MNA formed to promote diversity

Melanie Mitchell, Editor- In-Chief

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Dr. Rhonda Brogdon, assistant nursing professor was successful in establishing Francis Marion
University’s (FMU) first Minority Nursing Association (MNA) making this one of three in the state.
Brogdon said there is a “drastic” need for nurses in the Pee Dee region and in response wanted
to provide an avenue for minority students to find support. “All of our students come from different backgrounds,” Brogdon said. “Sometimes our minority students need a little bit more.” Through  the MNA, Brogdon hopes to promote diversity among current and future nursing
students.
According to fall 2013 information provided by student services, there are currently 192 students
enrolled in the nursing program.  Of those students, there are 113 Caucasians, 74 African-Americans,
three Hispanics and two Asians. Brodgon expects for the formation of the association to alter the
demographics within the department. “Every semester the program grows and I forsee it growing even larger,” Brogdon said. To begin the process, Brogdon first sent an interest letter to the Nation Black Nurses Association (NBNA) in January on behalf of MNA and was granted a charter in July. Although still in the early stages, Brogdon says the board members are working to establish the association and begin accepting
members.
Other individuals that has been involved with MNA includes Crystal Graham, instructor of
nursing, Karenmarie Davis, instructor of nursing and senior nursing major Jessica Ellis who serves as
MNA’s treasurer. Ellis said she grateful to be involved with MNA and hopes the association  will give minority
students the tools to be more successful as nurses. “Dr. Brogdon told me about MNA and asked me to serve as treasurer,” Ellis said. “I always enjoy getting involved with new organizations.” Brogdon noted that support from the Department Chair of Nursing Dr. Ruth Whittman-Price and from other faculty have been helpful.
One goal of the association is to bring in practicing nurses from the community to be involved
with the students and be another source of support. “I would love if nurses out in the community who are experts in a specific area could lend their expertise to our students to help them understand a particular subject that they are finding difficult,” Brogdon said. “I hope that they will be a mentor and help our students be leaders.”
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