Aron King headshot wearing a blue bowtie

UC Davis Health nurse honored for ‘rocking’ nursing world

Assistant nurse manager and School of Nursing graduate named Under 40 awardee by National Black Nurses Association


The National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) has named Aron King a 2022 Under 40 Awardee. King, an assistant nurse manager at UC Davis Medical Center and a 2021 graduate from the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, is one of only 16 nurses in the nation to receive the honor.

“These nurses are our present and our future. They are the next generation of nurse leaders,” said Martha A. Dawson, NBNA president. “We look forward to honoring these NBNA young notables under the age of 40 who are rocking the nursing world through professional and educational achievement, leadership and civic involvement in their NBNA chapters and in the communities they serve.”

After caring for patients as a bedside nurse for 8 years, King entered the master’s-degree leadership program at the School of Nursing in 2019. He said through that educational experience he began to see the bigger picture of how he could serve the Black community and inspire future Black nurses. He joined the Capitol City Black Nurses Association, founded by School of Nursing alumni, to advocate for the needs of nurses and optimize health outcomes in communities where health disparities persist.

“Health care is in a battle to undo decades of valid mistrust in communities of color. From unjust medical trials to the treatment of undocumented people and those battling drug addiction,” said King, the organization’s former secretary who now serves as an executive board member. “Winning the trust of these communities means having a workforce that has representation. We have work to do.”

In July, King served as the keynote speaker for the School of Nursing 2022 Commencement. In July, he joined Piri Ackerman-Barger, School of Nursing associate dean for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, to present to an international audience of nursing researchers understanding how microaggressions in health professions schools can poise students for inclusion. She said King is deeply deserving of this honor.

“Aron is being recognized for his commitment to high quality practice, his accomplishments as a leader and his work as a scholar,” Ackerman-Barger explained. “It is an honor to have him join us once again as he pursues his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the School of Nursing.”

Next month, King enters the school’s PhD program. He expects with the rigorous research program and the demands of his nursing career, the lift to continue the drive to end disparities will be heavier.

“The role of a nurse is not limited to the bedside and we as nurses shouldn’t measure our worth by looking at technical skills,” he said. “We are advocates and leaders in patient care. We need to be proactive in our approach by investing our energy in preventive interventions.”

NBNA honored this year’s winners at its 50th Annual Institute and Conference in Chicago. NBNA is comprised of nurses at all levels and serves as the voice for Black nurses and diverse populations to ensure equal access to professional development, promote educational opportunities and improve health.