AAMN recognizes School, professor

For the second year in a row the UAB School of Nursing has been recognized by the American Association for Men in Nursing (AAMN) as a Best School for Men in Nursing. This year, Assistant Professor of Nursing and Chapter President Curry Bordelon, DNP, MBA, CRNP, CNE, NNP-BC, CPNP-AC (DNP 2016), also received the AAMN Lee Cohen Award.

The Best Schools for Men in Nursing recognition goes to nursing schools or colleges that have made significant efforts in recruiting and retaining men in nursing, in providing men a supportive educational environment, and in educating faculty, students and the community about contributions from men in nursing.

“The UAB School of Nursing is committed to inspiring and educating a diverse generation of nurses and nurse leaders, and these awards are a reflection of that commitment,” said Dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing Doreen C. Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN. “We are proud of the success we have had in increasing the number of men from all backgrounds on our faculty and in our student ranks, and we will continue to make this an area of emphasis in our efforts to meet the intensifying challenges and demands of the health care profession.”

Photo: Curry Bordelon When UAB School of Nursing alumnus Blake Smith, MSN, RN (MSN 2017), became President of AAMN in 2018, he supported chapter development, and faculty saw an opportunity to revitalize the Birmingham Chapter. UABSON faculty restarted recruitment efforts for the Birmingham Chapter of AAMN in 2019, with a goal of providing students of all genders and backgrounds with another resource for mentorship and professional development.

The chapter continues to recruit new members, with 60 members as of Fall 2020. About half of those members are students. Membership is open to nurses and nursing students of all genders, Bordelon said, as well as nurses from UAB Hospital, the School of Nursing, and all of the Birmingham area.

“This award demonstrates the ongoing efforts of the UAB School of Nursing to embrace a diverse faculty and student population. By doing so, it better represents the patients we care for,” Bordelon said. “That’s always a sign of a strong organization — the people who are providing care are representative of the patients they’re caring for, whether that’s language, gender or background.”

The UAB School of Nursing surpassed the national average for male students and faculty. The School’s faculty is 17.8 percent male, while the National League for Nursing shows that nationally, males account for 6 percent of full-time and 9.3 percent of part-time faculty. Additionally, the School’s BSN program has an average of 14.5 percent male students, compared to a national average of 12.5 percent, and there is a strong male representation in graduate and doctoral programs.

Photo: Men in NursingThe Birmingham Chapter of AAMN also offers Nursing in Real Life, a space for informal conversation about nursing careers and challenges that is open to all nursing students. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, these monthly sessions were held live and included a 10-minute presentation, followed by a chance for open discussion, mentoring and career tips. Topics could range from “Your seat at the table” to “Transitioning from nursing student to nurse,” Bordelon said. While AAMN board members have continued to mentor students in a virtual, one-on-one fashion, Nursing in Real Life was put on pause as work and school went to a remote and hybrid model. The organization plans to restart these meetings in January 2021.

“Our plan is to move this into a virtual setting starting in January, and we will cover the same topics, ranging from what to expect in the field to effective mentoring,” Bordelon said. “These meetings will be open to all nursing students, as well as AAMN chapter members.”

The Lee Cohen Award, presented to Bordelon during AAMN’s virtual conference from Oct. 14-16, acknowledges individuals who have contributed to local or regional AAMN activities and to men in nursing and nursing in general at a local, regional or national level. This recognition, he said, is a reflection of the chapter’s overall efforts from the last few years.

“To me, it’s an honor to be recognized for the efforts of building our local organization and all the activities we’ve done,” Bordelon said. “It demonstrates that all the work we’re doing is making an impact in the community, as educators and within the School for our students. These efforts have also opened doors to and conversations around collaborative opportunities.”

As they look toward the future, the Chapter hopes to expand membership events and opportunities to nurses at Children’s of Alabama and the Birmingham VA Medical Center. They also plan to continue modified engagement activities to fit safety and health precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our ultimate goal is sustainability,” Bordelon said. “We have started a good trend of showing how men in nursing impact the School, state and community, and we look forward to continuing to make strides for men in nursing and in promoting diversity and inclusion in nursing.”

Last modified on September 30, 2021

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