Under the aegis of the Diversity Impact (DI) Program at Frontier
Nursing University, faculty and students are the vanguard of the movement to diversify
the ranks of nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives and improve health care
conditions among the underserved and marginalized.
Frontier’s current Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Dr. Maria Valentin-Welch, takes great pride in the students’ achievements during and after their participation in the DI program, and says: “they are applying what is taught here in regard to diversity, inclusion, and equity, not only within their new areas of employment as graduates but across their communities. Some have established underserved programs, birth centers, and international programs. These students are passionate advocates for the underserved and disenfranchised people. They are the future catalyst of change.”
In addition to distributing some $300,000 in scholarship funds received through their Health Resources and Services Administration’s Nursing Workforce Diversity Grant, the program has implemented diversity training sessions for all faculty and staff and added diversity discussions to student orientation sessions. DI participants are also encouraged to attend annual conferences dedicated to fostering a more diverse, culturally aware health care workforce—where, under the guidance of a faculty mentor, students explore the benefits of active participation in professional nursing organizations.
The thriving program at Frontier received a 2018
Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award
from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, and was cited as
a “Top College for Diversity.” In addition, the magazine added Dr.
Valentin-Welch herself to their Top 25 Women in Higher Education roster of standout
diversity advocates at US colleges and universities.
For an experienced professional proponent of diversity
and inclusion, the most daunting challenge, according to Valentin-Welch, is maintaining
belief in the goal of “uniting folks while our nation is receiving messages of
division and promoting actions of division and lack of compassion… However, I
feel midwifery and nursing have always held an important role in not only
listening to people, but also advocating for what is right.”
For further details on the Diversity Impact Program at
Frontier Nursing University, visit here.
The University of Louisville (UofL) recently held its latest transition ceremony, marking the entry of one hundred nursing students into the clinical rotation round of their undergraduate program. This event is an important event for nursing students, but this particular ceremony also marked a new milestone for the university, which welcomed its largest class of men ever.
The Transition Ceremony signifies the advancement of future nurses from the classroom to clinical rotation learning during the final four semesters of the undergraduate program. At the ceremony, students recite the School of Nursing Honor Code Pledge and receive a pin to wear on their scrubs to serve as a reminder of their commitment to providing high-quality care. University President Neeli Bendapudi also spoke at the ceremony, marking the new students’ entry into the health care field.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, only nine percent of the total nurse workforce in the US are men. With a nationwide nursing shortage a concern in many areas of the country, recruiting men into the nursing profession is becoming increasingly important.
To learn more about the University of Louisville’s latest class of nursing students, including its largest class of male students ever, visit here.
Veteran nurses are becoming harder and harder to find as the United States faces a looming nursing shortage, but the state of Kentucky is experimenting with new ways to incentivize registered nurses to work in their hospitals. Many hospitals report that newly graduated nurses are important but that experienced nurses are also essential, especially in critical care settings.
Fewer nurses means larger patient loads which increases the likelihood for mistakes and health complications. A nursing shortage combined with an aging general population presents a large problem for healthcare employers which is why Kentucky hospitals have begun offering cash bonuses and other incentives to help fill nursing jobs and counter a nursing shortage that is expected to grow worse in the near future.
Mark Vogt, CEO of Galen College of Nursing, tells www.Courier-Journal.com, “For a long time we’ve been talking about a nursing shortage that’s coming to our country. I believe that we are on the front end of that nursing shortage, not only in our community but in other parts of the country.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, national job openings for registered nurses are expected to increase by 16 percent through 2024, and in Kentucky, more than 16,000 new openings for registered nurses are expected by 2024.
One Kentucky hospital is offering nurses a $6,000 sign-on bonus in exchange for a two-year work commitment or up to $24,000 worth of student loans paid off after committing to work for four years. Many nurses are also offered cash bonuses for referring nurses with experience.
Hospitals in Kentucky are seeing their incentives being paid off with one hospital reporting the hiring of 61 new nurses in the last 60 days. The University of Louisville hospital hired a record 100 nurses in 60 days according to John Elliott, the chief human resources officer.
