Frontier Nursing University’s Diversity PRIDE Program is an initiative to recruit and retain qualified underrepresented students in FNU’s graduate school of nursing who will meet the healthcare demands of an increasingly diverse population. The Diversity PRIDE Program is a comprehensive program that includes targeted recruitment activities, retention programs, partnerships with undergraduate nursing programs, financial aid and scholarships and an annual event called Diversity Impact. There are currently more than 275 FNU students that are members of the PRIDE Program who are eligible to take advantage of the many benefits offered.
The FNU Diversity PRIDE Program hosted its 6th annual Diversity Impact event June 2-5, 2016. This year’s theme focused on “Back to Basics: Heritage, Culture & Self-Care” where students, alumni, faculty and staff united for team building topics, cross-cultural activities and discussions related to increasing diversity in nursing. Event participation included students representing a wide variety of student organizations and states across the U.S.
The conference sessions inspired students with goals of increasing diversity in healthcare professions to match the growing U.S. population, along with increasing cultural competency with patients from different backgrounds. FNU PRIDE student Fawn further explains, “Diversity Impact puts us in a microcosm of society and we learn from each other, we discuss our differences but we find we have more similarities.”
Students attending the 2016 Diversity Impact event enjoyed a field trip to an early settlement in the Appalachian mountains to explore and investigate Native American herbal medical use of plants for humans wellness. Students journeyed back to the basics in patient care in one session to gain an understanding of basic necessities of how water, sleep, and nutrition impact patient-care outcomes related to health disparities. Education sessions were led by faculty and students with a range of diversity topics. One session focused on how patients view the world while news events like the Flint Water Crisis, Black Lives Matter protests, LGBT health, Immigration Reform, and Political Elections opened discussions into building patient/provider trust with diverse communities to address health inequity. FNU Diversity PRIDE student Sara shares, “Everybody is open, everybody is willing to talk…it’s really opened my eyes a lot about things I had assumed. Now since I’ve talked to people, I’ve realized I see things from their point of view and I understand.”
Keynote speaker Dr. Lily Hsia explored the historical evolution nurse-midwives went through, how far midwives have come, and how much more is needed to move forward. She challenged students to make a commitment to strengthen their continuing education and self-improvement in order to function competently in tomorrow’s diverse global community.
Students rolled up their sleeves and used creativity to express their unique role as a nursing professional in an art session where they displayed what Diversity and Inclusion looks like from a patient and provider perspective in healthcare. Another session focused on the integration of work, school, and life responsibilities and had students singing and jogging in place as they learned theoretical and practical ways to achieve optimal performance in their lives. Students gained insights into stress and race as it relates to infant mortality in African American women, along with understanding and packing cultural competence in with International medical mission trips with sessions presented by fellow FNU students.
By the end of the conference, students, faculty and staff left feeling more empowered and focused on making a positive change in their communities. One attendee, Jonathan, expresses his gratitude for attending Diversity Impact 2016, “I’m learning from nurses all across the country who have seen different forms of diversity in their hospitals…healthcare is about providing the solution to specific needs in the community, and Frontier Nursing University specializes in training nurses to provide specific solutions to people in need.”
The Diversity Impact event is just one of the many successful parts of the Diversity PRIDE Program at Frontier Nursing University. Since the program launched more than six years ago, underrepresented student enrollment has already shown improvement rising from 10.6% in 2009 to 18% in 2015. FNU’s commitment to diversity will continue to be demonstrated through the many efforts of the PRIDE Program and this year’s Diversity Impact event certainly made this commitment evident.
To learn more about Diversity Impact and FNU’s Diversity PRIDE Program visit frontier.edu/DiversityImpact.
To request information on FNU’s master’s and doctoral programs for registered nurses visit: frontier.edu/diversitynursing.