Category Archives: Mentoring

Jan 17 2013
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Sharing Nursing’s Knowledge: What’s in the Latest Issue

Have you signed up to receive Sharing Nursing’s Knowledge? The monthly Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) e-newsletter will keep you up to date on the work of RWJF’s nursing programs, and the latest news, research and trends relating to academic progression, leadership and other critically important nursing issues.  These are some of the stories in the January issue:

Mentoring: A Boon to Nurses, the Nursing Profession, and Patients, Too
The 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on the future of nursing found that mentoring is a good way to strengthen the nursing workforce and, in turn, improve the quality of care and patient outcomes. Mentoring helps nurses develop into the kind of leaders who can play a larger part in the development, design and delivery of health care. They also help with practical advice; see how mentors helped one struggling young nurse meet the challenges of balancing work and family.

RWJF Scholar Triumphs Over Chronic Pain and Brings Lessons to the Nursing Profession
After living with chronic––but preventable––pain for nearly a decade, RWJF New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) scholar John Pederzolli, RN, BS, finally found relief. Pederzolli’s struggle inspired him to become a nurse, which he was able to do because he received a New Careers in Nursing scholarship. Now a newly minted nurse in Ohio, Pederzolli says one good thing came out of his experience: an appreciation for listening—a skill that has already come in handy in his new career.

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Dec 14 2012
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Meet RWJF New Connections

This is part of a series introducing programs in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Human Capital Portfolio.

Raphael Travis, DrPH, knows the power of New Connections. For Travis, New Connections’ training events—such as symposiums and coaching clinics—were an important source for professional development in a welcoming atmosphere. He says, “I heard about the actual grants during the training workshop and knew I had to apply. The ambiance was inspiring, welcoming and needed. The combination of a supportive atmosphere and intellectual depth transcended what my home University offered. I was very excited to apply.”

file Raphael Travis, DrPH

Travis, a 2008 grantee, is an assistant professor at Texas State University- San Marcos. His New Connections project uses data collected in the 1997-2002 evaluation of Health Link, a program established to help reduce substance abuse among individuals returning to their New York City community after incarceration at Riker’s Island. The study explores: how positive youth development opportunities relate to recidivism; the relationships among mental health, substance use and recidivism across time points; and the potential cultural uniqueness between African-American and Latino youth.

file Hector Rodriguez, PhD, MPH

Hector Rodriguez, PhD, MPH, knows the power of New Connections too. For Rodriguez, the program offered training and new research methods that powered his work. Rodriguez says, “New Connections is a fantastic opportunity for underrepresented junior faculty to pursue important public health and health care research, while being connected to a large network of prominent scholars.”

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Nov 7 2012
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Education Progression: We Need Mentorship and Support for all Nurses to Become Lifelong Learners

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Human Capital Blog is asking diverse experts: What is and isn’t working in health professions education today, and what changes are needed to prepare a high-functioning health and health care workforce that can meet the country’s current and emerging needs? Today’s post is by Linda Dedo, RN, MSN/MHA, medical center manager, University of Virginia, and co-lead of the Virginia Action Coalition Education Progression Workgroup.

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Education progression is an important objective for today’s nursing workforce. I have been a nurse for 40 years and, as I reflect, my career has been an exercise in progression. I first became interested in nursing as a young teen when my mother helped me become a Red Cross candy striper. I did volunteer work at several local nursing homes until my senior year in high school when I enrolled in a vocational practical nursing program.

I graduated from this program at age 19 and began my formal nursing career. I worked in acute care hospital settings for 20 years and I always thought I was a good nurse. I was well-respected by my peers and well-liked by my patients. I collaborated well with the physicians and other health care leaders in my organization, but I was beginning to realize that I would need to return to school if I expected to continue to grow in my bedside nursing role in a large academic medical center.

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Oct 2 2012
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Motivating the Next Generation of Minority Physicians

Alden M. Landry, MD, MPH and Kameron Leigh Matthews, MD, JD are  co-directors of Tour for Diversity in Medicine, a grassroots effort to educate, inspire, and cultivate future minority physicians. Landry, 31, is an emergency medicine physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and Matthews, 33, and is the medical director for a Chicago-based family health clinic. Landry is an alumnus of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP), formerly the Minority Medical Education Program.

