Enhancing Students' Successful Transition from the Pre-nursing to Nursing Curriculum: Lessons Learned from the ACUMEN Workforce Diversity Program

Thursday, 10 July 2008: 1:55 PM
Barbara N. Logan, PhD, RN, FAAN , Center for Research on Health Dsparities, Clemson University, Clemson, SC
Veronica G. Parker, PhD , School of Nursing, Clemson University, Clemson, SC
This presentation describes lessons learned from the Academic Collaboration for Minority Enrollment in Nursing (ACUMEN) program. Specifically, retention strategies designed to enhance the academic success of underrepresented minority students in transitioning successfully in the nursing curriculum from pre-nursing to clinical nursing courses are addressed. It is clear that behavioral factors such as students' personal habits and practices, as well as environmental factors such as the nursing program's policies, procedures, and faculty attitudes can place students at risk for successful academic achievement. The interrelatedness of these factors are analyzed and discussed. The presentation is substantiated by data from students' perceptions of the ACUMEN program with regards to academic supports, staff competencies, financial assistance, professional development opportunities, and communication effectiveness. Data elements were compiled and analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative research methods. The findings indicate that attention to personal as well as environmental factors is important for successful retention and graduation of underrepresented minorities enrolled in nursing programs. When these factors are addressed early, students are more likely to adjust to college life and achieve academic success as they advance through the nursing curriculum.