Champion for Equity

May 16, 2023

Meet Director of Nursing Elaine Brown, RN, MSN, CNE, who inspires the Broadway House nursing staff to aim high every day. Ms. Brown says, “Helping to close the gap of healthcare disparity is important to me. Everyone should receive the same quality of care, regardless of their background.”

Please tell us about yourself.

I was born in Florida, but moved to Newark as a child because my mother wanted to provide an opportunity for a better life. After graduating from high school, I went to school to become a medical assistant and married at age 20. My husband was in the military, and I was fortunate to work as a medical technician with the US Army for 15 years while my husband was stationed in Germany, California, and Georgia.

When our son was school aged, I returned to school to begin earning a degree in psychology with teacher certification/special ed. But unfortunately, my husband had a medical emergency; I left school to care for my husband, who retired from the military. We moved back to New Jersey, and I got a job in a plastic surgeon’s office with RNs who encouraged me to pursue nursing. I enrolled at Essex County College, graduating as a Licensed Practical Nurse. My thirst for education didn’t stop there—I earned an RN, then a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Nursing from Thomas Edison University, where I also earned Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) certification.

Why Broadway House?

At Essex County College, I did my clinicals at Broadway House. I didn’t quite understand the Broadway House mission at the time, but I knew the residents were predominantly from the inner city and had HIV/AIDS. I wanted to give back to my community—it gives me great pleasure to make a difference here. Helping to close the gap of healthcare disparity is also important to me. Everyone should receive the same quality of care, regardless of their background or where they come from. I’m not about chasing the money; in fact, I left a lucrative position to come here. Instead, I said to God, “Place me where you want me to be.”

How do you characterize the role of Broadway House nurses?

The nursing staff at Broadway House undergirds our mission to provide quality care with exceptional outcomes. There is a template for greatness already set in this building and I am proud that we are part of the proven results. As the Director of Nursing, I am a no frills person who wants to do a great job. I’m all about evidence based practice—if something doesn’t make sense, we stop doing it. At Broadway House, we always seek to think outside the box.

What’s the best part of your day?

At work it’s definitely getting to know the residents and their stories. It may take six months or more to really know each resident. But I know that to make a difference, I need to be present with every resident. It’s important to be relevant and treat everyone with the utmost kindness.

Outside of work, I love family time, especially zoo visits with my nieces and nephews. I am also very involved in my church. And I enjoy traveling and visiting casinos.