Alden Landry reflects on the second Tour for Diversity which ended last week:

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Dr Matthews and I created the Tour for Diversity in Medicine (T4D) to reach out to students in their comfort zones and show them that they could be successful and become health care providers. We enlisted the help of our friends and colleagues to come along with us on the tour as Mentors, to lead lectures, workshops and interactive sessions and motivate the next generation of minority physicians. The Mentors range from pre-health advisors to medical and dental students as well as physicians and dentists in practice. More importantly, they share their personal stories with students. We’ve found this to be one of the most valuable parts of the tour—giving a human face to what can sometimes seem like an unattainable profession.

The tour was different than our earlier, February tour because we had a broader mix of host institutions. Host institutions ranged from small historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to larger institutions. We visited schools in rural settings as well as large cities. Each institution was as unique as were the students who attended and the stories we heard.

There wasn't just one stop that was memorable. All of the stops were filled with amazing groups of students hungry for more knowledge about careers in medicine and dentistry.

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Sep 26 2012
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Mentors: On Belay?

By Tim Landers, PhD, CNP and Taura Barr, PhD, RN.  Both authors are 2012 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars who recently participated in Outward Bound as part of their orientation to the program.  Landers is an assistant professor at The Ohio State University College of Nursing; and Barr is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, West Virginia University.

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Belay: 1)  to secure (as a rope) by turns around a cleat, pin, or bitt, 2) stop, 3) to secure (a person) at the end of a rope, to secure (a rope) to a person. 

--Merriam-Webster Dictionary

In rock climbing, the rock climber is watched over by someone called a belayer who stands at the bottom of the cliff and is attached to the climber with a rope and some hardware.

Belaying is a lot like mentoring.

The primary job of the belayer is safety. It’s not that the climber won’t make mistakes and won’t fall – it’s that when the climber makes mistakes, the results aren’t catastrophic.  When the climber slips, he or she has a chance to learn from the belayer and to try again.  Sometimes, the belayer is a coach, pointing out where to place your hands and feet next or identify easier routes up the rock, but the belayer’s primary job is to stay alert for slips and falls, letting out slack as needed and letting the climber climb.

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Sep 11 2012
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Project L/EARN: Graduates Reflect

Project L/EARN is an intensive, 10-week summer internship for undergraduate college students who are from socioeconomic, ethnic, and cultural groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in graduate education. The program, funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provides students with training, experience and mentoring to make them stronger candidates for admission to graduate programs. Interns attend lecture sessions, complete Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) preparation, and work with mentors to write a research paper, which they present as a poster. This year’s program was held at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research at Rutgers University. This is part of a series of posts where scholars who completed the program discuss the experience. Learn more about Project L/EARN.

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Alison Hernandez
Hometown: North Bergen, NJ
Rising senior at Rutgers University
Major: Pharmacy
Internship Research Project: The Influence of Patient Health Perceptions on Engagement in End-of-Life Discussions

Human Capital Blog: How does your Project L/EARN experience relate to or support your educational and professional goals?

Alison Hernandez: Before Project L/EARN I did not have appreciation for research the way I do today. As a prospective clinician, I think it’s important that clinicians know about research and improving health outcomes through programs and initiatives. And if clinicians don’t know about this research that’s going on, nothing’s going to change. So it’s important that I take these lessons I’ve learned at Project L/Earn and bring it to my fellow classmates.

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Sep 5 2012
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Project L/EARN: Graduates Reflect

Project L/EARN is an intensive, 10-week summer internship for undergraduate college students who are from socioeconomic, ethnic, and cultural groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in graduate education. The program, funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provides students with training, experience and mentoring to make them stronger candidates for admission to graduate programs. Interns attend lecture sessions, complete Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) preparation, and work with mentors to write a research paper, which they present as a poster. This year’s program was held at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research at Rutgers University. This is part of a series of posts where scholars who completed the program discuss the experience. Learn more about Project L/EARN.

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Stephanie Jimenez
Hometown: Jersey City, NJ
Rising junior at Rutgers University
Major: Sociology
Internship Research Project: Breast Cancer Survivors’ Perceptions of Quality Cancer-Related Care from Primary Care Providers

Human Capital Blog: What aspect of the Project L/EARN internship has been most helpful and why?

Stephanie Jimenez: The most helpful part of my Project L/EARN experience this summer was the guidance that I received from my mentor as well as the things I learned from my instructional staff. The feedback I gained from my presentation helped me gain perspective.