To learn more about the state of Kentucky’s use of incentives to recruit and retain registered nurses, visit here.
Frontier Nursing University has announced a planned expansion to Versailles, KY, scheduled to take place later this year. After enrollment grew from 200 to more than 1,600 over the past decade, an expansion was necessary to accommodate the growing student population.
The university is buying Kentucky Methodist Homes’ property in Versailles which includes a dozen buildings. It is being sold by the Kentucky United Methodist Homes for Children & youth, a nonprofit corporation that cares for abused, neglected, or abandoned children, which will be downsizing to another location.
Frontier President Dr. Susan Stone released the following statement according to www.Kentucky.com:
“We are expanding our Central Kentucky operations by moving our administrative office to Versailles, where we will develop additional capacity to serve students. Frontier Nursing University will leverage this property in new ways, but with the same focus on improving health and wellness for families in Kentucky and beyond.”
Frontier offers digital graduate level education to registered nurses who want to become nurse practitioners or nurse midwives. However, students are required to travel to the Kentucky campus for orientations and education sessions to prepare them for online work and clinical experiences. The use of the new space will be determined at a later date, and the school’s present headquarters will continue to be used in addition to the new campus space.
To learn more about Frontier Nursing University’s planned expansion, visit here.
WellCare of Kentucky has decided to fund two new scholarship programs at the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Nursing aimed at increasing the number of nurses and doctors working in primary medicine and psychiatry in Eastern Kentucky. With a ned for primary care in rural areas of the state, the funding will go toward up to 30 scholarships valued at a total of $180,000 for nursing students at various stages of their studies.
Bill Jones, president of WellCare of Kentucky, tells UKnow.UKY.edu, “We know that access to doctors, nurses and other health care providers directly affects health outcomes. When health care is in short supply or located far away, people are less likely to get routine screenings, tests and vaccinations – the type of care that can catch problems early or prevent illness altogether. Anything we can do to encourage more providers to locate in underserved areas will be a direct benefit to the health of our state.”
The scholarship funding from WellCare will be awarded to students who exhibit an interest in caring for medically underserved Kentuckians. Faculty in the UK College of Nursing are pleased to see a financial incentive that will encourage nursing students to think about the impact they can make on a community that needs them. The scholarships are expected to improve lives in rural areas of Eastern Kentucky and to improve the regional economy.
WellCare is also providing $80,000 in scholarship funding to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students in the UK College of Nursing. To learn more about the UK College of Nursing and their new scholarship funding to improve rural health, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Brandy Smith, a 28-year-old who was working clinical rotations and taking nursing courses as a student at the University of Kentucky (UK) when she was diagnosed with stage-2 breast cancer. Determined not to let her breast cancer diagnosis hinder her progress toward becoming a nurse, Smith consulted her professors and the dean of the UK College of Nursing who all supported her decision to continue with school and her intensive treatment plan at the same time. Discussing her experience with KYForward.com, Smith said, “Some people said I should take some time off nursing school. For me, movement is medicine.”
For Smith, beating cancer and finishing school weren’t enough. She also thrives on activity and set herself a goal of finishing next year’s breast cancer awareness race as a runner and survivor. The physical activity of walking, and running when she has the energy for it, boosted Smith’s immune system to help her body through depressive treatments. She gained her positive outlook and perseverance from her mother who never let anything affect her good mood when she beat breast cancer at age 26 and battled a recurrence at age 30.
After deciding to continue with her career goals despite her diagnosis, Smith continued her clinical and classroom hours while undergoing 12 weeks of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, and radiation treatment. She also decided to undergo oncofertility treatment, which induces menopause during chemotherapy to preserve reproductive functioning, allowing Smith to keep her goal of having a family one day. With the help and support of her husband, family, and nursing class, Smith was announced cancer-free on October 5, and graduated from nursing school in December with plans to go into pediatric oncology.
Always with a positive outlook, Smith summed up her experience with this: “As much fun as I’ve had, it’s been horrible at times. But it could have been worse – I got to have milkshakes every day.” To read more about Brandy Smith’s inspiring journey to remission while keeping up with the demands of nursing school, visit here.