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New Orleans area program encourages students to consider nursing careers

Chamberlain University College of Nursing at Ochsner Health System opened their doors this past summer to high school seniors from public high schools throughout Orleans Parish for the YouthForce NOLA Program. The event, which supports the state’s diversity in nursing initiative, was an all-day experience for students to learn about career planning, practice soft skills and spend time in the simulation center. The event was managed by Education Outreach and staffed by Ochsner Service Corps nurse volunteers.

The soft skill breakout sessions included activities on communication, teamwork, empathy and reflective listening. To learn about nursing as a career, students took assessments to determine the level and specialty of nursing that best fits his or her unique personality and lifestyle. Before rounding off the day with a career panel, students participated in six hands-on stations in the simulation center: body mechanics, patient safety, NG tube insertion, vital signs, heart & lung sounds and patient transfers.

Projects and programs like this one are pivotal to advancing the profession of nursing and encouraging the youth to take an active interest the nursing profession. Increasing diversity in nursing is an initiative that has been identified at the local, state and national level. The Future of Nursing initiative is rooted in the recommendations of the 2010 Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The four main focuses are Leadership, Education and Training, Interprofessional Collaboration, and Diversity. These initiatives are endorsed by the Louisiana State Nurses Association and the Louisiana Action Coalition.

Ochsner Health System has participated in YouthForce NOLA internships since the program began in 2015 by providing exposure to the skills needed to obtain a job in in healthcare.

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