Friday, August 26, 2011

Hausman Fellowship empowers minority nursing students

CONFIDENCE BUILDING: The Hausman Fellows with
Washington, back row, left, and Bernice McField-Avila,
MD, Hausman Program mentor, back row, right

PURSUING A NURSING CAREER is a difficult road for anyone, but aspiring clinicians from diverse backgrounds may face added pressures and challenges in a health care workforce that is predominately white. Through the Hausman Fellowship, founded at the MGH in 2007 to promote recruitment of minority nurses, minority nursing students are empowered to achieve their health care dreams and better serve the hospital’s diverse patient population.

An Aug. 19 ceremony in the O’Keeffe Auditorium celebrated the 2011 Hausman Fellows, all young and eager nursing students primarily from local colleges. The fellows successfully completed a 10-week program of activities ranging from hands-on clinical practice to manning the White Lobby information desk to interviewing senior hospital leaders about their roles. Each student was paired with a minority mentor and minority and nonminority preceptors to provide meaningful clinical, practical and social learning experiences.

Lauren Kang Kim, a student at Linfield College in Oregon, came to the United States from Korea four and a half years ago. “I feel like I’m reborn as a Hausman Fellow,” she told the audience. “I feel very confident because I have worked in this very supportive environment. I’m very grateful to be part of this program.”

In a panel discussion following the ceremony, the students were asked to name one thing about the program that had the most effect on their outlook. Learning to “take initiative” said one. Learning to “ask questions” said another, and learning to “explain our culture and background” said a third. Jeffrey Jean, a University of Massachusetts  Boston student, summed it up: “Learning that it’s OK to be a leader sometimes and a follower sometimes. In a word, awareness.”

The Hausman Fellowship was originally funded by Margaretta Hausman, LICSW, a social worker and former MGH patient, and is spearheaded by Deborah Washington, RN, PhD(c), director of Diversity for Patient Care Services. For more information about the Hausman Fellowship  program, contact Washington at 671-724-7469 or 

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