Initiating an Undergraduate Public Health Nursing Leadership Program for Underrepresented Students
Coburn, Caroline Varner
Amar, Angela Frederick
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Session presented on Sunday, July 24, 2016: Purpose: The "Building Nursing's Diverse Leadership at Emory" (BUNDLE) program at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (NHWSN) in Atlanta, Georgia was initiated to prepare nursing students from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds to enter the public health nursing workforce as leaders who provide care to underserved populations and who can make a difference in local communities. A major focus of the BUNDLE program is to reduce the social and structural forces that act as barriers to the enrollment and retention of students from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds. The objectives of the BUNDLE program are to: 1.) increase the proportion of students from underrepresented/disadvantaged backgrounds admitted to NHWSN; 2.) increase the graduation rate of NHWSN students from underrepresented/ disadvantaged backgrounds; and 3.) increase the number of culturally competent, leadership-trained NHWSN graduates working in medically underserved areas/populations in Atlanta and Georgia. Methods: The BUNDLE program provides economic resources (scholarships and stipends) to increase financial capital, professional socialization and networking to increase social capital, and academic enrichment resources, (coaching and NCLEX preparation) to increase educational capital. Specifically, the program aims to promote leadership, scholarship, and public health awareness for enrolled scholars. In addition to receiving scholarships and monthly stipends, scholars attend monthly seminars, weekly academic enrichment sessions, public health field trips, and supplemental enrichment activities. At the individual level, all scholars complete an Individual Development Plan (IDP) that helps identify goals, strategies, and metric for success in the nursing program and into the future. Each scholar meets with his/her faculty advisor monthly. Faculty advisors review the scholars IDP, monitor academic and leadership progress, and carefully assess for psychosocial barriers that might impede the scholar's progress. Results: In the initial year of the BUNDLE program, participation in program activities has been at or above targeted goals while attrition has been low. Divided by categories, the participation has been as follows: Monthly Seminars: 91.67%; Supplemental Activities: 70.24%; Field Trips: 50%; Weekly Coaching Sessions: 80.88%. Subjective evaluation provided by the students has been primarily positive. Conclusion: The initiation of this program has been a success, and has provided the basis for continuing improvements. As new cohorts are accepted to the program, the lessons learned from the initial year have provided valuable information about aspects which clearly should be continued as well as those that may need adjustment.