Clara M. Gona, PhD, FNP-BC, is an associate professor at the MGH Institute of Health Professions, School of Nursing. where she mainly teaches in the Advanced Practice program. Dr. Gona is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner and an external Faculty Nurse Scientist at the Yvonne L. Munn Center for Nursing Research at MGH.

Dr. Gona’s is interested in African Immigrant health, Global Health and justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) in nursing education. Her current community-based research seeks to create a multifactorial culturally targeted lifestyle modification intervention to address CVD risk in African immigrants. Dr Gona’s JEDI work was adopted as the cornerstone of the MGH Institute of Health Professions School of Nursing’s response to issues of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion on campus. Dr Gona’s work has been published in peer reviewed scientific journals and presented at international, national, and regional scientific conferences.

  • PhD in Nursing, Boston College
  • Master of Science in Nursing, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Johns Hopkins University
  • African immigrant Health
  • Global Health
  • Justice, equity, diversity & inclusion in nursing education

Dr. Gona has published numerous papers - some titles are highlighted below. You can view a complete listing of Dr. Gona's publications on Google Scholar or in her CV. 

African Immigrant Health: The Health Promotion Beliefs of Zimbabwean Immigrants in the United States. 

The Health Status of Zimbabwean Immigrants in the US: A Needs Assessment. Clinical Nursing Research. 

A.H. countries, 1990 to 2019: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study. 

Burden and changes in HIV/AIDS morbidity and mortality in Southern Africa Development Community Countries, 1990–2017. 

The Experiences of Black Nursing Alumni at a Predominantly White Institution


see google scholar profile


In addition, Dr. Gona regularly presents at conferences and industry events. Please see her CV for a complete list of presentations.

African immigrant Health: The attitudes and beliefs leading to increased CVD risk among Zimbabwean immigrants at 29th Annual Cardiovascular Nursing Symposium, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association.

The Experience of Black Students at a Predominantly White Institution at Diversity Symposium American Association of Colleges of Nursing poster presentation.

Until you come to the US, that’s when you get to know there is something wrong with you at MGH Institute of Health Professions Research Day.

Attitudes, beliefs and perceived risks for cardiovascular disease among Zimbabwe-born immigrants at Preliminary Findings Eastern Nursing Research Society Annual Conference.

The challenges and strategies for success for Nurse Practitioner students from diverse backgrounds at National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty Conference.

Contact Information

Awards and Honors

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Leadership Award, 2023

First awarded by the Office of the President in 2022, the purpose of this award is to honor a distinguished Institute faculty or staff member or group consisting of faculty and/or staff members who have a sustained commitment to justice, equity, and inclusion at our institution and beyond.

DAISY Faculty Award, 2021

First awarded at the Institute in 2016, DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System Foundation. The Foundation established the DAISY Faculty Award® to recognize dedicated nursing faculty who have a profound impact on the future practice of their students through their commitment and inspirational influence. 

Excellence in Leadership Award, 2021

Presented by the New England Black Nurses Association. The awardee has influenced leadership in nursing through visionary and innovative approaches to leadership. 

Inge Corless Research Award, 2017

Sigma Theta Tau Upsilon Lambda Chapter

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