Attracting and retaining diverse, innovative nursing students who will become strong leaders and practitioners in the field requires nursing schools to offer opportunities for leadership and personal and professional growth. Two new programs that will begin in fall 2021 at the LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing are designed to provide just that.
Initiating a DEI Internship
The Dean’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Internship Program is a new initiative created by the School of Nursing’s Administrative Council to actively support and engage the school’s incremental, continuous and comprehensive progress toward a vibrant culture and climate that embrace diversity, equity and inclusion. Starting in the fall, the internship program will provide selected School of Nursing undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to serve for one or more semesters as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion interns.
The competitive selection process will invite applications from committed students in the School of Nursing to identify and complete a meaningful project or assignment directly related to building a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion based on the School of Nursing Strategic Map and DEI Action Plan.
“Interns will serve as ambassadors for diversity, equity and inclusion for the School of Nursing and will be future champions of diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces and communities.”
Kendra Barrier, PhD, MSN, RN, CNE
“Interns will serve as ambassadors for diversity, equity and inclusion for the School of Nursing and will be future champions of the diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces and communities they will be part of and enhance after graduation,” says Kendra Barrier, PhD, MSN, RN, CNE, Assistant Dean for Student Services and Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing.
Intern cohorts will be expected to share their experiences, exchange ideas and ask questions of themselves and one another.
Applicants will have to submit a student resume or CV, the title and description of their project, project goals, objectives, activities, and a projected timeline that all align with the Strategic Map and DEI Action Plan. Chosen interns will also be expected to submit budget requests and plans to disseminate the projects.
The internship will be one or two semesters, depending on the project, and will be led by the Associate Dean for DEI. The Dean’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Interns will be mentored by an Interns Advisory Council, which will report directly to the Dean. Each student will be assigned a mentor, who they will meet with at least twice a year.
Upon each student’s development and execution of a DEI project and successful completion of the internship program, each project will be highlighted in the LSU Magazine and via School of Nursing social media outlets. Interns will also receive a certificate of recognition upon graduation.
Seeking Student Ambassadors
The Student Ambassador Program (SAP), which will also open for applications in fall 2021, will invite nursing students to become designated ambassadors representing the School of Nursing. SAP students will represent the school and its initiatives within the community and among stakeholders, projecting a positive image that promotes recruitment and increased community partnership.
SAP will involve nursing students from all levels who will engage in recruitment activities and community events with School of Nursing partners. Student ambassadors will be expected to commit to a minimum of 20 hours of service per academic year.
“Student ambassadors will help create a positive image and increase public awareness about the School of Nursing, increase engagement among our student body and interaction with the administrative team, provide a diverse representation of nursing schools in the community and help build stronger relationships with our community partners,” says Souad Salloum, Nurse Recruiter at the School of Nursing.
The number of ambassadors will be determined based on the number of applications received in the fall. A new application process will launch each fall with the intention of selecting more students as the program grows.
Any student enrolled in the School of Nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA who completed Sophomore I and II semesters and has at least two semesters remaining will be eligible to apply. The application process will require faculty recommendations and an interview.
“This program will offer opportunities to meet with distinguished legislators, prominent alumni, community members and potential employers,” Salloum says. “Student ambassadors will also develop leadership skills as they help plan recruitment events and team-building activities. At the end of their service, student ambassadors will be recognized at our Commencement awards ceremony.”