Maria José Carrasco, MPA, director of the Multicultural Action Center at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, delivered the keynote address at the department of nursings induction ceremony at the Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies in Washington, D.C., an event where new BSN students affirm the departments values.
As future nurses, you can help eliminate these disparities, Carrasco said at the event. You can help make a difference.
During the event, 75 new students in the traditional and second degree programs received journals to document their journeys in the nursing profession.
According to a news release, they also committed themselves to the departments values of human flourishing, upholding the common good, advocating for social justice, embracing and respecting diversity, demonstrating professional care and compassion and striving for excellence.
We are delighted to have you here with us on the Hilltop, Jeanne Matthews, RN, PhD, chairwoman of the department of nursing, said at the event. The ceremony formally marks the beginning of [your] journey from novice to professional nurse.
Martin Y. Iguchi, PhD, the schools dean, told the new students Georgetowns values will provide an important framework to the knowledge they will learn and memorize during the program.
Thats what were proudest of in our curriculum, he said. Thats what attracts our unique students to Georgetown. … When youre done, were going to be sending you out as agents of Georgetown.
During her keynote, Carrasco spoke to the students about the bias she experienced while trying to access healthcare services. She also talked to them about her work in the mental health field and how individuals often are stigmatized because of lack of information.
Many people suffer in silence, she said. You can treat them with respect, understanding and compassion. You can help them recover.
Carrasco encouraged the students to study cultural competence, cross-cultural communication and diversity, as well as to reflect on their own views.
Jean Nelson Farley, RN, MSN, assistant professor of nursing, and Samuel Aronson, MA, assistant director of student academic affairs, planned the ceremony.