Hattie Bessent


School of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award (1991)
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
School of Nursing


Dr. Hattie Bessent is best known for her efforts to both increase the representation of minorities in nursing and help them develop into leaders. She led the American Nursing Association's Ethnic Minority Fellowship Program (now known as the SAMHSA/ANA Minority Fellowship Program), an initiative devoted to developing minority nurse leaders in mental health and substance abuse nursing. Dr. Bessent also established Project LEAD (Leadership Enhancement and Development), a program dedicated to preparing minority nursing faculty for leadership positions in universities.

Her specialty is in psychiatric nursing. For her efforts to bring more diversity into the nursing field, Dr. Bessent was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University School of Nursing in 1991.