SMU Hosts Hands-On Diversity Workshop for Future Nurse Anesthetists June 14

Oakland, Calif. (June 14, 2015) — All media are invited to visit Samuel Merritt University (SMU) in Oakland on Sunday, June 14, when prospective students from underrepresented populations will dress in medical scrubs and use the University’s nationally renowned Simulation Center to learn more about becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA).

Like many professions in the healthcare workforce, CRNAs are pushing to diversify their ranks.

Few institutions are as deeply committed to supporting those efforts as SMU, which will host the West Coast’s Diversity in CRNA Information Session and Hands-On Workshop, where more than 80 prospective CRNA students from around the country will learn more about the rapidly growing profession.

The event is an attempt to increase diversity in a specialty field of nursing that is growing quickly in the post-Affordable Care Act landscape, said Marc Code, DNP, CRNA, Director of the Program of Nurse Anesthesia at SMU.

“We are deeply committed to opportunities for all in healthcare at SMU,” Code said. “We’re stepping up to the challenge of recruiting and training a diverse workforce which reflects our patient and community population.”

In 2012, when SMU’s CRNA program first began aggressive efforts to increase its minority applicant pool, African American and Latino students in the program represented about seven percent of the class. Today, that number has increased to about 25 percent on average each year, Code said. According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, only about four percent of CRNAs are African American or Latino.

Attendees will perform hands-on anesthesia-related experiences in SMU’s Simulation Center and receive a glimpse of the innovative learning methods utilized by the SMU faculty.

Who: Prospective students from underrepresented populations in healthcare

What: Perform hands-on procedures with mannequins in simulated exercises

When: June 14, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Where: SMU’s Simulation Center, 450 30th Street, Oakland, CA 94609

Media Contact: Justin Berton, Associate Director of Media Relations, 510-869-6511 ext. 3250. jberton@samuelmerritt.edu

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