefit of nurses and patients across the state. It also gave NCNA members the opportunity to review progress on its various priorities.

During the association’s Statewide Membership Forum, NCNA members installed Raleigh’s Trish Richardson, MSN, BSBA, RN, NE-BC, CMSRN, as its 56th president, along with the rest of its newly elected Board of Directors. Richardson, the Chief Nursing Officer of CareWork, is a past recipient of the NCNA Rookie of the Year Award and has been on the Board of Directors as President-elect since 2021.

“NCNA remains committed to all of our strategic priorities,” said Richardson. “And it’s up to us to increase the awareness of our over 120-year-old organization and to elevate the profession through advocacy and influence in our communities, our workplaces, and public policy.”

The newest inductee to NCNA’s Hall of Fame is Ernest Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN, a past president of NCNA and the immediate past president of the American Nurses Association. He currently works as Interim Vice Dean, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, at the Duke University School of Nursing.

New Leaders Installed after Election:

NCNA Board of Directors:

  • President: Trish Richardson, Raleigh
  • President-Elect: Bonnie Meadows, Belmont
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Thompson Forbes III, Greenville
  • Members at Large:
    • Susan Bachmeier, Wilkesboro
    • Nancy Dias, Durham
    • Torica Fuller, Raeford
    • Ashley Sholar, Wallace
  • Chair, Commission on Advanced Practice Nursing:
    • Kathleen Brandenburg, Ocean Isle Beach

Nominations Committee:

  • Amanda Sawyer, New Bern
  • Lara Sheppa, Cary
  • Leslie Sossoman, Concord

Chair, Bylaws Committee:

  • Briana Sullivan, Pfafftown

ANA Membership Assembly:

  • Trish Richardson, Raleigh
  • Bonnie Meadows, Belmont

Awards Granted:

  • Hall of Fame: Ernest Grant, Chapel Hill
  • Board of Directors Award – Joanne S. Stevens Political Nurse of the Year: Jan DiSantostefano, Apex
  • Board of Directors Award – Legislator of the Year:
    • Sen. Joyce Krawiec, Kernersville
    • Rep. Donna White, Clayton
  • Board of Directors Award – Mentorship in Nursing: Schquthia Peacock, Durham
  • Board of Directors Award – Certificate of Commendation: Atrium Health
  • Education Nurse of the Year: Mark Hand, Zebulon
  • Health Systems Nurse of the Year: Meg Garland, Raleigh
  • NC Nurses PAC Leadership Society Inductees:
    • Ernest Grant, Chapel Hill
    • Elaine Scherer, Biltmore Lake
  • Best Practice Award – Caring for Each Other: Atrium Health, Charlotte
  • Best Practice Award – Caring for Ourselves: CarolinaEast Medical Center, New Bern

Leadership Academy Graduates:

  • Wendy Butcher, Winston-Salem
  • Lori Elks, Lawndale
  • Emily Funk, Raleigh
  • Carissa Haney, Apex
  • Cascelia Howard, Huntersville
  • Priscilla Huggins, Hope Mills
  • Jennifer Perry, Greenville
  • Doug Phillips, Southern Pines
  • Jamie Rouse, Maggie Valley
  • Laura Schlabach, Raleigh
  • Stacey Schlesinger, Statesville
  • Kara Timmons, Belmont
  • Lainie Weitkamp, Wake Forest
  • Mandy Triplett, Zebulon (Class of 2022)



Chris Cowperthwaite, APR
Director of Communications & Outreach
(919) 821-4250 or

As the leading professional organization for North Carolina’s registered nurses, we equip nurses at all stages to thrive in an ever-changing healthcare environment. NCNA helps keep North Carolina nurses on the cutting edge of nursing practice, policy, education, and more. Join us as we work to advance nursing and ensure high-quality healthcare for everyone.

Established in 1902, NCNA provides continuing education, networking and legislative advocacy for registered nurses throughout North Carolina. For more information, please visit

The North Carolina Nurses Association serves the changing needs of its members, addresses nursing issues, and advocates for the health and well-being of all people.