Native American Students Get a Glimpse of Nursing Profession

Editor’s note: Students will receive instruction at the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing in Spokane Monday-Wednesday, June 18-20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Wednesday, June 20, students will work with Native American health professionals at the college.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Forty Native American high school students will learn what it takes to be a nurse — complete with hands-on nursing experience this summer — with the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing Native American Summer Nursing Institute June 17-22.

This is the sixth year the college has offered the institute to encourage Native American high school students to pursue the nursing profession and to prepare them for their futures. Part of a world wide nursing shortage is the critical shortage of nursing professionals in Native American communities.

“There are a number of students currently enrolled at the College of Nursing here as a result of their positive experiences at the summer institute,” said Robbie Paul, Native American coordinator at the college.

As participants in the summer institute, students will experience a broad view of nursing, job-shadow at a local hospital and participate in team-building and leadership exercises. CPR, first aid, basic nursing skills and leadership skill instruction are the primary curriculum elements. Additionally, students receive instruction from tribal elders and tribal health professionals.

Students also experience campus life first-hand by staying in Whitworth College residence halls.

“This is a successful program because it blends instruction with cultural applications and we expect the institute will continue to grow and thrive in the future,” Paul said.

Established in 1968, the ICN/WSU College of Nursing is the nation’s first nursing education consortium. The college offers baccalaureate, graduate and professional development course work to nursing students enrolled through its four consortium partners, Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, WSU and Whitworth College. Each year, the college educates more than 550 graduate and upper-division undergraduate students and prepares more entry-level nurses than any other educational institution in the state.