The District of Columbia and Virginia will now have its first chapter of the American Association for Men in Nursing (AAMN) to be hosted by The George Washington University.
Dr. Jess Calohan first held a meeting for interested students this summer, to gauge the level of interest in starting a chapter at the Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, Va.
“Men represent roughly 10 percent of the nursing profession. We wanted to create an inclusive opportunity where both men and women can learn about relevant issues and strategies to support men in nursing,” Dr. Calohan said.
An influential report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM): The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health made several recommendations related to diversity, including gender diversity to better offer high-quality, culturally relevant care among diverse populations.
GW Nursing students immediately took on the challenge of starting an AAMN chapter. The school’s male population is already larger than the national average due in large part to its Veterans BSN initiative. Members of the newly-formed chapter are focused on “lifting each other as students,” Preston Volman, chapter president, said during a more recent meeting.
Since men comprise a small minority of nurses, the group wants to build community, mentor newer students and build community, its members said.
Modeling a diverse faculty and offering mentors in which students can see themselves can go a long way to diversifying the nursing profession and improving health care for all.
“I have had male students come up to me and to tell me it’s cool to have a male teacher,” Dr. Calohan said.
GW Nursing students now have more men to look to as mentors.