The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action is pleased to introduce its National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) trainers. This group of 11 is comprised of nursing leaders and faculty from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) and American Indian/Alaska Native-(AIAN) serving institutions.

Each trainer participated in a workshop co-sponsored by the Campaign for Action and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). That training about the newly revised NCLEX, “Next Generation NCLEX,” was to help participants prepare nursing schools for the new test. Each trainer has agreed to offer several pro bono trainings to HBCUs, HSIs, and AIAN-serving nursing schools.

NCLEX Trainers can provide knowledge on:

  • Developing clinical judgment scenarios and case studies in the style of the Next Generation NCLEX;
  • Understanding the NCSBN Action Model;
  • Understanding the case study structure;
  • Navigating each item type;
  • Accessing additional NCSBN resources.

This work is a continuation of the Campaign‘s commitment to schools of nursing from HBCUs, HSIs, and AIAN-serving institutions. The Campaign, an initiative of AARP Foundation, AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, hosts monthly learning collaboratives, offered through their mentoring initiative, to provide peer to peer support and technical assistance.

Questions about the training? Contact Jazmine Cooper, Project Advisor, at

Meet the Trainers

Please reach out directly to one or more of the NCLEX trainers to schedule an appointment.

Carrie Barr, MSN RN
Director of Undergraduate Nursing and Associate Lecturer
University of Wyoming

Carrie Barr is the director of undergraduate nursing and associate lecturer at the University of Wyoming. Carrie has been a nurse for 16 years, with experience ranging from critical care, cardiothoracic surgery, oncology, med/surg nursing to being a nurse coach. She has been teaching full-time for the past five years in a variety of courses including foundations, patho-pharmacology, leadership, med/surg I & II and preceptorships. She has also served as a skills and simulation lab coordinator.

Over the past two years, Carrie has been the associate degree program coordinator for Alaska Pacific University (an Alaska native tribal university), which recently received initial accreditation through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and got special commendation for its focus on cultural safety. The ADN program has already expanded to two distance sites in rural Alaska with the overall goal to increase the number of indigenous nurses serving in their communities.

Melissa Bellamy, MSN, RN
BSN Curriculum Administrator
Morgan State University

Melissa Bellamy, MSN, RN, is the BSN Curriculum Administrator at Morgan State University.  She oversees the undergraduate didactic and clinical faculty and serves as a support to the program director. Additionally, she teaches undergraduate courses including Critical Care Nursing, Gerontology and Medication/Dosage calculation. Before joining Morgan State University, Melissa worked for the University of Maryland Health Systems as an emergency room nurse for nine years and spent an additional two years in the health system as the ER nurse educator. She earned her master’s degree in nursing education at Chamberlain College of Nursing, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from The Helene Fuld School of Nursing at Coppin State University.

Juana Ferrerosa, PhD, PHN, RN
Director, Doctor of Nursing Practice Program and Assistant Professor
Charles R. Drew University

Juana Ferrerosa is an assistant professor at the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing at the Charles R. Drew University.

 Juana’s career of more than 30 years includes a diverse practice range including nursing education, administration, research, and volunteerism. Her clinical experiences include acute care settings, out-patient surgery, tele-health, and community health. Her academic practice as a nurse educator ranges from the entry level of CNA instruction to post-doctoral guidance.

Juana’s more recent research has included the enhancement of Latino health through community education related to caregiver experiences, sickle cell risks among Latino populations, promoting consistent access to health screenings, recruitment of Latinos into the nursing profession, etc. Her volunteerism has consistently involved community activism most notably through her membership in the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN). She is the immediate past president of the Los Angeles Chapter of NAHN and has served in various roles including as principal investigator on a number of grant-funded community-based projects.

Juana began her nursing career as an LVN through her high school Regional Occupational Program and ultimately earned a doctoral degree from the University of San Diego. This journey included a graduate degree in Health Care Administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) as well as baccalaureate degree in nursing and public health from CSUDH, RN diploma from the Los Angeles County/USC College of Nursing and Allied Health.

Twanda Gainer, MSN, RN
Founder & CEO

Twanda Toliver Gainer, MSN, RN, is the founder and CEO of RN Reach, LLC, where she provides academic support, coaching, and mentoring services for aspiring nursing students.

A nurse educator, leader, and veteran with over 30 years of nursing experience, Ms. Gainer has served as the Nurse Resident Program Coordinator at Howard University Hospital, assistant professor, nurse recruiter, and counselor for Hampton University Veterans Education Transition for Success (HU-VETs). She also served as the BSN Program Coordinator for Norfolk State University and Clinical Adjunct and Academic Success Coach for both Virginia Commonwealth and South University.

Ms. Gainer holds a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degree from Hampton University. She is currently pursuing an EdD at the University of Phoenix.

Monica J. Harmon, MSN, MPH, RN
Clinical Assistant Professor
Drexel University

Monica Harmon is a clinical assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP) at Drexel University. She serves as executive director of the CNHP Community Wellness HUB at the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships at Drexel.

Monica has practiced professionally in various settings, working with vulnerable and marginalized populations within in-patient pediatrics, home health, prisons, schools, and group and retirement homes. Research activities include studying detained adolescent females in Philadelphia, maternal and child fatalities, diversity in nursing, and community/public health nursing practice and education. Currently, she is a co-investigator of grant-funded research focusing on competency-based workforce development of public health nurses and baccalaureate nursing faculty.

Monica is a member of various professional organizations. These organizations include the Pennsylvania Action Coalition, where she serves as co-chair of the Nurse Diversity Council, the National Nurse-Led Care Consortium, where she serves as a nurse consultant for the Vaccine Confidence Project, and the National Black Nurses Association. She is the current chapter president of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Area Black Nurses Association.

