Apr 29, 2008    #035
Contact: John Austin

Calling all men: The UMKC School of Nursing wants you! UMKC Pathways program designed to break stereotypes, misperceptions of nursing profession

As more and more men discover the rewards of choosing a career in nursing, many of the stigmas and stereotypes associated with that choice are slowly beginning to disappear. Leaders at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Nursing (SON) hope to speed up that process and encourage men who are considering careers in health care to take a closer look at the nursing profession. The UMKC SON will provide the opportunity for that closer look as part of a special “Pathways to Nursing” program designed to introduce men to the nursing profession.

“Our goal is to talk to men who are considering careers in health care, but may not have considered nursing as an option,” said Ronda Manney, R.N., M.S.N., clinical instructor and director of the UMKC Pathways to Nursing Academy. “There is a long-standing stereotype that nursing is just for women; that is simply not true anymore and we want to get that message out to men.”

Sponsored by the UMKC School of Nursing and the Missouri Area Health Education Centers (MAHEC), this special Pathways program will be held on Saturday, May 17, 2008, at the UMKC Health Sciences building, 2464 Charlotte Street, on the UMKC Hospital Hill Campus in Kansas City, Mo. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about the variety of nursing career options, participate in hands-on activities, and talk to men currently working as nurses. Light refreshments will be served and all attendees will receive a small gift, courtesy of the UMKC School of Nursing.

“Nursing, as a profession, has always encouraged and celebrated diversity, both within our ranks and within the communities we serve,” said Lora Lacey-Haun, R.N., Ph.D., dean of the Nursing School. “Through the Pathways program, we are able to reach out to men, educate them and hopefully inspire them to explore careers in nursing.” Scheduled speakers include:

Thad Wilson, Ph.D., Dean of the UMKC Undergraduate Nursing Program — Wilson is a Family Nurse Practitioner and has been on faculty at UMKC since 1995. He has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American Nurses Foundation and other organizations to conduct research on immunizations and school-base immunization programs. Findings from his research have been published in several peer reviewed journals and presented both regionally and nationally.

Obie Austin, A.N.P. — Austin is a clinical instructor at the Nursing School and assists with minority retention and recruitment of male students. Previously employed in various clinics throughout Kansas City's Urban Core, his practice emphasis is on indigent care. Austin is a UMKC alum and is in the Naval Nurse corp. His current clinical practice is at UMKC's student health and wellness clinic and KC free health clinic as a volunteer provider.

Karl Kroen, F.N.P. — Kroen is a clinical instructor for the undergraduate nursing program and specializes in the transition of students into the clinical arena. He also directs the learning lab for 2nd-year nursing students, emphasizing basic nursing care and some advanced skills. His background is Emergency and ICU nursing for the past 10 years.

Shawn Zembles, C.N.S. — Zembles started his nursing career after serving 13 years as an EMT/Paramedic. Shawn has worked in a variety of nursing areas, including mental health and emergency/trauma settings. Prior to coming to UMKC as a full time instructor, Shawn served as a helicopter flight nurse and held a director level position with responsibilities for eight helicopter bases throughout the central United States.

The UMKC Pathways to Nursing Academy is a year-long program that provides a one-week on-campus residential experience in the summer, and monthly on-campus meetings throughout the school year. It is designed to introduce students, primarily from minority and underrepresented populations, to careers in nursing. Participating students learn about various nursing professions, participate in experiential learning activities, tour hospitals, and receive academic enrichment.

Any men interested in attending the May 17 program must RSVP by May 10 to Ronda Manney,

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Celebrating 75 years, UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban engagement.

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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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