Born in the United States to Guyanese parents, Eva James spent her formative years through high school in Guyana continuing her education at Brooklyn College, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology.
She began her nursing education at Philips Beth Israel School of Nursing ultimately advancing her education with an MSN in adult teaching.
“My mother encouraged me to follow in her footsteps by becoming an RN, which I resisted for a while. If I had to do it again, I’d go directly into nursing,” she gladly admits.
Now, with 31 years in healthcare, this nurse wears two hats.
Full-time, she is an 1199 SEIU Union contract administrator representing the 1000 registered nurses at Mount Sinai Beth Israel. She says, “I make sure the contract is not violated — ensuring nurses’ rights.” Among her duties, she is a member of the committee that monitors temporary workers and with the professional issues committee, she meets with management once a month.
“I try to facilitate labor and management. The main goal is to have good quality and safe patient care.”
Twice a month, keeping up her nursing skills, she cares for patients on the pulmonary medical – surgical floor. During that time, she is a preceptor to nursing students who come to her unit as well as orienting new hires.
“I love wearing two hats,” she says.
In 2015, she attended to the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of participants in two Marches for Justice sponsored by Mr. Harry Belafonte and the NAACP respectively.
She also ministers to the sick at her church.
Ms James observes, “Nursing has become involved a lot with advanced technology. You still have to remember the human side — touch and feeling.”