Black History Month Spotlight: RN Tamichole Nelson

February 4, 2022 Swedish Communications

image with a red, yellow and gree border on the left side, with text that says "celebrating Black History Month." Swedish logo is at the bottom.


In this article:

  • Every week during Black History Month, Swedish is spotlighting one of our caregivers who will share what Black history means to them. 

  • Swedish clinical nurse educator Tamichole Nelson was inspired by her grandmother, the first Black public health nurse in a small Washington town, to follow in her career footsteps.

  • Tamichole also points to the accomplishments of Black men and women throughout history as her inspiration.

RN Tamichole Nelson is a clinical nurse educator here at Swedish. 

This week, we speak with Tamichole Nelson, a clinical nurse educator at Swedish, about the importance of recognizing African Americans' contributions to our shared history.

Tamichole was inspired by her grandmother to enter the nursing profession. “My grandmother, Ruby Henderson, was the first Black public health nurse in a small Washington town after relocating from the south. She worked at the Benton-Franklin County Health District,” says Tamichole.

Tamichole started her career in healthcare in 1994 as a nursing assistant at Swedish Medical Center and Swedish Health and Hospice. Shortly after, she followed in her grandmother’s footsteps and pursued a nursing degree.

When reflecting on some of the most rewarding aspects of her current role as a clinical nurse educator, Tamichole shares that making connections with caregivers and knowing that she has made a difference in someone’s clinical practice is one of the most gratifying elements of her work.

Ruby Henderson, grandmother of Swedish RN Tamichole Nelson, was the first Black public health nurse at the Benton-Franklin County Health District. She inspired her granddaughter's nursing career. 

She proudly shares that she will always celebrate and hold close to her heart this part of her personal story. It's especially poignant during Black History Month, says Tamichole, a time when she enjoys participating in community events and learning more about the accomplishments of African Americans.

“Black History Month to me is a time to reflect on and remember the great accomplishments by strong and courageous Black men and women. I am also reminded if it were not for those who fought, struggled, dreamed and created before me, I would not have the opportunities or freedoms that I have today,” she says.

She also shares that she feels it’s important to celebrate Black History Month because our collective history is diverse: “Black History Month is a time to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity of creativity, innovation and contributions many African Americans have made throughout history.”

Find a doctor

If you have questions about your health, contact the Primary Care department at Swedish. We can accommodate both in-person and virtual visits.

Whether you require an in-person visit or want to consult a doctor virtually, you have options. Swedish Virtual Care connects you face-to-face with a nurse practitioner who can review your symptoms, provide instruction and follow up as needed. If you need to find a doctor, you can use our provider directory.

Join our Patient and Family Advisory Council.

Additional resources

Washington State Historical Society’s activities for all ages to participate in Black History Month, online and in-person

Northwest African American Museum

African American History and Culture in the United States

Black History Month - U.S. National Park Service Celebrates!

A People’s Journey, A Nation’s Story | National Museum of African American History and Culture  

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter


Previous Article
New study advances the prediction and treatment of long COVID
New study advances the prediction and treatment of long COVID

Key warning signs, or PASC Factors, include pre-existing Type 2 diabetes and Epstein-Barr virus DNA in the ...

Next Article
Flu and COVID-19 vaccine facts: What you need to know
Flu and COVID-19 vaccine facts: What you need to know

Keep this handy list of resources available throughout flu season so you can stay safe and healthy.