Region 1 - New Orleans
The New Orleans Regional Action Coalition (RAC) includes the following parishes: Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammany.
NURSING WORKFORCE DIVERSITY
RAC members are working on an outreach program with local grammar and high school students relating to healthcare careers. this is a joint effort with LSU Health Sciences to provide learning opportunities for students interested in any healthcare career. In April 2019, a session was held with middle school students. The session included presentations from nurses, physicians, therapists and social workers. More presentations are being planned..
The New Orleans RAC has been hard at work since summer 2015 and divides its work into two areas: nurse leadership and education/practice.
The current work of the Leadership subgroup entails increasing nursing presence on key boards in the state. Development of a work plan was begun during a think tank in July 2016. During that meeting, the group decided to use the Social Determinants of Health Model as its road map for selecting boards to target for membership.
Working with LSNA members, a section on LSNA's website was developed and designated for the Nurses on Boards effort. The site went live in early 2019.
During the 2015-2016 school year, LAC members, project coordinator Lisa Colletti, RN, MN, NEA-BC; and co-coordinator Leslie Hughes, RN, BSN, worked with Bonnabel Magnet Academy High School to choose five senior-level Hispanic students to participate in a pilot in which Hispanic nurses mentored Hispanic high school students to help them understand the potential of a career in nursing. Hispanic nurses with Ochsner Medical Center Kenner provided the mentoring.
The program included job shadowing and time spent at the Louisiana State University Simulation Lab where students were able to observe nurses respond in mock clinical situations.
At the end of the pilot, each student’s experience was assessed using a survey tool to determine change in knowledge level and understanding of nursing, the various nursing roles and available educational programs. Also, a discussion was held with each student regarding post-graduation plans. All of the students stated that their knowledge level of nursing roles and educational programs had been increased as a result of the pilot. All chose spending time in the various units as the portion of the project they liked the most.
In 2016. the New Orleans Regional Action Coalition (RAC) received a $1,000 grant from LAC to execute a project aimed at increasing Louisiana’s nursing workforce diversity. The project, Generating Knowledge of Nursing and Interest in Becoming a Nurse Among| High School Males, aimed to increase the knowledge and understanding of the role of males in nursing.
The project was a focused interventional study aimed at increasing the diversity of nurses to include higher numbers of males including all races and ethnicities. This project intended to reach out to male high school students to provide information about the nursing profession and specifically men in nursing.
Through the project, a total of 13 one-hour presentations were held at St. Augustine High School and Lusher High School in New Orleans focused on nursing and the role of men in nursing. Handouts and giveaways were provided to students and pre- and post-program questionnaire were given to the male students prior to and following each session to determine if a change in knowledge and interest in nursing occurred. Test results showed increased knowledge in the scope of nursing and it was surmised that more education and exposure to nursing as a profession would help attract more males to the nursing profession.
New Orleans RAC leadership is currently working to determine the best approach for follow-up with students who expressed interest.