BWH and Roxbury Community College Launch Scholar Program
BWH nursing leadership, nurse mentors and Roxbury Community College graduates gather for a photograph with BWH President Betsy Nabel, MD, during the program launch celebration.
Kevin Kimani, BSN, RN, of Hematology/Oncology, chose to become a mentor because he knows how important it is to have someone guide and listen to you at pivotal moments in your career.
"I remember what I went through when I was in nursing school and working at the same time, and how my mentor back then was able to guide me," he said. "It will be interesting to see what obstacles my mentee comes across, and I look forward to being able to help her get through them."
On Feb. 26, five BWH nurses serving as mentors and five Roxbury Community College (RCC) graduates came together to celebrate the launch of the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Roxbury Community College Nursing Scholarship Program. The program strives to more closely link BWH's Nursing Department with RCC's nursing program and ultimately helps to enhance the diversity of BWH's workforce to reflect the community the hospital serves.
With funding from Partners HealthCare, the program provides scholarships that will support the education of RCC graduates who received their associate's degree in the two-year program and are currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in nursing at other institutions. BWH requires all newly-licensed nurses to hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.
"It is with great excitement that we launch this new program, and I look forward to watching the mentor and mentee relationships flourish," said Jackie Somerville, PhD, RN, senior vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer, in welcoming the students to the BWH nursing community.
Deborah Farina Mulloy, PhD, RN, associate chief nurse for Quality and the Center for Nursing Excellence, shared her own experiences with mentorship and described the important role of mentorship in professional nursing development.
According to Patrice Nicholas, DNSc, MPH, RN, FAAN, program director of Global Health and Academic Partnerships, not only are the RCC mentees continuing their education, but all of the BWH mentors are in master's degree or doctoral degree programs in nursing as well.
"We've all benefitted from having mentors in our lives and serving as mentors," Nicholas said. She added that mentees will serve as mentors to new scholarship recipients down the line through the program.
Before making her way to the event, RCC graduate and current Curry College student Jennifer Okwemba, RN, walked through the halls of BWH and paused to reflect on the work being done at the hospital.
"Looking left and right, I was seeing amazing things happening," she said. "The magnitude of this program just hit me. It's such a privilege to begin this journey."
With monthly meetings planned at the Center for Nursing Excellence and continued individual communication between mentors and mentees, BWH and RCC hope the pairs will maintain ongoing relationships for many years to come.