TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation has awarded a $150,000 one-year grant to Russell Sage College’s Department of Nursing for a partnership to encourage high school students interested in nursing careers. The I Can Achieve a Degree in Nursing program (ICAN) at Russell Sage will create a collaborative community mentorship model for underserved youth to achieve a bachelor’s degree in nursing and employment as a registered nurse.

ICAN will focus on the Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities in New York’s Capital Region. Sage will work with Albany Medical Center, the Black Nurses Coalition and Albany Leadership Charter School for Girls. Russell Sage explains this program will recruit and support students through high school partnerships; match high school students with professional nursing mentors from diverse backgrounds; provide academic support to guide students through high school and a nursing degree; motivate and guide underrepresented and underserved minorities into professional nursing careers; and create meaningful employment and professional experiences in diverse health care settings. 

Glenda Kelman, Ph.D., RN, ACNP-BC, professor and chair of Sage’s nursing department states, “The opportunity to create a replicable, collaborative model with our partners is a win-win for the community by helping to lead the way in creating both academic and future job opportunities for BIPOC students who can then provide quality, accessible care to our minority, underserved populations in the Capital Region.”

Geoffrey Miller, director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Sage and one of the ICAN organizers adds, “Exposure to nursing is the first step to becoming aware of nursing as a possible career,” “We believe that ICAN will foster an interest in nursing and help make education and career pathways more accessible for underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students.”