An Innovative, Multidisciplinary Strategy to Improve Retention of Nursing Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds

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Nursing students from disadvantaged backgrounds must overcome many barriers in order to succeed. This article will focus on how a multidisciplinary team helped 76 percent of these high-risk students persist in their nursing programs by addressing some of these barriers. Three baccalaureate nursing schools in the Texas Medical Center embarked on a three-year retention program designed to enhance the success of students identified by federal criteria as being at risk. Multidisciplinary teams led various activities, including a study skills component, which included preparing for lectures, taking notes, critical thinking, and test-taking strategies. Also addressed were written and oral communication skills, medical terminology, critical thinking, career coaching, and socialization activities. Collaboration among faculty and students at the three schools was key to the success of the program.

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