The Kids Into Health Careers (KIHC)Initiative: Innovative Approaches to Help Solve the Nursing Shortage

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In 2001, the Northern Illinois University School of Nursing was awarded a grant from the Division of Nursing of the Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to enhance the School's advanced practice nursing program. As a recipient of this grant, the School of Nursing was required to incorporate activities to meet the goals of the “Kids Into Health Careers (KIHC) Initiative” to encourage children into health care careers.This article describes the strategies developed by the School of Nursing to meet the KIHC goals and encourage children, especially those from minorities, into health care careers. The School's approach was multifaceted and included collaboration with a variety of community organizations and groups. While there is a tremendous amount of work to be accomplished in encouraging middle and high school students to consider nursing as a career, creative strategies through which nurses take an active role in helping resolve the problem are suggested.

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