Academy of Nursing & Health Sciences: Diversity, Disparities and Health Determinants

Saturday, 16 November 2013: 3:55 PM

E. Carol Polifroni, RN, EdD, CNE, NEA-BC, ANEF
School of Nursing, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

Learning Objective 1: Identify three characteristics of the relationship between diversity, disparities and determinants of health.

Learning Objective 2: Articulate three effective strategies to enhance diversity in the workplace.

The Academy of Nursing and Health Sciences was designed more than 8 years ago to enhance the preparedness of an inner city school's students for collegiate education. One of its objectives was to motivate students by immersing them in a specialty area of their expressed interest. Since that time, the program has been expanded beyond nursing to all of health sciences and its vision is prepare students for successful completion of a baccalaureate program in nursing or health sciences. This presentation will share the challenges, hurdles cleared and lessons learned of creating a specialty high school that, when fully operational at maximum capacity and efficiency, will expand the opportunity for increased diversity of the nursing and health science workforce and decrease disparities in health care delivery through a concentrated focus on determinants of health. Selected outcomes will be presented and examined such as improving graduation rates from 17% to 90%, elimination of social promotion, decrease of teen pregnancy rate by 75%, increase in collegiate applications by 75% and enrollment in colleges by 180%. The impact of these outcomes will be addressed as industry embraces the academy and its goals. Motivation of a population that defines hope and their understanding of the future in a manner different than that of the author will be explored as a determinant of health and an impetus for social change. Utilization of incentives will be discussed with outcomes shared. The author’s goal is to actively engage the audience through provocative questions and idea sharing.