“Back to Basics: Heritage, Culture & Self Care”
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 student organizations like FNU Student Council, Wide Neighborhoods Student Ambassador Program, SAGE Network Mentors, FNU Alumni and Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society. Frontier’s Courier internship program also brought in student interns from across the country from Bethel University in Minnesota, Ohio State University graduate-entry Nursing Program in Ohio, Williams College in Massachusetts and University of North Carolina in North Carolina.
The conference started off with an impactful welcome address by FNU President Dr. Stone as she 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 enjoyed a field trip to Pine Mountain Settlement School in the appalachian mountains, to explore Native American herbal medical use of plants for humans wellness. Students investigated bioactive compounds in plants that prevent and treat disease and plant-based solutions to improve human health. Students also enjoyed a nature tour to learn on early-settler life and the foundation of Pine Mountain Settlement School.
Education sessions were led by FNU faculty and students, with a range of diversity topics. One session focused on how patients view the world. 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.”
Students journeyed back to the basics in patient care with speaker and FNU Faculty Dr. Nena Harris, in understanding basic necessities of how water, sleep, and nutrition impact patient-care outcomes related to health disparities.
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. Workshop speakers and FNU Faculty Dr. Diane John, along with Associate Dean, Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing Dr. Pat Cunningham, encouraged students to use art to display what Diversity and Inclusion looks like from a patient and provider perspective in healthcare.
An enthusiastic session on the integration of work, school, and life responsibilities had students singing and jogging in place as they learned theoretical and practical ways to achieve optimal performance in their lives, presented by Dr. Tonya Nicholson, FNU Associate Dean of Midwifery & Women’s Health. Students gained insights into stress and race as it relates to infant mortality in African American women, presented by FNU student Essence Williams, along with understanding and packing cultural competence in with International medical mission trips, presented by FNU alum and Dr. Katrin Moskowitz.
By the end of the conference, students, faculty and staff left feeling more empowered and focused on making a positive change in their communities. FNU Courier Intern 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.”
To learn more about Diversity Impact and FNU’s Diversity PRIDE Program visit frontier.edu/DiversityImpact.
What do Diversity Impact attendees say about the event? Watch this video to find out.