Leading the Change

Leading the Change

Assistant Professor Nancy Moriber PhD, CRNA, APRN, assists Tenzin Nelun ’23 in a simulation. Photo by Fairfield University Media Center.

Assistant Professor Nancy Moriber PhD, CRNA, APRN, assists Tenzin Nelun ’23 in a simulation. Photo by Fairfield University Media Center.

Founded last spring, the Fairfield Egan Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) task force was established to further advance diversity initiatives within the nursing school.

A central focus of the Egan School’s mission is to improve healthcare outcomes. When the pandemic swept across the nation, long - standing inequities within the U.S. health - care system were exposed.

“We in Egan are called to respond by ensuring that stu - dents have implicit bias training, and that they are informed not only of the inequities within healthcare, but are a part of the change to provide safe and equitable healthcare to all people,” said JEDI task force co-chair and assistant professor of nursing Jenna LoGiudice, PhD, CNM, RN.

During the academic year, the task force identified areas of focus and collaborated with the Center for Academic Excellence to develop inclusive syllabi and antiracist assess - ments. In the coming year, the JEDI task force plans to con - duct a climate survey, engage faculty of all levels in training, increase representation in simulated experiences, endorse events that elevate diverse voices, and more.

“The JEDI task force calls the Egan School to embody the larger Jesuit mission of respect and regard for the dignity of every human being, while also creating a culture of belonging and inclusivity within the school,” said Tanika Eaves, PhD, task force co-chair and assistant professor of social work.

In addition to JEDI, in 2015 the Egan School launched the RISE program, formally known as the Zero Attrition Mission, in partnership with pre-health professions. This initiative aims to develop a culture of inclusivity within a traditionally homogenous environment, and to improve attrition rates of under-represented nursing student populations. The goal is to serve as an additional resource to these students, through professional nursing mentorship, academic support, and the exploration of environmental factors contributing to success.

“At our meetings we try to empower the students to selfadvocate,” said Jessica Alicea-Planas, PhD, RN, MPH, CHES. “We remind them of resources that are available to help them continue to be successful at Fairfield in the health professions programs, and our meetings offer place to find a community of students that they can relate to. We also have a Blackboard space where we post about scholarships, upcoming conferences, and opportunities that are specific to affinity groups or groups that are under-represented in the health professions.”

Similarly, the Men in Nursing Club at Fairfield Egan be - came an official chapter of the American Association of Men in Nursing (AAMN); it is the only AAMN chapter in Connecticut. The club launched in 2014, following Dean Meredith Wallace Kazer’s, PhD, APRN, FAAN initiative to recruit men and re - tain them as students in Egan’s nursing program.

Club participants can join the AAMN as student mem - bers. This grants them access to all that AAMN offers, in - cluding the career center, scholarship opportunities, and other benefits.

“In the past, we have had male nursing leaders come and talk about specific career paths,” said club advisor Steven Belmont, DNP, CRNA, APRN, assistant program director and assistant professor for the Fairfield University Nurse Anesthesia Program. “The opportunities in nursing are endless, and I want to introduce them to some of the possibilities.”

Tags:  Egan School

Last modified: 09-16-22 3:26 PM

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