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Rivier holds School Nursing Fair for Nashua students

Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013


Courtesy photo
Benjamin Philip, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at Rivier University, speaks to local high school students about Rivier’s nursing program and its curriculum, which includes biology courses, while a panel of Rivier nursing students looks on.

NASHUA – Rivier University hosted a School Nursing Fair in December for about 65 local high school students interested in pursuing a career in nursing.

Student participants were from Nashua High School North and South, as well as from the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Nashua.

Participants learned about the field, Rivier’s program and courses, and what they can expect as a student. They also heard firsthand from Rivier nursing students and graduates about what kinds of career paths they can pursue with a nursing degree.

The goal was to promote interest and attract students to pursue a career in nursing, with an emphasis on attracting students of diverse racial, ethnic and language backgrounds. This was the first time Rivier has hosted the event, which was funded by the Endowment for Health.

“The partnership with Rivier University’s nursing program enables us to expand our reach in New Hampshire to encourage young students to pursue nursing as a career early on,” said Julie DaSilva, project coordinator of the New Hampshire Nursing Diversity Pipeline Project, Endowment for Health.

DaSilva said one student shared that this was the best school fair she had ever attended, and she observed several students speaking one-on-one with the nursing faculty. DaSilva added that the stories shared by the panel of Rivier nursing graduates were a highlight of the event.

Students were given the opportunity to participate in break-out sessions at which Rivier’s nursing program was discussed in further detail, as well as the admissions process and financial aid options. A number of panel speakers who received a nursing degree from Rivier and now work in diverse nursing roles and specialty areas were on hand to share their experiences and answer the students’ questions.

Kathleen Patenaude, assistant professor of nursing, and Dr. Ben Philip, assistant professor of biology, along with a panel of Rivier nursing students and graduates, talked to the students about Rivier’s nursing program and associated courses, such as biology.

Bobbie Bagley, a nursing instructor at Rivier, talked about the importance of diversifying the field of nursing and meeting the health care needs of minorities. She shared a U.S. Bureau of Labor statistic that more than 1 million nurses will be needed in 2016, and that the demand will increase by more than 20 percent.

“If you’re asking yourself, ‘Is there a place in nursing for me?’ the answer is yes. Nursing needs you,” Bagley said to the students.

“Students need to be able to see themselves in nursing. We planned this event for students who are in their freshman through senior year of high school to help them see themselves in nursing, see themselves in college, see themselves
being successful. We wanted the students to be informed of what nursing school is like and what it takes to be a nurse.”

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