Pawn Johnson-Hunter, MS, BSN, RN GERO-BC, CM/DN
Nurse Educator and NCLEX Mentor/Coach
Morgan State University

Pawn Johnson is a NCLEX RN-Tutor/Lecturer at Morgan State University. She has over 10 years of experience in clinical practice, leadership and education and remains active at the bedside. Her passion is driven toward the health and wellness of underserved populations with a geriatric focus. She is also dedicated to minority nursing student development and achievement.

Her research interests include improving NCLEX pass rates at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and raising student awareness on the complex care needs of underserved and geriatric populations. Pawn received her masters of nursing from Stevenson University and a bachelor’s in nursing at Sojourner Douglass College.

Vanessa Kibe, MSN, RN
Charles R. Drew University

Vanessa Kibe is an instructor at Charles R. Drew University’s Department of Nursing where she engages students in patient-centered simulated scenarios to promote their confidence when caring for patients, using medical professional communication, performing clinical skills and leadership roles.

Vanessa has been in the nursing profession for over twenty years and seven years as a nursing instructor teaching nursing theory and clinical skills. Vanessa has been a preceptor in a hospital unit for five years mentoring fourth semester students. 

Vanessa has worked in different hospital areas assisting with many medical procedures and as a relief charge nurse.

She has served as a unit preceptor for new nurses, ICSU skills validator and facilitator for nurses using the electronic medical system, and on multiple hospital committees to improve the delivery of patient care. While working in the ICSU, she introduced Peer to Peer communication to enhance the acceptance of nurse-to-nurse constructive improvements to address nursing issues in real time. She also served as a unit representative during Joint Commission and Health Department surveys.    

Vanessa received her master’s in science of Nursing from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Lisa Martin, PhD, RN, FAAN
Clinical Associate Professor
University of Minnesota

Lisa Martin is a clinical associate professor with the University of Minnesota and a member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians in Wisconsin. She is also a diversity consultant for the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of AARP Foundation, AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is the immediate past-president of the National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association. Previously, Lisa has served as a research assistant with the Center for Adolescent Nursing at the University of Minnesota, and as a science administrator with the American Indian/Alaska Native MS-to-PhD Nursing Science Bridge project. She received her PhD in nursing from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and her masters and bachelor’s degrees in nursing from Augsburg University in Minneapolis.

President of the Nursing Staff at and the Clinical Coordinator
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

Mary Martin is a clinical nurse specialist for adult inpatient units and president of the nursing staff at Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. She also serves as the clinical coordinator for nursing students and is an adjunct faculty at Alaska Pacific University.

Mary has been a nurse for 30+ years with 11 years’ experience in LTC, ED, Medical-Surgical and six+ years of academia experience. She has moved away from the bedside and now concentrates on education, staff support, and administrative duties.

Mary received her ADN in 2002 and worked ten+ years in many areas of nursing including: ED, LTC, home health, private duty, SDS/PACU/Endo. She received her BSN from Martin Methodist College in 2012 and continued her education at the University of Alabama Huntsville for her MSN with a specialty in CNS-Adult Gerontology (2015). Mary received her DNP in December. 2018 from University of Alabama Huntsville. She plans to complete her master’s in healthcare administration soon.

Vivian Palmer-Lewis, DNP, MSN, RN, CDN
Department Chair, School of Nursing
The University of the Virgin Islands

Vivian Palmer is the program chair at the University of the Virgin Islands School of Nursing. She has almost 38 years of nursing experience. Vivian worked in nephrology, medical surgical, home health, geriatrics, hospice, correctional, and neonatal intensive care in the state of Georgia. She has three years of experience as a nurse educator, teaching baccalaureate students at the University of the Virgin Islands. Her future practice will expand to provide knowledge of the Next Gen NCLEX to not only students at the University of the Virgin Islands, but to students at other colleges and universities.

Vivian has over 10 years of management and leadership experience in the nephrology area. She developed and implemented nursing curricula for dialysis education programs. The last two years, she has worked as a consultant with Howard University for HIV/HCV programs. 

Vivian began her nursing career as a CNA. She later became an LPN. Vivian received her associates degree in nursing in 1990, her bachelor’s degree in 2012, masters in 2014 and her doctorate of nursing practice in 2016.

Mirian Zavala, DNS, RN
Visiting Assistant Professor
Mercy College

Mirian Zavala is a visiting assistant professor at Mercy College. She is a member of the AARP-NY Executive Council. Mirian served on the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action’s Diversifying the Workforce: Mentoring for Student Retention workshop and NCLEX Success at Hispanic Serving Institutions Curriculum Committee (2020-2021).

Mirian is a New York Academy of Medicine Fellow and a Jonas Scholar.  She was part of an American Heart Association (AHA) writing team which published Recommendations for the Implementation of Telehealth in Cardiovascular and Stroke Care: A Policy Statement from the American Heart Association (2016). She served on the AHA Advocacy Steering Committee and on the Food and Drug Administration’s Risk Communication Advisory Committee.

She received the NAHN Nurse of the Year Award and the National Hispanic Medical Association Leadership Award. She was the NAHN-Westchester Chapter President and is currently the NAHN NY Chapter President-Elect.

Mirian was appointed to the SUNY Downstate Council by the Governor’s office. She served on a state Action Coalition of the Campaign for Action. She was a New York State Nurses Association Fellow.

Mirian earned her doctoral degree in 2012 from the City University of New York Graduate Center. She also has masters in adult health and a bachelor’s degrees in nursing and economics.