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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

The path to nursing starts in 9th grade

Girls from lower-income families all want to be nurses, the community college dean told me. Few make it. They fail the science and math pre-reqs.


Rhode Island Nurses Institute students volunteered at a community health fair.

Rhode Island Nurses Institute (RINI), a charter high school in Providence, is preparing students for medical careers, starting in ninth grade, writes Greg Toppo on The 74.


Some earn college credits while still in high school, Many earn certified nursing assistant (CNA) licenses and work part-time at nursing homes.

"Because the school partners with local health care organizations, students routinely graduate with 40 hours of clinical rotations and a 40-hour internship already on their resumes," writes Toppo.

Jajacob Santiago, a junior, earns $20 per hour as a CNA, and expects to make $25 to $30 an hour when he earns a permanent license. He hope to work his way through college to become a physician's assistant, and eventually a pediatrician.


More than 90 percent of RINI students are female. Two-thirds are Hispanic and one-quarter are black.

Demand is high for nurses. A RINI-style school is opening in Albany, New York, and others are in the works.

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5 Comments


Guest
Aug 11, 2023

A 9/10 on a math test is a fail in nursing school. As it should be. Because otherwise you would be killing 10% of your patients when you dosed their potassium wrong. If the equity industry ever moves on nursing school we are all doomed.

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Guest
Jul 21, 2023

One needs to remember that many nursing students drop out when they begin their rotations and actually have to interact with actual patients. Dealing with ailing old people is a skill in itself and many of the students and especially those who start in the field due to job prospects drop out at very high rates.

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Guest
Jul 21, 2023

I'm in agreement, a student who lacks math skills, unit conversions (mcg vs mg) will wind up killing a patient, and in my opinion has no business working in the medical industry as a nurse..


Math is the starting point for many careers, but so many students are never taught the basics, or people are so worried about the students self-esteem, that they are set up for failure.


Most nursing students usually fail in math and general chemistry I/II (and chemistry requires math)


<sigh>

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Guest
Jul 20, 2023

I'd say the path starts in about 3rd grade. If you don't learn those multiplication tables, you won't manage algebra. And make no mistake, nurses DO need math.

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Guest
Jul 20, 2023

I bet that the lack of success in math/science goes back to early ES and continues through MS; due to a lack of mastery of basic facts and algorithms, through fractions, decimals and percentages. These are necessary precursors to algebra and subsequent math classes, as well as chemistry.


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