Summer nursing program to research effectiveness

In a continued effort “to offer the best undergraduate experience in a research university,” the first goal of WSU’s Strategic Plan, WSU’s Intercollegiate College of Nursing will research the effectiveness of its Native American Summer Nursing Institute.

The Na-Ha-Shnee Native American Summer Nursing Institute is a WSU program designed to recruit Native American students into college and nursing. The institute, which is staffed by Native American nurses and counselors and began operating in 1995, offers a free summer camp to Native American high school students from Northwest tribes. Students learn nursing assesment skills, CPR and first aid, and background in diabetes, childbirth, STDs, birth control and wellness. Additionally, they learn Native American herbal remedies and healing rituals.

The focus of the institute’s research will be to assess how well students are learning ideas taught at the institute, and how likely it is they pursue a nursing career in the future. The research will be funded by a $19,203 grant from Group Health Community Foundation.

“We want more data on whether this type of recruitment program works,” said Janet Katz, a registered nurse and assistant professor at WSU Intercollegiate College of Nursing. “The Foundation’s grant enables us to design a culturally relevant way to track the students long-term and observe whether they become nurses.”

After the research is conducted, the College of Nursing hopes to evaluate the program’s strengths and weaknesses, making necessary changes so the institute is a positive learning experience for all its participants.

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