In recognition of National Mentoring Month, the Pennsylvania Action Coalition is celebrating the success of the PA-AC Cohort of Exchanged Learning (PA-ACCEL) Mentorship Program. This mentorship program was created by the Pennsylvania Action Coalition’s Nurse Diversity Council (PA-NDC), which aims to fortify nursing students' path to success in nursing school and in their transition to professional nursing practice. Our mission is to empower nursing students with the tools necessary to achieve their educational goals and become the healthcare leaders they are destined to be.
Mentoring is a lifelong journey known to enhance professional resilience in students and is proven to improve student retention, boost NCLEX success rates, foster a sense of belonging to the nursing profession, and reduce stress and anxiety. It opens doors to career progression, development of new investigators, empowerment, expanding professional knowledge, generativity, increasing numbers of minority nurses in graduate programs, and institutional stability.
The program aims to bolster nursing students’ capacity to be successful both in nursing school and in their transition to professional nursing practice. A mentee cohort of nursing students are matched with a professional mentor from various nursing fields for one academic year. Throughout this program mentors and mentees meet virtually or in-person.Learn more about the PA-ACCEL Mentorship Program
Building a mentorship program has been a long-time goal of our Nurse Diversity Council, this became a reality in 2020. The Nurse Diversity Council of the Pennsylvania Action Coalition and Lincoln University's Department of Nursing partnered to launch the PA-AC Cohort of Exchanged Learning (PA-ACCEL). The PA-ACCEL Mentorship Program began as a pilot program specifically tailored for senior nursing students at Lincoln University. The collaborative effort between the Nurse Diversity Council and Lincoln University has proven to be instrumental in the program's success. The partnership aimed to create a supportive environment for nursing students, enhancing their educational experience and professional development.
With support from the Nurse Diversity Council and funding from the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action Nursing Innovations Fund award and the Independence Blue Cross Foundation, the PA-ACCEL Mentorship Program continued to flourish. It expanded to encompass two additional cohorts, providing valuable mentorship opportunities for junior and seniors nursing students at Lincoln University.
This year marks an exciting chapter in our journey as we join forces with the Independence Blue Cross (IBC) Foundation to extend the reach of our mentorship initiatives for nursing students in southeastern Pennsylvania.
Building upon the success of the PA-ACCEL Mentorship Program, we are working with the Independence Blue Cross (IBC) Foundation to expand mentorship opportunities to students enrolled in their Healthcare Scholars Program. This scholarship initiative supports up to 36 first-year students, covering the entirety of their 2-year or 4-year degree programs at nursing schools participating in the Nurses for Tomorrow grant program. The PA-ACCEL Program Support Team is working with the Independence Blue Cross (IBC) Foundation to build out a mentorship program to include development and leadership engagement activities for students receiving the scholarship.
This strategic partnership aims to enhance the educational journey of nursing students by providing tailored mentorship experiences, fostering meaningful connections, and contributing to their overall professional growth.
On behalf of the PA Action Coalition, we extend our deepest appreciation to nursing faculty at Lincoln University and the former director of the nursing program, Dr. Vilma Davis, for their invaluable partnership in shaping and enhancing our mentorship program over the past three cohorts. Working collaboratively has been a rewarding journey, and we truly appreciate the dedication and commitment from Dr. Davis and faculty from Lincoln University. Dr. Vilma Davis, your leadership has played a crucial role in our success, and we express our heartfelt gratitude for your contributions to building a healthier Pennsylvania through nursing leadership.
Our sincere thanks also goes to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Area Black Nurses Association (SEPABNA) for providing invaluable professional development opportunities to the student-mentees in the PA-ACCEL Mentorship Program. Your steadfast commitment to supporting our students' involvement in National Black Nurses Day on Capitol Hill and the National Black Nurses Association’s (NBNA) National Institute & Conference underscores your dedication to their professional development and exposure to the broader healthcare landscape. We are genuinely thankful for the opportunity you've provided our students to engage with esteemed nurse leaders and policy experts, gaining profound insights into the intricacies of health policy development.
A special acknowledgment is extended to the Independence Blue Cross Foundation for their generous support in funding the PA-ACCEL Mentorship Program. As we reflect on the past, we eagerly anticipate the future, continuing to inspire and cultivate the next generations of nurse leaders.
We value the collaborative partnership with Lincoln University that has been instrumental in shaping PA-ACCEL as well as the ongoing partnerships we have built with SEPABNA and the Independence Blue Cross Foundation. Together, we look forward to continuing our work to empower the next generation of healthcare professionals.
In our first evaluation of the 2023 - 2024 cohort, 93% of students found the PA-ACCEL Mentorship Program to be helpful so far. In their personal reflections, many students expressed gaining a stronger understanding of their gifts and strengths.
In this same evaluation, 90% of mentors found their relationship with their student-mentee to be a positive one.
PA-ACCEL mentors are recruited from the Nurse Diversity Council of the Pennsylvania Action Coalition and come from various nursing backgrounds. Mentors are matched with student-mentees according to interests and desired career paths.Learn more about our PA-ACCEL Mentors
Meet PA-ACCEL Mentor, Angel Davis, MBA, MS, BSN, RN. Angel Davis is the Supervisory Health Insurance Specialist for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, Divisions of Community and Population Health (DCPH) in Baltimore, Maryland.
Meet PA-ACCEL Mentor, Monica J. Harmon, MSN, MPH, RN. Monica Harmon is a public health nurse and holds various leadership roles. At Drexel University she is the Executive Director at the College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP) Community Wellness HUB in addition to being an assistant clinical professor. She is also the Interim CNHP Services Director at the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services. Monica serves as the Co-Chair for the Pennsylvania Action Coalition’s Nurse Diversity Council and is the chapter president of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Area Black Nurses Association (SEPABNA). In her role as a mentor, Monica exudes passion for unlocking the potential of others, directing her enthusiasm towards providing unwavering support to her mentees. Monica's dedication to mentoring is evident as she has consistently served as a mentor across all four cohorts of the program, and shares this about her experience:
The Pennsylvania Action Coalition would like to express a special thank you to all PA-ACCEL mentors for their dedication to their mentees and the program. We are thankful to have your expertise guiding the next generation of nurses.
The Pennsylvania Action Coalition would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our mentors, both past and present, for their unwavering dedication to their mentees and the PA-ACCEL program. Your invaluable expertise is shaping the future of nursing, and we are truly grateful to have your guidance for the next generation of healthcare professionals. Thank you for your outstanding commitment and contributions.