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What is Towson U’s new IDEA to help bridge the nursing inclusion gap?

Students in IDEA lounge

Nursing students studying in the IDEA lounge.

In creating the Incorporating Diversity Empowers All (IDEA) program, the College of Health Professions’ nursing department showed in abundance the trait most associated with nurses: compassion.

Begun in fall 2014, the grant-based program has two aims: to address a looming shortage of nurses and nurse educators, and to remedy an inclusion gap between international and immigrant nursing students and native English speakers.

All nursing students have access to the IDEA program room where they can study together, participate in workshops, and work with peer instructor coaches (PICs). Around 25 students from Africa, the Philippines and Asia partner with the PICs to learn both process tasks (how to read a syllabus, how to pick textbooks, etc.) and medical English. Recent workshops run by IDEA have covered dosage calculation and test taking techniques for the nursing exam.

Students also have access to a speech pathologist who helps interested students modify their accents and understand non-verbal and behavioral cues typical in the United States.

IDEA also runs a satellite program at the Hagerstown campus.

If you are a TU nursing student who would like to participate in IDEA, please contact Bonnie Fuller.

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