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College of Nursing

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Commitment to Diversity Recap

In 2021, the College of Nursing continued to expand our core values of diversity, inclusivity, commitment, caring, integrity, respect, professionalism. 

State-wide Collaborative DEI Panel 

The Colleges of Nursing at Clemson, MUSC, and UofSC hosted a collaborative virtual panel series throughout the 20-21 Academic Year. The Critical Conversations series addressed the plight of black faculty, staff, and students in higher education. The colleges rotated hosting panels focused on faculty recruitment, faculty, and staff retention, enhancing career success, and student clinical experiences. The goal of the series was to improve awareness, knowledge, and actions by addressing DEI concerns and challenges of faculty, staff, and students.

Holistic Admission

The College of Nursing’s (CON) Upper Division Holistic Admission Application is a strategy that assesses an applicant’s unique experiences and potential. In addition to progression and institutional GPAs, the application uses written and verbal response queries based on CON core values including diversity, inclusivity, commitment, caring, integrity, respect, and professionalism. This process is designed to consider a broad range of factors reflecting the applicant’s academic background, qualities, skills, and readiness. In addition, the process helps to identify the applicant’s contribution to the incoming cohort,  success in the program, and success as a nursing professional.

The lack of diversity among health care professionals may contribute to disparities in access to health care and services for underrepresented populations. We choose to consider the “whole” applicant rather than focusing on any single factor. The ultimate goal of holistic admissions is to assemble a diverse cohort of students we can help equip to best meet the needs of the patients, families, and communities they will care for as Carolina Gamecock Nurse Leaders.

Simulation in PhD Programs (SiPP©)

Students in the UofSC Ph.D. Nursing in Science program participate in more “hands-on” activities, and simulation and experiential activities are integrated throughout the Ph.D. courses. The activities, such as conducting focus groups with vulnerable populations or using an escape room approach to navigate principles of performing ethical research, provide innovative strategies that emerged from the Simulation in Ph.D. Programs or SiPP©. SiPP aims to cultivate social justice advocates as students matriculate the Ph.D. program.

An essential part of the learning process to cultivate social justice advocates is to go beyond the admission criteria. Ph.D.
Program Director Jean Davis, Coretta Jenerette, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity, and Whitney Suddith, Diversity Coordinator, used mask-making during orientation for student expression, narratives, and sharing. The exercise will be repeated at specific time points during the Ph.D. program to see how their identity changes. Mask-making is another experiential activity that goes above and beyond learning how to carry out research.

Men in Nursing

Nurses care for patients of all backgrounds, genders, and experiences. It is valuable for a patient to feel represented by their health care providers. Male nurses provide a unique perspective and offer a varied set of skills. Craig Smith, '05 BSN, is the director of education and innovation at Kingman Regional Medical Center in Kingman, AZ. Smith's mother was a nurse, and one of the main reason's he chose nursing. He also felt it was a religious calling and that caring for others is a wonderful way to serve God. Smith has worked with former police, paramedics, firefighters, and special forces in the military and considers all of them heroes. He has dealt with stereotyping of men in nursing, having to defend his chosen profession. He says, "Just like some females want a female caregiver, many men are the same. The variety in nursing helps those we all serve."

When Brendan Kraeg,'21 BSN, first began nursing school he felt a little isolated. He became involved in the Dean's Student Advisory Council and Men in Nursing. He shares, “the Men in Nursing organization introduced me to an incredible group of guys who helped guide me through lower division nursing." The mentorship he received from upper division male students provided a blueprint of a successful nursing student, which Kreag followed. When Kreag became an upper division student his junior year, he took a leadership role within Men in Nursing and built the organization’s mentorship program. Kreag says, "The organization did so much for me, and I wanted to help us go even further in mentorship. We have built a robust program that benefits the mentor and mentee through strategic planning and member feedback. I'm proud of the work we’ve done." Kreag began his nursing career after graduation in the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit at Duke University Hospital.

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