What is Breakthrough to Nursing?


The Breakthrough to Nursing (BTN) project  was established by the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) in 1965. The mission of the BTN Committee is to increase awareness of and sensitivity to cultural diversity in nursing among nursing students. They also focus on recruitment and retention of nursing students while emphasizing diversity in the field of nursing. This year, the BTN Chair and BTN Committee have visited many different schools (primary schools as well as high schools and colleges) in Maryland. Representatives also attended school orientations, career fairs, pre-nursing society meetings, and other similar events.

Our Goals:

- To ensure that every nursing school in Maryland has a BTN chair or director, and if not, to help schools create a BTN position

- Promote nursing to youths statewide

- Promote diversity in nursing

- To clarify any misconceptions that might be had about nursing

- To mentor pre-nursing students and help them excel as they progress in their careers as nursing students

How to Start a BTN Position

If you do not have a BTN position in your school’s NSNA chapter, it is easy to start one! First, look into your NSNA chapter’s bylaws to see if they include information on a BTN Chair. If your bylaws do not include information about BTN position, you will need to revise them so that BTN is an official board position. Then, gather ideas and develop projects at your school and in your community that promote nursing. Contact local elementary, middle or high schools and present to students about nursing. Come up with a project that educates the public about what nurses really do. Or, seek out health fairs where you can spread the word about nursing to diverse populations. “Getting the Pieces to Fit” is an amazing resource to help you start a school or state chapter.

BTN Resources

NSNA Breakthrough to Nursing

NSNA BTN Tools Packet

RN AmbassadorIncludes presentations that you can use to promote nursing

Minority Nurse - The career and education resource for minority nursing professionals, students and faculty

Johnson and Johnson websites include free resources available to be mailed out:

Minorities in Nursing