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Nursing school earns Latino nursing workforce development grant

Oklahoma City University’s Kramer School of Nursing was awarded a grant to implement an initiative intended to increase Latino representation in the health care industry.

Funds provided through the $37,000 Telligen Community Initiative grant will be used to expand academic support for Latino/a/x students in the nursing program, with the goal of retaining and graduating more Latino nurses to enter the workforce in Oklahoma.

“Members of the Latino community are under-represented in health care settings, including in the Oklahoma City metro area,” said Gina Crawford, interim dean of the Kramer School of Nursing. “This award is a major step toward improving this situation. Not only do we need more health care professionals, our overall system would be much stronger with a more diverse representation.”

OCU based its grant proposal on information gleaned from focus groups of Latino students, alumni and community members.

Through the use of grant funds, university officials plan to increase recruitment efforts at high schools with higher percentages of Latino/a/x students. Counselors will work with high school students to help ease the transition from application to college acceptance, including for those whose second language is English.

Once enrolled, students seeking bachelor of science in nursing degrees will receive additional support throughout their studies. Some classroom instructional materials and sessions will be focused on preparing students to work in hospitals and clinics in areas with more concentrated Latino populations. The nursing school is also implementing a living-learning community to begin in the fall semester, offering an additional level of connection and peer support.

“The quality of care is greatly improved when nurses are familiar with the cultural practices of the communities they serve,” Crawford added.

Information about the Telligen Community Initiative can be found here. For more information about nursing programs at Oklahoma City University, click here.

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