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NSU Nursing Students Transition to Practice

NLN Announces Program to Transition HBCU Senior Nursing Students to Practice

Senior Nursing Students & Faculty to be Selected for Innovative Program in Age of COVID-19

With the impact of COVID-19, the general population aging, with one or more chronic conditions requiring medical management, and a projected shortage of nearly 375,000 registered nurses by 2028, the strain on America’s health care system is arguably a perfect storm. And these factors have especially aggravated health inequities faced by the African American community.

The National League for Nursing and Johnson & Johnson announce a new partnership to address these current and looming health care challenges. The project, Transitioning Senior Nursing Students in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) into Clinical Practice, will bring a year-long, multi-faceted program in leadership development to six HBCUs that offer four-year baccalaureate degrees in nursing. Senior nursing students and nurse educators will be selected by their institutions to participate. Johnson & Johnson is supporting this work as part of its $100 million commitment over the next five years to invest and promote health equity solutions for Black and other communities of color.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge health care institutions throughout the nation—highlighting unequal access to safe, quality health care by communities of color and the negative effects of a lack of diversity within the ranks of the nursing workforce—preparing graduates of nursing programs from HBCUs to respond effectively to these realities has taken on even greater urgency,” said NLN Chair Kathleen Poindexter, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, assistant dean of undergraduate programs and faculty development at Michigan State University, College of Nursing. “The National League for Nursing is honored to be able to offer this essential leadership preparation to carefully selected senior nursing students and faculty at six HBCUs. The impact of the year-long program will resonate far beyond this initial cohort to accelerate the delivery of safe, quality care and advance health outcomes for thousands of minority patients and families.”

NLN President and CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, FAAN said, “We are gratified that Johnson & Johnson has once again chosen the National League for Nursing to partner in leadership development and this time specifically preparing HBCU nursing graduates to succeed in today’s dynamic health care environment. This program will thereby also significantly aid hospitals and other health care providers in expanding diversity and improving retention of a young, savvy nursing workforce.”

The six HBCUs will include:

  • Alcorn State University, School of Nursing
  • Bowie State University, Department of Nursing
  • Coppin State University, College of Health Professions
  • Howard University, College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences
  • Norfolk State University, Department of Nursing
  • University of the District of Columbia, Nursing Programs

The program, managed by the NLN Institute for Diversity and Global Initiatives under the NLN Center for Transformational Leadership, takes a dual-pronged, integrated approach. Two strategic components, the NLN Faculty Coaching for Excellence Course and the Student Leadership Development Program for senior HBCUs nursing students, will function concurrently to guarantee the project’s success.

Students will be proactively prepared before they graduate for a smooth transition into clinical practice, armed with individual, group and organizational systems leadership competencies, like communication, emotional intelligence, and decision-making; professional team dynamics, like conflict resolution and collaboration; organizational culture and the politics of organizational systems. Nurse educators that go through the five-part, evidence-based learning modules that comprise the NLN Coaching for Excellence Course will find their skills enhanced in coaching, debriefing, student learning assessment and developing students’ critical thinking through tactics like Socratic dialogue.

The League has an extensive and respected track record in professional leadership development and diversity and inclusion. For more information about programs and initiatives in these areas, visit