by Ying Zhong, Nursing Librarian
Walter W. Stiern Library
California State University
RN Explorers Program is a part of Boy Scouts of America Learning for Life and career education for young men and women ages 14 through 20. This program focuses on careers in the medical field, with a specific focus on nursing. For over 17 years, nursing students, staff, and faculty from California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) meet regularly with high school students interested in nursing to introduce the nursing profession and basic nursing concepts. Nursing faculty and RN Explorers meet twice a month, on the first and third Monday evenings. RN Explorers learned nursing skills, participated in community health fairs by taking blood pressures, checking glucose and cholesterol levels. They also go on tours to Bakersfield College, CSUB, and several local hospitals to learn about specialties in health care.
With the support of an NNLM PSR Express Outreach Award, beginning in May, 2018, the CSUB Library joined forces with the Nursing Department to offer training in NLM resources and other library databases to the RN Explorers. One of the barriers that the RN Explorers face is lack of the basic understanding of the nursing profession. To fill their knowledge gap, I reviewed nursing literature and purchased 38 books focusing on the nursing career. The other highlight was meeting with 47 RN Explorers in person when they visited the CSUB campus on March 4, 2019. I gave a 20-minute presentation about Library services and resources available for RN Explorers. Library cards are offered to RN Explorers that will allow them to check out five books at a time from the CSUB Library. The outreach award also enabled CSUB Library to add seven iPads to the available resources, which Nursing faculty/staff/students may check out for seven days when visiting high schools, hospitals, etc. Last but not least, the award supported the ongoing program by offering eight Boy Scout memberships to further encourage high school students to participate in the RN Explorers Program. By providing resources to support this program, the CSUB Library strengthened its collaboration with the Nursing Department and contributed to the enhancement of community service.