This application proposes a Bridges to the Baccalaureate (BttB) partnership between the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (NHWSN) at Emory University and the Nursing Program at Georgia Perimeter College (GPC). The program focuses on identifying students from underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups - groups who are underrepresented in nursing and nursing science as well - and supporting them through the associate degree to the baccalaureate in nursing (BSN) and on to careers in nursing science in the PhD program in Nursing at Emory or at similar research-intensive institutions.
BttB aims to increase the number of underrepresented students who complete the AS degree in Nursing at GPC and enter the BSN program at NHWSN; who develop skills and knowledge in nursing science; and who are socialized into the culture and profession of nursing science and move forward to doctoral studies. BttB responds to national needs to address the nursing shortage by developing a next generation of nursing scientists to be faculty in schools of nursing who both teach and create the evidence for improved practice. It also addresses the IOM call for nursing leadership to work with other professions to develop innovative solutions to the nation's health care crisis and to the persistent problem of health disparities. The BttB program will consist of five elements; (1) recruitment and enrollment; (2) research exposure; (3) research immersion; (4) academic programming; and (5) mentoring, advising, and counseling. Faculty from both institutions will participate in selecting GPC students into the BttB program in their first semester in the GPC nursing program. Research roundtables and summer and school-year research immersion experiences will strengthen the environment of research at GPC and will enable students to learn about nursing science both conceptually and experientially. The roundtable and immersion experiences will continue when students transfer to NHWSN and enter an RN-BSN program that is specifically tailored to accommodate their prior training and to further immerse them in nursing science. At NHWSN, BttB students will be in an environment characterized by the active conduct of funded research by a large number of tenured and tenure track faculty.
The Bridges to the Baccalaureate (BttB) program seeks to move underrepresented students from an associate degree in nursing (AS) program through a bachelor degree in nursing (BSN) program and to a point of readiness for doctoral training in nursing science. A comprehensive program of research exposure, immersion, and coursework tailored to strengthen nursing and science skills is designed to increase the number of such students entering advanced study (and careers) in nursing or other biobehavioral sciences.