The School of Nursing, Health, and Exercise Science at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) today announced a new partnership with Trenton Central High School (TCHS) to mentor students interested in pursuing healthcare professions. The leading NJ college health program boasts the number one continued registered nurse education specialization in the state.
“The advantages of health care diversity are evident, but urban youth face many challenges in pursuing health careers,” says TCNJ Assistant Professor and Nurse Education Track Leader Dr. Yolanda Nelson.
The summer 2021 high school program is funded by a Mentored Undergraduate Summer Experience (MUSE) grant. The initiative will provide high school students with an opportunity to virtually discuss healthcare subjects such as emergency medicine and maternity pediatrics with specialized nurses. Yolanda adds, “Partnering with TCHS, we look forward to increasing the number of students interested in healthcare professions.”
Dr. Nelson heads Moving Forward Together, an African American student nurse mentorship program at TCNJ that supports growth and development of nursing students of color. According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), just under 10 percent of the US nursing population is Black or African American. For both nursing mentees and mentors, the Moving Forward Together initiative advances self-confidence, self-awareness and critical thinking.
Moving Forward Together program mentor and registered nurse Deirdre Jackson remarks, “It is so important for young people to see successful professionals who look like them. Relatable role models send the immediate message ‘you can do this’. Mentors remind students of those who have advanced in healthcare careers, leaders willing to encourage you and lift you up.”
Dean of the School of Nursing, Health, and Exercise Science Carole Kenner says, “Our health program is delighted to support Dr. Nelson’s urban youth mentoring. We welcome the opportunity to continue promoting inclusion and diversity throughout the nursing community.”
TCNJ’s School of Nursing, Health, and Exercise Science educates aspiring health professionals to become future leaders across the healthcare industry. Faculty work closely with local healthcare partners to provide students with applicative skills and foundational knowledge. The nationally acclaimed school is dedicated to preparing individuals—through programs in nursing, public health, exercise science, and physical education teaching—for the many rewards of guiding people, communities, and populations toward improved health outcomes.
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