Growing our own workforce: Recruiting and Retention of Alaska Natives into Nursing (RRANN)

From hosting camps that foster high school students’ interest in nursing careers to offering tutoring, scholarships and other support to current students, RRANN is dedicated to providing the tools Alaska Native and American Indian nursing students need to successfully reach their graduation day.

Brooke Brun, an AAS nurse graduate from Fairbanks, is one of the 270 Alaska Native/American Indian students who graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing with RRANN’s support. It wasn’t an easy road.

“Nursing has been my goal since I was 13 years old,” Brooke shares. “In my third semester, I had an undiagnosed medical condition, which resulted in me failing my third semester of nursing school.”

Though devastated, Brooke did not give up. She successfully reapplied for the program and was accepted, passing her first semester back with flying colors. “I could not have achieved any of these goals without the help of scholarships and the RRANN program,” she says.

The benefit of the program goes far beyond the nursing students, though. It prepares a workforce of culturally competent nurses, many of whom can speak their Alaska Native language and have personal connection to the cultural background of the patients they care for.

“Providing culturally relevant health care is not a matter of political correctness; it is often a matter of life and death,” explains RRANN program founder Dr. Tina DeLapp, EdD, RN, FAAN. “When cultural competency is missing from health care, important information is not communicated, symptoms of illness are overlooked or misinterpreted, and patient outcomes suffer.”

 

Investments with a Lasting Impact

Private support is vital to programs like the ones featured in this year’s report. Because of you, and donors like you, the University of Alaska is able to provide opportunities such as these for the benefit of our students, future students, and ultimately the entire state of Alaska. Make a gift