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Health Team

Duke program inspires future minority nurses

Posted July 27, 2011 4:34 p.m. EDT
Updated July 27, 2011 6:52 p.m. EDT

— A special summer program at Duke University is encouraging minority students to pursue careers in the nursing field, where they're historically underrepresented.

MADIN II, an acronym for "making a difference in nursing," gives minority students opportunities to shadow real nurses at work and is designed to encourage them to pursue Ph.D. and M.D. degrees, so they can assume future leadership roles in health care.

"(We want) to ensure that we have got diverse representation among ethnic and racial minorities," said Dorothy Powell, associate dean of the School of Nursing at Duke.

The program, which is funded by a federal grant, has both classroom and clinical components, and students receive some financial assistance to attend. Scholarships are also available.

For participants Kara Edmond and Kevin Gulledge, who were recommended by the historically black colleges they attend, MADIN II cemented their desire to work in the nursing field.

"It's been intense, but I've thoroughly enjoyed it," Edmond said. "It really helps to confirm, yes, this is the direction I want to go."

Gulledge said the experience has brought him closer to his goal of opening a clinic back home in Mississippi.

"I was really astonished how hard (nurses) do work," he said. "But I feel this is the start of my journey to become a family nurse practitioner."

Powell said students like Edmond and Gulledge are part of a large group of minority students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and excel at colleges and universities but may believe that a nursing degree is out of reach.

"They are very, very bright students, and we believe they represent the future of nursing," she said.