Marsha Sinanan ’24 DNP: Supporting Black and Brown Nurses After Experiencing Racism in Acute Care Settings

May 15, 2024
The Yale School of Nursing (YSN) Class of 2024 holds the distinction of earning diplomas during the school’s centennial year. As graduating students prepare for the conferral of degrees on May 20, YSN is checking in with just a few of the extraordinary students adding hoods to their regalia this year.

Marsha SinananMarsha Sinanan ’24 DNP

Vice President Patient Care Services, Chief Nursing Officer | Mount Sinai Morningside and Mount Sinai West

Program: Post-MSN Healthcare Leadership, Systems, and Policy

DNP Project: “Moral Distress: The Importance of Support for Black and Brown Nurses After Encountering Racism from Patients and Peers in the Acute Care Setting”

Advisor: Mary Ann Camilleri, JD, BSN, RN, FACHE

What was the most valuable part of your YSN doctoral education?

The most important part of my YSN doctoral education was reinforcing and learning about leadership through a broader systems lens—the politics, the pitfalls, and the approach for leading in large complex health systems.

Could you describe a class or practicum experience that had the greatest meaning for your leadership career?

The Healthcare Policy, Politics and Process course was very insightful. It helped us to better understand the intersections among and connections to law, regulations, policies, and healthcare. Learning how to write a brief for a political advocacy issue was extremely helpful. Our Organizational/Systems Leadership Development course gave great insight into a range of questions: What are your blind spots? What is your profile as a leader? How have your experiences and personality shaped your leadership style and how it also focused on how to create a compelling vision?

In your view, what aspect of your DNP project has the greatest potential for impact on health care delivery, the workforce, or patient populations?

Diversity in the nursing workforce and impact on cultural care and congruence, as well as understanding the impact that it can have on recruitment and retention. My DNP focused on the support for Black and Brown nurses after experiencing racism in the acute care setting and highlighted the need for this as a standard across organizations.

What is the single most important thing you learned about being a systems leader?

That soft skills are as important if not more so than technical skills, especially when multiple stakeholders are involved and stakes are high. To be successful as a systems leader, one must constantly counterbalance needs of the organization with compassion for people, while executing the mission and vision of that organization.

How do you plan to bring what you learned at YSN to your professional life post-commencement?

I plan to try to scale my work through my current health system and beyond.

What advice do you have for any nurse leader who is considering the Post-Master’s in Healthcare Leadership, Systems, and Policy DNP?

Do it. It broadens your perspective as a leader, positions you as a connector, and solidifies what you know and adds to your tool kit. Your mindset is grown and it’s an investment in your professional self. Be courageous and know that there will never be the perfect time to continue to learn grow and develop. The time is now.

More Commencement Coverage

To read more student profiles and advice from six decades of YSN alumni to the Class of 2024, please visit the Commencement 2024 sidebar on the left (mobile devices, scroll down).

For more information on Yale’s commencement festivities, please visit