The Hausman Diversity Program at Mass General Hospital
by Alicia Williams-Hyman
Hausman Diversity Program at Mass General Hospital
The Hausman Student Nurse Fellowship was created when MGH patient Margaretta Hausman, a social worker and graduate of Brown University, recognized the need for diversity among the top-level nursing staff. The Hausman Student Nurse Fellowship provides an opportunity for minority nursing students enrolled in an undergraduate baccalaureate nursing program to gain experience in patient care across the continuum.
The fellowship allows student nurses between the summer of their junior and senior year in college to experience care at the bedside in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Under the mentorship of Deborah Washington, R.N., Director of Diversity for Patient Care Services and Bernice McField-Avila MD, Co-Chair of the Fellowship, the recipients have an opportunity to further develop skills required to thrive in a workplace where unique challenge to the minority nurse must be managed.
The first fellowship was awarded to Stevenson Morency in 2007. The program flourished significantly and in 2011, the fellowship was awarded to 8 minority student nurses, the largest group in the history of the program. The Student Nurses worked on various units such as Endoscopy, Orthopedics, General Medicine, Thoracic Surgery, Cardiac Unit, Neurosurgery Unit, Wang Wound Care, Cancer Center and the Grey IV department.
At the graduation ceremony on August 19, 2011, the Hausman Student Nurses provided feedback about their time in the program. Vicky Yu, a student of UMass and a 2011 recipient, felt honored to be part of the fellowship. She stated she saw many procedures she had only read about in her textbooks: colonoscopy, hip/knee replacements and urinary catheterization. “I got to work with a nurse 1-on-1. I don't get this attention on my school clinical and I loved it!” stated Vicky.
Jennifer Etienne of Boston College stated: “As a minority nurse, it will be my mission to eliminate health care disparities and use my skills and knowledge to eliminate language barriers and become more culturally competent.”
Marthe Pierre shared: “The Hausman Fellowship is a ladder that provided a stepping-stone to my success. It allowed me to acquire skills, knowledge and confidence. It has also ignited my desire to one day become an extraordinary nurse who is culturally competent and compassionate.”
Jeffrey Jean of UMass Boston expressed that the program has reaffirmed his knowledge and his clinical experience. “Being able to walk in the shoes of a different RN has allowed me to re-invent myself. I have learned an abundance of new skills and techniques and have acquired a vast amount of knowledge. I believe that an important component of being an effective caregiver is to know what my strengths are.”
Sedina Giaff of Simmons College declared “It is with great pride that I introduce myself as a Hausman Fellow. This has been the best summer of my life. My experience as a Hausman Fellow has made me a better nursing student both clinically and intellectually. I have a better understanding and greater interest in the nursing profession. I am confidently looking forward to the coming school year and sharing my experiences with my classmates.”
Lauren Kang-Kim of Linfield College in Oregon had this to say: “Now I am reborn as a Hausman Fellow. For the last 5 weeks I found my own powerful voice and I am now proud of my minority identity. The Fellowship has opened the doors for me to become not just a better nurse, but a better person with a deeper understanding and respect for human beings.
Rosalee Tayag and Anna Diane of UMass Boston and Boston College respectively, stated that the Fellowship enhanced their leadership, critical thinking, assessment and communication skills; and taught them to be more culturally sensitive. They also emphasized that they learned to work as members of a team more effectively.
Former 2010 Hausman awardees, Jason Villarreal and Penina Marengue, congratulated the Student Nurses on their graduation and cautioned them to use their new-found knowledge to provide competent care to their patients and uphold the good name of the Hausman Fellows.
Former Hausman Fellows include: Frew Fikru, Alexis Seggalye, and Christopher Uyiguosa Isibor 2008. Chantel Watson and Stephanie Poon 2009.
The Hausman Fellowship is posted by Spring of each year at www.mghcareers.org. Qualified minority candidates should be in good academic standing (3.0 GPA or higher) and entering their senior year of a BSN program in the Fall.