At VUSN the term professional development refers, in part, to a wide variety of focused activities, including mentoring, that help students and faculty enhance their nursing knowledge, clinical competencies and skills, and effectiveness as leaders in health care. Following are select examples for professional development for men in nursing at VUSN.
Professional Development at VUSN
- January 2015: Dean Cortney Lyder (UCLA) presented the Martin Luther King address for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dean Lyder met separately with the VUSN AAMN chapter to discuss male leadership in nursing.
- September 2015: Jeremy Neal, PhD, CNM, spoke to the VUSN AAMN chapter about Nurse-Midwifery as a career option for men.
- A primary focus of our local AAMN is to provide male students an opportunity to socialize with each other and with faculty. The monthly AAMN meetings are generally held at 7:00 a.m. on Mondays (during the academic year) so that all male students in the pre-specialty program may attend. Continental breakfast is served at these meetings through the VUSN office of the Assistant Dean of Students.
In addition to socializing opportunities at the school, the AAMN local chapter also sponsors a tailgate party for the Vandy Home Game on Homecoming weekend. At this event the male students have a booth to check and provide information about men's health.
AAMN chapter students have an annual Super Bowl Party held at the home of one of the AAMN members. The National Hockey League is big in Nashville and male members of VUSN-AAMN, as a group, attend the home games of the Nashville Predators.
Mentoring and recruiting men as they enter the nursing field are professional development functions of VUSN-AAMN. Male members have set up recruitment booths at the annual career day for Maplewood High School in Nashville. We have also spoken to boys at the elementary school level, informing aspiring youth of the possibility to become male nurses. In addition, male faculty members of AAMN talk with men who are not nurses, but who work in various VUSN clinical sites about considering nursing as a career choice. Chance Allen, MSN, APN, PMHNPBC, exemplifies this effort during his clinical teaching in the PreSpecialty (prelicensure) year. If the men are interested, Professor Allen initiates an appointment for the clinical site personnel to talk to another male faculty member at the VUSN. This man-to-man approach has proven to be an effective way of recruiting students. We have seen the spark that lights the fire of desire in these candidates grow to produce full-fledged male nurses, an outcome that fulfills the purpose of AAMN recruitment goals.
- VUSN male nursing student, Justin Hoyt, created and presented an interpretive art show at a local club to raise funds for a transgender youth resiliency program. Members from the VUSN-AAMN chapter and student body set up a LGBTI health awareness booth at the club.
- The members of the VUSN chapter of AAMN were invited speakers (2018) at the Graduate Nursing Admission Professionals (GNAP) annual conference. GNAP is the national voice of recruitment of graduate students for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The men from VUSN spoke about their perceptions of strategies for recruiting men into nursing. The aim of the presentation was to heighten recruitment officers’ awareness and sensitivities about how potential male students perceive and respond to certain recruitment efforts at nursing schools. The GNAP experiences gave male faculty an opportunity to help mentor male students in the art and science of presenting before national organizations.