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BC Connell School of Nursing's KILN Program Highlighted at International Conference

Connell School of Nursing's KILN group (left to right): Asst. Prof. Allyssa Harris; Sabianca Delva '12; Carroll Prof. Judith Vessey; Undergraduate Associate Dean and KILN Project Director Catherine Read; Siobhan Tellez '13; graduate student Tricia Gordon '06; Paulina Miklosz '12; Lynch School of Education graduate student Debra Pino (CSOM '08), and Djerica Lamousnery '11. (Photo by: Rachel DiFazio)

CHESTNUT HILL, MA (11-28-11) -- The Keys to Inclusive Leadership in Nursing (KILN) program at the Connell School of Nursing – which looks to increase the number of nurses from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds in public health nursing leadership roles -- was highlighted at a recent conference for the nursing honor society, Sigma Theta Tau International. Connell School faculty members, students and an alumna of the KILN program presented “Fostering the Development of Future Leaders in Global Health through the ‘Keys to Inclusive Leadership in Nursing’ Program,” which showcased students’ global health experiences in South Africa, Switzerland, Ecuador and Panama. The STTI conference was attended by more than 2,000 nurses, representing 36 countries.

“It was an honor to be chosen to present, and we were all proud of how professional our students’ presentations were,” said CSON Undergraduate Program Associate Dean Catherine Read, KILN project director. “It is a very prestigious, high-impact conference. Our students met so many nurse leaders.”

KILN is a funded by a three-year Nursing Workforce Diversity grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration. The program seeks to eliminate healthcare disparities and healthcare barriers by graduating leadership-trained students who will add to the diversity of the nursing workforce. Top students from disadvantaged backgrounds are recruited to the Connell School and supported with mentoring, leadership development, as well as stipends and scholarships. The KILN program dovetails nicely with the Connell School’s own goals, said Read, which include developing the next generation of nursing leaders and encouraging global health experiences which help nurses bring culturally-relevant nursing care to diverse communities in the U.S.

The KILN program currently has 40 students enrolled. Six KILN students have graduated. Since the program’s start, three KILN students have been awarded Boston College Advanced Study Grants, eight have been selected as Undergraduate Research Fellows and seven have studied abroad.

Three students and one alumna from the KILN program gave presentations at the STTI conference on their international experiences.

Siobhan Tellez ’13, who traveled to Panama on an Advanced Study Grant, said she increased her knowledge of conversational Spanish and Spanish medical terminology and supplemented her clinical skills through administering sutures and vaccinations, dressing wounds, performing exams and assessments.

Paulina Miklosz ‘12 spoke about her study abroad in Quito, Ecuador where she focused on the disparities in healthcare delivery based on economic status and the role of nursing in Latin America.

Sabianca Delva ’12 talked about her experience at an innovative nursing program held in Lausanne, Switzerland where she encountered nurses from the U.S., Singapore, India, Canada and Switzerland. The group worked in different clinical situations and learned about issues related to elder care, end-of-life, and mental health.

Djerica Lamousnery ’11 shared her experiences volunteering at mobile clinics in underdeveloped communities surrounding Cape Town, South Africa, where health concerns included HIV and tuberculosis.

In addition to Read and the student/alumna presenters, others from the KILN program who participated in the conference were: Carroll Professor Judith Vessey, Assistant Professor Allyssa Harris and graduate students Tricia Gordon '06 and Debra Pino '08.

Also at the conference, CSON Dean Susan Gennaro, who is the editor of STTI’s Journal of Nursing Scholarship, offered a session on writing for publication in journals.

--Kathleen Sullivan, Office of News & Public Affairs,