Guest post by Pathways Coordinator Shawnte Wilson
On May 23, 2019, the Pathways to Nursing Success Program celebrated the close of another academic and programming year. This year’s ending celebration was particularly sweet as we celebrated the first set of Pathways RN graduates.
In total, eight students (Brandy Barber, Kelli Carter, Tanasha Franklin, Samuel James, Huruy Medin, Lisette Mota, Jaisely Rolon and Herman Ssozi) graduated this academic year. Six are enrolled in Trocaire’s Bachelor of Science with a major in Nursing program. The remaining two students already have bachelor’s degrees in other disciplines and will be going forward to pursue their Master’s of Science in Nursing degree.
The students in this program should be applauded. Beyond what is required of them academically, the Pathways program also requires them to engage in various additional academic, social, and programmatic supports throughout the academic year. It takes time management and commitment to keep up with all of the demands.
However students have reported that these additional requirements make them feel supported and “seen.” They also reported that this program is like a family, and that they have gained camaraderie while in the nursing program and in some cases, lifelong friends.
What is Pathways and what is the end goal?
The Pathways to Nursing Success Program is made possible through the grant partnership between Trocaire College and the Health Services Resource Administration. This grant’s effort is all about increasing the workforce diversity within nursing. Currently within the Western New York area, a little more than 50% of the population identifies as belonging to an ethnic minority group, yet only 6% of registered nurses in WNY identify as belonging to an ethnic minority group.
At Trocaire, the Pathways to Nursing Success Program enrolls up to 25 minority nursing students currently enrolled at the college. Students in the program receive nurse mentors, professional development training, academic support and financial assistance in an effort to decrease success disparities due to social determinant factors.
In the end, we hope that as Pathways students graduate from Trocaire College and enter the nursing workforce, and that these professional disparities begin to decrease overtime.
Numerous studies on patient outcomes highlight increased chances at recovery and overall improved positive experiences in care settings where the patient has the ability to identify with the person caring for them.
This isn’t to suggest that nurses from other ethnic or racial backgrounds can’t identify and subsequently care for patients
who are different from them, however in such instances when there is a similarity, barriers such as language, religion, and cultural practices are often better understood and therefore accommodated much sooner, resulting In overall increased patient satisfaction.
There is room for everyone!
Although the formalized program targets a certain student demographic and has a yearly cap on enrollment, the program’s big picture efforts are aimed at supporting all nursing students, faculty, and staff. There is truly a way for everyone to get involved! In this last academic year, the Pathways program has partnered with other offices across campus to create and develop new and exciting supports at Trocaire.
If you are a current nursing student and in need of some academic support, check out one of our Supplemental Education (SE) sessions. This past spring, the Palisano Learning Center (PLC) and Pathways teamed up to offer SE, an academic support model developed by the University of Kansas City Missouri. In SE, students who were previously academically successful in a course assist current students with being successful.
SE is unlike typical tutoring in that it is focused on recapturing and breaking down the lecture and using group activity work in order to assist students in learning the material.
Current SE schedules are posted across campus and in the PLC.
Cultural Competency Certificate
Student Engagement, Human Resources and the Pathways Program, along with the support of key Trocaire faculty launched the Cultural Competency Certificate (C3) program in January. C3 allows participants to attend a series of interactive workshops in which they will learn about cultural competence, and gain insight on the “isms” (racism, heterosexism, sexism, classism, religious/cultural oppression and advocacy).
C3 is open to or both employees and students interested in learning how to be better prepared to handle various patient populations, enhancing their resume, or learning cultural humility. In the end, successful participants who complete the program will receive a certificate from Trocaire.
For a list of upcoming workshops or to sign up for C3, visit Trocaire’s Diversity and Inclusion page.
Other Options for Involvement
- Laptop Loan Program (students in need of a laptop for school can rent one free of charge)
- Textbook Library (donate your old textbooks or review materials and we will share them with students in need, or stop by and borrow a book)
- Get matched with a professional nurse mentor
- Attend a Nursing Immersion Event (topics include professional skill development and career exposure)
- Become a peer mentor (paid positon)
- Become a SE facilitator (paid position)
- Become a faculty mentor
- Host a SE course
Overall, we hope that Pathways to Nursing Success is simply the beginning. Long after the grant has expired, we hope that this program has acted as a catalyst for change not only on Trocaire’s campus but in the professional nursing workforce within WNY.