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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2006    #090
Contact: Noemi Rojas, UMKC Public Relations
(816) 235-1520

Nursing academy is aimed at underserved high school kids

In Missouri and Kansas and across the nation, African-Americans and Latinos are seriously underrepresented in the nursing workforce.

To help address the problem, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Nursing is launching “Pathways to Nursing.” It is a nursing academy for high school students in the Kansas City metropolitan area who come from diverse backgrounds and who are economically and educationally disadvantaged. This exciting program is designed to give early exposure and guidance to kids who want to learn about careers in nursing.

The yearlong academy will accept about 40 participants. Enrollment is happening now. Priority will be given to high school seniors and juniors. Interested students may contact their high school counselor or Kenneth Beene of the UMKC School of Nursing beenek@umkc.edu or (816) 235-5434.

The academy will begin with a weeklong summer session, June 19-23, during which time students will live in UMKC student dormitory under the supervision of UMKC undergraduate students. The dormitory experience provides an environment conducive for learning and support. It will also allow them to build relationships with other students interested in a health career.

After the summer session, students will return home and the academy will continue to meet once a month on Saturdays at the UMKC campus for eight months during the school year.

Programming includes tutoring in math, chemistry, biology and writing; education in basic health skills such as taking blood pressures and CPR; shadowing of nurses in clinical settings; field trips; and guest speakers.

At the end of the 12-month program, students will receive counseling to assist in their decisions on post-secondary education, such as help with applications to nursing programs and financial aid.

Results of “Pathways to Nursing” — such as program participation, program satisfaction, pre/post tests — will be shared with other nursing schools in greater Kansas City, as well as with deans and department chairs of nursing programs throughout Missouri. This program is expected to serve as a model for other communities in the state.

The “Pathways to Nursing” program is a collaborative effort between the UMKC School of Nursing, West Central Missouri Area Health Education Center, Upward Bound, Group E-Mentoring in Nursing Programs, and Menorah Legacy Foundation.

Organizers hope to find more funding to continue the program for a second year.

The UMKC School of Nursing offers a wide range of clinical experiences, research and specialty opportunities. Affiliated clinical facilities include Truman Medical Center, Children's Mercy Hospital and nearly 100 community-wide facilities in the Kansas City metro area. For more information about the UMKC School of Nursing, please visit: www.umkc.edu/nursing/.

UMKC is one of four University of Missouri campuses. It is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban affairs.

This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).

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