The WVU School of Nursing's newest student organization, Promoting Outreach, Unification and Nursing Diversity, or POUND, has the goals of engaging in the community, fostering positive relationships between nurses and nursing students and enhancing diversity within the nursing profession.
"The initial focus of this new student organization was to reach more men in nursing,” said Brad Phillips, MSN, RN, CNE, a Clinical Education Instructor and advisor for the group. “Males comprise one of the largest minorities in the nursing profession. When I think back to my nursing education, I struggled with finding a sense of identity as a male in nursing. A stigma always seemed to hover over me, and I remembered being extremely self-conscious with how others viewed me. Creating this organization empowers students to make a stand to break these stigmas and promote diversity within their profession.”
Since then, POUND has broadened its diversity focus, partnering with the Health Sciences & Technology Academy (HSTA) in the state of West Virginia.
The Health Sciences & Technology Academy, known as HSTA, is a one-of-a-kind mentoring program in the state of West Virginia that helps participating high school students enter and succeed in STEM-based undergraduate and graduate degree programs. HSTA marshals the efforts of hundreds of mentors―teachers, community members, higher-education faculty and staff, and the HSTA participants themselves―through a framework that supports students facing social and financial challenges to obtaining a diploma and moving on to college.
HSTA scholars are 75% rural, 37% African American, 69% female, 68% first-generation college students, and 46% financially disadvantaged. The outreach and unification with POUND and HSTA has the potential to reach a diverse group of students and encourage them to pursue a degree in nursing.
All WVU School of Nursing students are welcome to join and share in POUND's vision of enhancing the nursing profession in the state of West Virginia and beyond.
Mission and Vision
POUND is a student-centered organization established to strengthen the relationships and remove the barriers amongst the diverse groups in the nursing profession. Our goals are to utilize mentorship to increase recruitment and foster collaboration between both future and existing professional nurses and build awareness of the presence of disparities in the nursing profession in hopes to build a more unified front.
Values and Focus
POUND’s values include:
One of the initial focuses is to break the stigma attached to one of the largest minorities, male nurses. In addition to a high school outreach program, POUND will provide outreach to male nursing students in all nursing programs. The group will use alumni, professional nurses at WVU Medicine, and School of Nursing faculty to be positive role models and mentors to male students. The goal is to provide a sense of identity as male students transition into their role as graduate nurses. And the organization will not be limited to only men. It is open to anybody who would like to join and support the mission.
Source: Health Science and Technology Academy. (2012).