FNU Diversity PRIDE Attends ACNM 2017
The 62nd annual American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) conference and exhibit was held in Chicago IL, on May 21-25, 2017 with thousands of attendees from across the country. Frontier Nursing University student ambassadors Essence Williams and Shoba Narayama (pictured below from left to right) represented FNU and the diversity program as winners of the annual Student Ambassador essay contest hosted by FNU’s Diversity PRIDE Program. The essay contest is an initiative aimed at fostering student-leadership retention, professional networking and continued nursing education.
FNU PRIDE attends ACNM 2017
The overall conference goal of ACNM encouraged opportunities for FNU students to acquire and enhance their management and leadership skills, and to gain the tools needed to make a greater impact as a professional midwife.
Frontier Nursing University kicked off the ACNM conference by networking with fellow students, faculty and staff to celebrate FNU President Dr. Susan Stone’s appointment (pictured below), as the new ACNM President-Elect. PRIDE students also had the opportunity to attend the Midwives of Color Committee (MOCC) reception at the conference in support of diversity in nursing. FNU PRIDE student Shoba expressed her excitement, “ ...knowing that there is [MOCC] and there are women who are in this core group who are passionate about diversity and inclusion, and about supporting student midwives of color made me feel very welcomed and made me feel supported.”
ACNM sessions included discussions on race, socioeconomic disparities, and structural competency in the U.S. Education sessions focused on issues to increase the number of midwives and the availability of excellent midwifery education.
Shoba Narayama & Essence Williams, winners of the annual Diversity PRIDE Essay Contest 2017 (left to right)
Discussions also included global midwifery and ways midwives are improving the quality of maternal and infant health as it relates to health around the world. Nurse leadership workshops centered around building and enhancing leadership capacity in various roles within the healthcare industry. FNU PRIDE student Shoba reflects on the sessions, “ I had a positive experience, seeing all the different kinds of research that are being done out there, and all the variety of roles that midwives hold, and the range of work that we do…that was very interesting for me.”
FNU received a high volume of interest from attendees at the exhibiting booth. Prospective students expressed interest in FNU’s new Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) specialty program. The event also provided a platform to inform students of FNU’s Diversity PRIDE student organization.
One highlight at ACNM was the Midwives of Color Committee (MOCC) reception. During the reception FNU PRIDE Ambassador, Essence Williams, received the Midwives of Color Committee Student Appreciation Award. Essence was surprised to receive the award and shares her gratitude. “I was so honored, and grateful and blessed to receive that recognition!”
In addition, many FNU PRIDE students received recognitions and awards. FNU PRIDE student Krystal Wilkins won a MOCC stipend to attend the ACNM conference and Heidi Carter and Paris Maloof-Bury (Both FNU PRIDE students) received a stipend to attend the conference to receive Varney Awards, Jeanine Valrie Logan for winning the Midwives of Color-Watson Scholarship and the March of Dimes Dr. Margaret C. Freda Graduate Nursing Scholarship Award, and PRIDE student, Andrew Youman closed out a successful year as the Student Representative for the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) Board of Directors.
The networking opportunities at ACNM’s annual conference continue to serve as a platform to increase FNU’s visibility and Diversity Initiative collaborations with the organization. PRIDE student Essence concludes, “I strongly encourage other [FNU] students to get involved with the [ACNM] conference. Not only do you get a chance to network and connect with other midwives, but you also get a chance to establish positive relationships with midwives from across the nation.”
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Contributor, Wilvena McDowell-Bernard, FNU Diversity PRIDE Program Coordinator/Student Services 6/14/2017