PA-ACCEL Mentorship Program

About the PA-AC Cohort of Exchanged Learning (PA-ACCEL) Mentorship Program

  • The PA-AC Cohort of Exchanged Learning (PA-ACCEL) Mentorship Program is a mentorship program created by the Pennsylvania Action Coalition’s Nurse Diversity Council (PA-NDC) in partnership with Lincoln University's Department of Nursing. 
  • Program Objective: Bolster the nursing students’ capacity to be successful both in nursing school and in their transition to professional nursing practice. Mentoring provides lifelong learning and professional resilience to students and is proven to increase student retention, the success rate on NCLEX, an increased sense of socialization into the nursing profession, enhanced self-esteem, and decreased anxiety and stress 1.
  • Cohort: A mentee cohort of junior and senior nursing students from Lincoln University are matched with one (1) professional mentor from various nursing fields for one (1) academic year. Throughout this program mentors and mentees will meet virtually or in-person.
  • Funding: The program is funded through in-kind support from the PA-NDC and grants from the Nursing Innovations Fund and the Independence Blue Cross Foundation. The grant award was supplied by the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of AARP Foundation, AARP, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The Campaign’s Nursing Innovations Fund was created in 2018 to support the work of its state Action Coalitions in advancing health equity. PA-ACCEL is working to address nursing’s role in building health equity and well-being and promoting a Culture of Health in future nurse professionals. Investment in future nurse professionals of diverse backgrounds assures health equity, health care equity, and optimal health outcomes for individuals, families, populations, and communities.

The Importance of Mentoring

The Importance of Mentoring

  • Research is clear that creating a healthcare system that empowers everyone to live their healthiest lives requires the nursing workforce to be reflective of the population that it serves.

    The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity underscores this imperative throughout its report: “as discussed… developing a more diverse nursing workforce will be key to achieving the goals of reducing health disparities, providing culturally relevant care for all populations and fostering health equity.”

    Furthermore, as nurses comprise the largest sector of the healthcare workforce, changing their demographics has the potential to transform the U.S. healthcare system while removing barriers to care, addressing interpersonal and structural racism, and cultivating social justice. However, diversifying the nursing pipeline entails more than recruiting and admitting a diverse student body. It is critical to build an inclusive environment where all students receive individualized support and are encouraged to thrive academically and professionally.

Background Information

  • Lincoln University of Pennsylvania (Lincoln University), the nation’s first degree-granting Historically Black College and University (HBCU), reports that 85% of their students are Black or African American, while most nursing students across the country are White (60% reported in 2019). Studies have shown that common barriers to the success for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) nursing students have included a lack of financial support, inadequate emotional, moral, and technical support, insufficient academic advising and program mentoring, and inadequate professional socialization.

  • To address these gaps, the PA-AC’s Nurse Diversity Council (PA-NDC) and Lincoln University partnered in 2020 to start the PA-ACCEL Mentorship Program. The PA-ACCEL program components were created to address the social determinant of health of educational attainment for the students who participate and the transformation of access to care and services for those who will benefit from their successful career as professional nurses.

  • Mentorship within the nursing workforce is the link to a healthier future for all. As discussed in the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action’s Health Equity Toolkit (Health Equity Toolkit), an upstream approach to public health practice requires a focus on and dismantling of the systems that perpetuate the same inequitable outcomes. The PA-ACCEL is designed to address structural inequities in our healthcare system by equipping nurses from underrepresented backgrounds with more tools to pursue their educational goals and to be the healthcare leaders that they are fully capable of becoming.

Nurse Support Line

Happy and the American Nurses Foundation have partnered to support nursing professionals as part of the Well-Being Initiative. As a nurse, empathy, listening, and connecting make all the difference. Nurses need the same support, especially during this pandemic. Thanks to the Well-Being Initiative from the ANF, nursing professionals can call support givers for free.

If you ever find yourself needing to talk with someone after a challenging shift, to relieve yourself of stressful thoughts and concerns, or to rebuild your resilience with emotional support, the Happy App Warm Line can help. Support Givers are available 24/7, on-demand at no cost.

Click here for more information about the Nurse Support Line.

Additional Resources available here.

Student Scholarships (2021-2022 Cohort)

The Nursing Foundation of Pennsylvania (NFP), a supporting organization of the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA), will be accepting scholarship applications from January 1 to March 30, 2022. Questions can be directed to NFP Director of Development Paula Lasecki at . Criteria and application details can be found here.

The following scholarships will be awarded:

  • Florence (Madden) Grady-Fasick Scholarship Fund: The Florence (Madden) Grady-Fasick Scholarship Fund is for nursing students in their second semester or more of nursing school. This endowment awards up to five students (up to $2,000 scholarships annually).
  • The Tubman Scholar Scholarship: The Tubman Scholar Scholarship Fund provides a scholarship for a Black student applying or already enrolled in a school of nursing. This awards up to $1,000.
  • Nurse Leader Scholarship: The Nurse Leader Scholarship provides scholarships to students demonstrating leadership skills in their pursuit of a nursing degree. Funds are for full-time nursing students in an accredited BSN, MSN, or doctoral program in Pennsylvania. This endowment awards up to two students (up to $1,000 scholarships annually).
  • The Alumni Association Scholarship Fund of the Former Albert Einstein Medical Center – Nursing School of Philadelphia: This scholarship fund provides scholarships to students in the pursuit of a nursing degree, whether baccalaureate, graduate or post-graduate. This endowment awards up to five students (up to $2,000 scholarships annually).
  • Alumni Association of the Former Abington Memorial Hospital Dixon School of Nursing Scholarship: This scholarship fund provides scholarships to students in the pursuit of a nursing degree at the baccalaureate level. This endowment awards up to four students (up to $2,500 scholarships annually).
  • Alyssa C. Rudy Scholarship: This scholarship fund provides scholarships to York College of Pennsylvania – RN-BSN program students in his/her second or third year of schooling. This endowment awards up to three students ($100 scholarships annually).
  • Jack E. Barger, Sr. Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund: This fund provides scholarships to an undergraduate nursing student in Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania resident) who is at least one of the following: active duty service member; U.S. veteran; child/spouse of a U.S. veteran; or child/spouse of an active duty service member. This fund awards six students ($1,000 scholarships annually).
  • JoAnne Goss Memorial Nursing Scholarship: The JoAnne Goss Memorial Nursing Scholarship was formed in 2017 in memory of JoAnne Goss. JoAnne’s family wanted to give back to the people that helped them during their darkest days: Nurses. This endowment awards up to four students ($1,000 scholarships annually).

PA-ACCEL Student Mentee Resources (2021-2022 Cohort)

Scholarships & Financial Aid


Career Resources/Professional Nursing Organizations


Mental Health Support

Moral Resiliency

Resume Building

Career Resources

Successful Interviewing 

Professional opportunities - Externships, internships, shadow experiences, etc.