Georgia Southern University

HRSA funds SCRUBS to increase number of minority nurses

Minorities, long under-represented in health professions, will be encouraged to enter nursing under a new program being launched by Georgia Southern University.

Georgia Southern University and the Magnolia Coastlands Area Health Education Center established SCRUBS, a program designed to recruit minority students to a nursing career. SCRUBS was funded in July 2006 with a three-year grant for $880,000 from the Health Resource and Service Administration.

‘In addition to recruitment activities that will bring potential nursing students into SCRUBS, the program offers students many opportunities to develop long-term mentoring relationships,” said Marian Tabi, Ph.D., associate professor of nursing, who developed the program and serves as principal investigator on the grant. ‘These mentoring relationships support the retention, progression, and graduation of students, a process that is a priority initiative of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.” Tabi, who served as a nurse retention counselor at the University of Illinois-Chicago, is uniquely qualified to lead SCRUBS.

SCRUBS aims to involve potential minority nursing students all the way from seventh grade through their senior year of Georgia Southern’s School of Nursing BSN program. The program will attract students, support their academic achievement, and help them learn more about the health care professions. Once involved, the program will help students develop long-term mentoring relationships in the health care delivery system.

‘We have created a variety of activities for middle and high-school students to promote nursing as a career,” said Tabi, ‘and we’ll make scholarships and stipends available to pre-nursing and nursing students to assist with the cost of books, uniforms, and other items that are required.”

The SCRUBS program provides

  • Nursing career awareness
  • Summer opportunities to build academic skills
  • Health Careers Academy
  • SEARCH Camp (career exploration)
  • A Day in the Life of a Nurse (shadowing)
  • Academic counseling and tutoring
  • Career and job placement counseling
  • PSAT and SAT test preparation
  • Test-taking skill builders
  • Mentoring
  • Financial assistance
  • National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) Review

Other faculty and staff who are working to implement SCRUBS include

  • Mary Kate Pung. Director of Magnolia Coastlands Area Health Education Center (AHEC)
  • Bela Kundu, Health Careers Coordinator, AHEC
  • Stuart Tedders, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology and Director, Center for Rural Health Research, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health
  • Maria Smith, Ph.D., assistant professor, Georgia Southern School of Nursing
  • Asha Anumolu, clinical faculty, Georgia Southern School of Nursing
  • Cheryl Robinson, clinical faculty, Georgia Southern School of Nursing
  • Melissa Lickteig, Ph.D., assistant professor, Georgia Southern School of Nursing

For more information about SCRUBS, contact Dr. Marian Tabi at 912-681-5991 or at

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