University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Nursing (CON) was named one of the nation’s best schools for men in nursing during the annual American Association for Men in Nursing (AAMN)—marking five years that the college has received this outstanding recognition.
Taking place Oct. 21-23, a total of nine universities around the nation were honored at the conference as recipients of the association’s 2021 Best Schools for Men in Nursing award.
The award was designed to recognize a nursing school or college that has provided significant efforts in recruiting and retaining men in nursing, in providing men a supportive educational environment and in educating faculty, students and the community about the contributions men have and do make to the nursing profession.
Jason Mott, AAMN member and Pre-Licensure Program director for CON, said receiving the award five times demonstrates just how big a commitment CON has toward the promotion of diversity, equity and inclusion within the nursing profession.
“CON does many activities that promote inclusivity. We strive to make CON a place that is welcoming to all individuals of all backgrounds,” he said. “We use our holistic admissions policy to provide equal opportunities for all individuals. We also have several faculty members who are known at the national and international levels related to their work with diversity, equity and inclusion.”
In addition, this year was the first time that the UWO Great Lakes AAMN Chapter was named AAMN Chapter of the Year.
Presented to the best chapter at a national level, the AAMN Chapter of the Year award recognizes chapters that have gone above and beyond in promoting the inclusion of men in nursing.
“Winning the chapter of the year award rewards the students for the hard work and time they have put into the chapter and the University community as a whole. It gives them the recognition of being the best chapter of AAMN in the entire nation,” Mott said.
For Maggie Pfaff, student director of the UWO Great Lakes AAMN Chapter and senior nursing major from Rockton, Illinois, the recognition is a great achievement that showcases the hard work that the chapter has put in.
“This recognition is really a source of pride, achievement and accomplishment for us as a group and for our greater campus community. Our hard work and dedication through giving back to the community and promoting inclusivity in the nursing profession is truly demonstrated through these awards,” Pfaff said. “I am so proud of our chapter and how through a pandemic, which converted us to online meetings and caused us to cancel events, we were able to continue giving back to the community, stay active on campus and continue to encourage men into the nursing profession.”
While she couldn’t be happier about winning the AAMN awards, Pfaff said there is still progress to be made toward nursing inclusivity on campus.
“CON really does a great job at encouraging diversity and inclusivity; however, we definitely have a long way to go. To specify, they have made the nursing application more inclusive towards various minority groups and have tried to make the nursing curriculum geared towards learning about minority groups, such as with SAFE training and poverty simulations,” she said. “However, the majority of our students are still white females, so I believe that while our attempts are great, we still have a long way to go.”