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Aug 27 2012
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Project L/EARN: Graduates Reflect

Project L/EARN is an intensive, 10-week summer internship for undergraduate college students who are from socioeconomic, ethnic, and cultural groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in graduate education. The program, funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provides students with training, experience and mentoring to make them stronger candidates for admission to graduate programs. Interns attend lecture sessions, complete Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) preparation, and work with mentors to write a research paper, which they present as a poster. This year’s program was held at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research at Rutgers University. This is part of a series of posts where scholars who completed the program discuss the experience. Learn more about Project L/EARN.

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Brandon McDonald
Hometown: Rochester, NY
Rising Senior at the University of Rochester
Major: Public Health
Internship Research Project: Marital Status as a Predictor of Dental Health Service Utilization

Human Capital Blog: What did you expect before you arrived? How different is the reality?

Brandon McDonald: When I first arrived at Project L/EARN, I expected there’d be a sense of difficulty as well as more independent-based projects. In actuality, I realized that there’s a broader sense of structure and a bigger support system than I would have ever expected. There are different segments when the papers are due so you have [more] connections with your mentor than what I would have thought as well.

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Aug 21 2012
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Project L/EARN: Graduates Reflect

Project L/EARN is an intensive, 10-week summer internship for undergraduate college students who are from socioeconomic, ethnic, and cultural groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in graduate education. The program, funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provides students with training, experience and mentoring to make them stronger candidates for admission to graduate programs. Interns attend lecture sessions, complete Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) preparation, and work with mentors to write a research paper, which they present as a poster. This year’s program was held at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research at Rutgers University. This is part of a series of posts where scholars who completed the program discuss the experience. Learn more about Project L/EARN.

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Thomasina Anane
Hometown: Silver Spring, MD
Rising junior at Johns Hopkins University
Major: Public Health / Sociology
Internship Research Project: Goal-Striving Stress & Mental Health: Race and SES Variations

Human Capital Blog: Are there any insights about your Project L/EARN experience you’d like to share?

Thomasina Anane: Project L/EARN taught me two things. One: stop procrastinating and learn better time management skills and two: Project L/EARN is a lot like a 9 to 5. You can equate it to a work day. Having to wake up on time every day to be here has taught me the importance of how you present yourself as a professional who’s confident in what she’s doing. Just knowing what you’re doing and how people perceive you and your work. It’s added a sense of rigor to what I do. I’m definitely taking what I’m doing seriously. Project L/EARN has taught me the importance of what all this education means. In the future, being able to use what we learned and be confident and becoming the career person you want to be now. And I appreciate Project L/EARN for that.

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Aug 14 2012
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Project L/EARN: Graduates Reflect

Project L/EARN is an intensive, 10-week summer internship for undergraduate college students who are from socioeconomic, ethnic, and cultural groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in graduate education. The program, funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provides students with training, experience and mentoring to make them stronger candidates for admission to graduate programs. Interns attend lecture sessions, complete Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) preparation, and work with mentors to write a research paper, which they present as a poster. This year’s program was held at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research at Rutgers University.This is the first in a series of posts where scholars who completed the program discuss the experience. Learn more about Project L/EARN.

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Symonne Kennedy
Hometown: Teaneck, NJ
Rising senior at Rutgers University
Major: Psychology
Internship Research Project: The Association between Prenatal Substance Exposure and Adolescent Emotional Competence

Human Capital Blog: What’s the most surprising thing you learned during internship?

Symonne Kennedy: The most surprising thing I’ve learned in Project L/EARN is the sheer extent of the amount of work that goes into a research project and the amount of statistics it takes to do it. I’ve taken advanced research statistics, so I thought I was “big man on campus.” But no, there’s so much more to learn, and I haven’t even touched the tip of the iceberg.

HCB: Are there any insights about your Project L/EARN experience you’d like to share?

Kennedy: The program is really tough, it is a grueling program. They said that beforehand – it’s going to be difficult, it’s an intensive 10-week research program, and that’s exactly what it is. They said you’re not going to believe us, but when you start going through you start to feel it. For future Project L/EARN students it’s important to know that it is a lot of work but it’s very doable. The program is good preparation for what grad school’s really going to be like. It’s tough but you just have to put your mind to it. It’s very accessible, you can do it.

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