The 2010 IOM Report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, formulated four key messages and eight recommendations for an action-oriented blueprint for the future of nursing. These included changes in public and institutional policies at the national, state, and local levels.
PSNA has been engaged in advancing these initiatives by: supporting APRNs in the removal of scope of practice barriers; expanding opportunities for nurses to lead through the PSNA Star Leadership Institute and YNP Advisory Board; advocating for an increase in the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree; and ensuring nurses engage in lifelong learning through the PSNA CE Center.
However, we still struggle with a lack of diversity within our profession. According to the 2016 U.S. Census Bureau, individuals from ethnic and racial minority groups accounted for almost 40% of our nation’s population. Projections point to minority populations becoming the majority by 2043. Comparatively, PA’s registered nurse population is comprised of 91% white/Caucasian, 5% black/African American, 3% Asian, and 2% Hispanic origin.
Therefore, in an effort for our nursing workforce to better reflect our nation’s increasing diverse population and increase the number of nurses in the profession with a baccalaureate degree, we are proposing to establish the Pennsylvania Nurses Middle College Charter High School (Under Development).
This school is unique in that it will be a STEM high school for students interested in nursing. It is not an allied health program. Its viable school-to-career pathway offers a curriculum that will increase the likelihood of college admission to a nursing program. It will also offer dual enrollment in area colleges and universities whose coursework will be transferable toward their baccalaureate degree. Students will receive industry-recognized certifications in first aid and CNA while in the school.
PSNA, with the support of the Nursing Foundation of Pennsylvania, PANA, and a founding team of experts, is in the process of writing the charter application. This school will hopefully be located in Harrisburg. Visit the new website at www.pnmccharter.org.