Program founder at Mary Baldwin pushes for more diversity in nursing

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 6:58 PM EST
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FISHERVILLE, Va. (WHSV) - A founding program director at Mary Baldwin University is pushing for more representation in the medicine field.

Johanna Newman hopes to encourage more people of color to pursue nursing, especially anesthesiology.

Newman is using her position as a founding program director at MBU’s College of Health Sciences to continue her mission to boost diversity in nursing. Namely, by creating a template that illustrates best practices for bringing more students from non-white backgrounds into the fold, and ensuring their success both in school and after graduation.

According to Newman, the rate of anesthesiology workers who are also a minority is 11 percent and dropping.

Newman prioritizes current and future students being culturally aware and competent from the curriculum.

“It’s not just a factor of recruiting diverse healthcare providers, but it is also training non-diverse healthcare providers on how to care for these patients and be sensitive to their issues,” Newman said.

Newman keeps the intentionality for diversity with recruiting — connecting with students at Historically Black colleges and universities and attending medical conferences.

40 percent of the nurse anesthesiology program’s first cohort is a person of color.