RUSH Earns ‘Best Schools for Men in Nursing’ Award

The College of Nursing is recognized for decades of dedication to the advancement of men in the nursing profession
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In recognition of an outstanding commitment to increased representation of men in the nursing profession, RUSH University College of Nursing has been named among the 2023 Best Schools for Men in Nursing by the American Association for Men in Nursing.

Faculty advisors Fred Brown, DNP, RN, and Aaron Franklin, DNP, RN, will travel to New Orleans to accept the award alongside the RUSH Men in Nursing student leaders.

The university has been at the forefront of the movement to increase men’s representation in the profession since the 1970s when inaugural dean Dr. Luther Christman helped establish and expand a national organization for male nurses. Nursing faculty have been carrying forward this mission since Christman’s time and have found passionate faculty and students to further contribute to the RUSH chapter.

When he came to the university in 2013, Franklin was eager to expand his network and find community with his colleagues and patients. One of the first people he felt connected to was the nurse who hired him, Brown. He encouraged Franklin to revitalize the Men in Nursing program and motivate male students in the college.

“I knew almost right away that rebuilding the Men in Nursing program at RUSH and making it one of the best in the country would be the inspiration for my DNP project,” Franklin says.

Franklin spent the next two years working with other nurses at RUSH University Medical Center and students in the College of Nursing to develop a network. He helped institute lectures, volunteer opportunities and social events that fostered community and belonging. One of the young men who joined the program was Deshawn Jones, who currently serves as the student president of the program.

“Growing up, I saw RUSH as the ivy league of health care in Chicago,” Jones says. “After my career as a professional athlete ended, and with my experience as a patient care assistant in other hospitals, I saw the impact nurses had on patients and decided it was what I wanted to do with my life. I was extremely excited to come to RUSH for nursing school, and I’m very proud to see our chapter of the Men in Nursing program receive this award.”

Of the program, the committee said, “The school's AAMN chapter has done numerous activities on campus to gain chapter recognition. They have had the support of administration, which is a positive. ... The program's NCLEX pass rates continue to far exceed the national average.”

Brown has spent much of his career as a nurse at RUSH, working in the hospital as a unit director and associate vice president before joining the College of Nursing as the director of Generalist Education. He sees this award as one of the milestones of RUSH’s commitment to advancing equity and building a robust pipeline of nurses.

“The nursing profession needs men, especially diverse men, to meet the healthcare challenges we face,” Brown says. “I am so proud to see the College of Nursing recognized for this longstanding commitment, and I hope we inspire other young men to consider the profession that I love.”


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