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NEO Nursing Ranked #2 Nationally for Native American Graduates - KOAM TV 7

NEO Nursing Ranked #2 Nationally for Native American Graduates

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MIAMI, OKLAHOMA -

Northeastern Oklahoma A and M College is a national leader  in producing Native American  associate degree nurses.
          The publication "Diverse: Issues in Higher Education" put NEO at second on its annual list.
         

Cheyenne Watson is a pre nursing student at NEO. 
As a Native American herself, the news of a top national rank for native nursing graduates  is big.
Watson explained, "It is very exciting because most Native Americans don't attend college."

Hannah Berryman, the Native American Student Association sponsor said it’s a tight knit culture. She said, “For native families, a lot of native families want to keep their students close to home. They don’t want them going too far.  We see that changing a little bit with generations that can see, you know, it’s very beneficial for that student to go out in the world  to get the kind of education they're gonna need and maybe  one day bring it back to the tribe."

Some of the Native American nursing students do their clinicals  at Integris Miami  Hospital but much of the support they get to make it through school is right on campus at AICE,  the American Indian Center for Excellence.

Cheyenne said, “It’s kind of like a social  place. Makes you feel  more at home. We've got our couches,  all our chairs. You can come play Xbox PlayStation. If you get too stressed out with your homework, it’s a great place to feel  like you’re at home."
There are tables for doing homework, for study groups and even a kitchen area. But a big asset is professional mentor Hannah Berryman who offers advice on free housing, commodities, financial aid,  internships and scholarships.

 

Berryman said, “I  just think over the years its harder for native Americans students to obtain education because they don’t know about the resources that are  out  there or available.  Nobody in their family has gone or graduated to school.” Berryman also explained that Native American culture dictates a closer knit family. She said, “I feel  like  our family traditions are more  involved than maybe other students which then leads to problems if familys sick.  Its very traditional if you have a member of your family who's not doing well, for everybody to come  to the home to help pray for  them, help cook for them. I think theres a different set of standards that uphold our values and our culture and who we are. So I think that we prioritize togetherness a little bit more.

 Berryman provides help in all circumstances and it makes a difference.

Cheyenne admitted, "I was ready to drop out  this semester just from one stress of one class,  but I’m sticking with it."


Cheyenne participates in powwows and other aspects of her culture but believes college can be part of that too.


She explained, “By going to school participating in our clubs on campus, getting involved, doing stuff, it’s a way for us to make a voice for ourselves.


NEO programs also ranked top ten for producing Native American graduates in the categories of health professions, education, psychology, and all combined disciplines. And it’s previously  ranked number one  for nursing.

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