UM-Flint launches after-school nursing program at Hamady High School

Share or print this article
Hamady High School
Students at Hamady High School are taking part in a six-week, future nurse after school program in partnership with the University of Michigan-Flint.

The University of Michigan-Flint's School of Nursing is continuing to inspire and educate aspiring health professionals with its latest initiative, the "Future Nurse Afterschool Program," an engaging and innovative course specifically designed for students in grades nine through 12 at Hamady High School.

The program, a comprehensive introduction to the fundamentals of nursing, is designed to occur during a six-week period that started Feb. 13 and will conclude March 19. This undertaking accommodates up to 30 students and is an intensive learning experience delivering an all-embracing grounding in nursing. 

A panel of SON faculty and students leads sessions addressing a wide range of nursing topics, from physical fitness to emergency preparedness. Maureen Murphy, assistant professor of nursing, has been instrumental in launching the Healing Hearts program. "The primary goal of this program is to instill a passion and understanding for nursing," Murphy said. "We aim to inspire a growth mindset and demonstrate a pathway to nursing from high school through college."

A significant portion of the course is dedicated to understanding the importance of monitoring vital signs and interpreting lung sounds. According to Murphy, the ability to accurately measure and interpret vital signs is key to early detection of health issues, and the program ensures students acquire this skill. Meanwhile, the program also equips students with knowledge of various lung sounds and what they signify, enabling them to better diagnose and handle respiratory problems.

To supplement the more theoretical parts of the program and enhance student engagement, the course will also host several hands-on activities, like "Stop the Bleed" training. Designed to equip students with emergency preparedness skills, the training allows students to learn how to control severe bleeding — a vital skill that can make the difference between life and death. Additionally, students will take a deep dive into understanding and applying vitals monitoring. By the end of the course, the goal is for students to walk away with a comprehensive and practical understanding of the nursing profession.

The capstone of the program is a full-day on-site session at UM-Flint's downtown campus. During this immersive day, students will have the opportunity to participate in carefully designed simulated lab experiences, putting into practice the theoretical knowledge gained throughout the course in a controlled environment that mirrors actual health care situations closely. 

Not just restricted to academic pursuits, this final session will offer participants a taste of campus life, exposing them to the atmosphere and diversity one can expect at UM-Flint. 

The visit will offer students an unfiltered view of the potential career pathways in health care and the field of nursing while underlining what a quality education from UM-Flint can propel them towards.

Diamond Wilder

Integral to the planning of this after-school program has been Diamond Wilder, program manager for Educational Opportunity Initiatives, and the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs initiative in Michigan. GEAR UP is a federally-funded program from the U.S. Department of Education designed to increase college preparedness and success among low-income students. The initiative provides ongoing academic support, fosters an early college-going culture, and promotes awareness. 

"GEAR UP aims to significantly boost the number of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds who are ready for post-secondary education, the workforce, and responsible citizenship," said Wilder. "We provide opportunities for students to experience the value of a college education through locally designed, innovative early intervention services."

Michigan GEAR UP logo

UM-Flint benefits from this initiative as well, creating a reciprocal relationship that brings dedicated, well-prepared students, which strengthens its academic community. This partnership enriches both entities and, crucially, offers students a supportive and empowering framework.

"GEAR UP at UM-Flint is enthusiastic about its collaboration with UM-Flint's School of Nursing," Wilder said. "Our joint efforts aim to enhance student access to academic and career opportunities. We've worked closely with UM-Flint to give students a direct look at the benefits of higher education, equipping them with the necessary information, knowledge, and skills for college readiness and success. We're looking forward to growing these efforts and partnering with more departments and schools at UM-Flint."

To learn more about GEAR UP and the services they provide, visit its webpage.

Austin is a communications specialist with the School of Nursing. He can be reached at [email protected].