Nov 12, 2019

Creating Healthier Communities: Native American Nursing Students’ Experiences and the Role of Mentoring

December 4, 2019

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM ET

In celebration of National Native American Heritage month, November, the Campaign held a webinar on how to create healthier communities through strategies to support Native American nurses.

Increasing the number of Native Americans in the nursing workforce is essential for improving the health of this population, and yet the number of Native American RN graduates is decreasing. Mentorship is one strategy that higher education institutions have found can help in recruitment and retention of Native American students.

In the webinar you will hear from Native American nursing students about their journey to nursing school and how mentorship has helped them succeed.

Opening Remarks: 

  • Winifred V. Quinn, PhD, FAANP (H), director, advocacy and consumer affairs, Center to Champion Nursing in America
  • Sandra Littlejohn, MA, BSN, RN, president, National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association, administrative director, Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders, Gundersen Health System, Mdewakanton Dakota


  • Regina Eddie, PhD, RN, assistant professor, Northern Arizona University, diversity consultant, Center to Champion Nursing in America
  • Misty L. Wilkie, PhD, RN, FAAN, associate professor of nursing, Niganawenimaanaanig (“we take care of them”) program director, Bemidji State University, Minnesota


  • Terry Defoe, RN, Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, RN-BS, Senior
  • Alexa Brunelle, White Earth Band of Ojibwe, 4-year, Junior
  • Jackie Allen, Flandreau Santee Sioux, 4-year, Sophomore

Viewers will be better able to: 

  • Understand Native American nursing students’ experiences preparing for and being accepted to nursing school;
  • Recognize the challenges and barriers to nursing program completion for Native American students;
  • Understand the influences and factors that have contributed to Native American students’ success;
  • Describe the role and impact mentoring has played in the students’ education; and
  • Identify recommendations for future efforts to support Native American nursing students’ success.