The Caring for Our Own Program A Model for American Indian and Alaska Native Nursing Students to Practice, Manage, and Lead in Indian Country
Johnson, Catherine M.
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Background: Research has identified workforce diversification as influential in improving health outcomes. The Caring for Our Own Program (CO-OP) set out to achieve classroom and workforce parity for rural Native American nurses and communities. Purpose: In this study, we report quantitative results of the first 20 years of the CO-OP and explore the extent to which the CO-OP model influenced degree completion for Native American students. Approach: The CO-OP employs a 4-pillar program model where sense of place, financial security, academic readiness, and social connection empower students as they progress. One hundred twenty-one Native American students have earned nursing degrees since inception. In addition, more than 10% of CO-OP undergraduates have returned to become nurse practitioners. Conclusions: The CO-OP model replicated elsewhere may also succeed by adapting key concepts in that context to achieve health equity.
Larsson, Laura PhD, RN, FAAN; Johnson, Catherine M. PhD. The Caring for Our Own Program: A Model for American Indian and Alaska Native Nursing Students to Practice, Manage, and Lead in Indian Country. Nurse Educator: September/October 2022 - Volume 47 - Issue 5 - p 272-277 doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000001183