The inclusion of cardiovascular disease as one of the six target areas of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Initiative to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health has created a heightened need for more culturally sensitive nurse researchers who can investigate the causes of unequal heart disease outcomes between Caucasian Americans and the nation’s rapidly growing minority populations.



One academic institution that is taking an aggressive approach to filling this research gap is the School of Nursing at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMC) in Jackson. Each year, in conjunction with the Jackson Heart Study, the school conducts the Jackson Heart TRAIN (Training for Research Awareness in Nursing), a nine-week summer program for minority nursing students enrolled in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).


Funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the TRAIN Program is designed to increase the pool of minority nurse researchers by providing theoretical and practical learning activities related to the research process and to minority cardiovascular health concerns. Perhaps even more important, the program also focuses on providing students with special instruction and training to facilitate their entry into graduate nursing study.

Students selected for Jackson Heart TRAIN participate in an intensive, structured learning experience designed to develop their knowledge of research issues, clinical trials, clinical care and methodologies affecting ethnic minority communities. The program provides students with financial support, including a stipend, a housing allowance and travel reimbursement for domestic travel to and from Jackson.

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Who is eligible to apply to the program? You must be an undergraduate ethnic minority nursing student enrolled at UMC or at an HBCU anywhere in the country, and must be in your junior year at the time of application to TRAIN. Students are selected on the basis of their GPA, academic transcript, three letters of reference and an essay on “Why I am Interested in Cardiovascular Research and How I Will Use the Experience Gained in the Future.”

Next summer’s Jackson Heart TRAIN Program will be held June 2 to August 1, 2003. The deadline for submitting applications and support documentation is March 15. To obtain an application, or for more information, contact Dr. Rosie Lee Calvin, principal investigator and director, UMC School of Nursing, at (601) 984-6222 or [email protected].

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