What is Breakthrough to Nursing?

The Breakthrough to Nursing (BTN) project was created by the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) in 1965 with “the mission to organize, represent, and mentor students preparing for initial licensure as registered nurses, as well as those nurses enrolled in baccalaureate completion programs, in becoming practitioners sensitive to the cultural diversity that exists in our society.  The project promotes the development of the skills needed to be responsible, accountable members of the nursing profession who respect the differences and similarities between people, advocates high quality care, utilizing the principles of transcultural nursing, and facilitates the development of peer support systems, which enhance recruitment and retention within the nursing profession.” (NSNA, 2017)

This year, the theme of the NSNA BTN Committee is National Empowerment: Unity in Diversity. We will continue to follow in the footsteps of the NSNA’s social media campaign in utilizing social media to unite and inform nursing students across the state. We encourage your local NSNA school chapters to share with us the projects being completed in your communities so we can showcase them on our website and social media pages and share these stories with the NSNA BTN Committee as well. If you have any questions about the BTN position or have a project that you would like to share, please contact the MANS BTN Chair at mansbreakthroughtonursing@gmail.com.

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 the nursing field
  • To clarify any misconceptions 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, consider 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. Next, gather ideas and develop projects at your school and in your community that promote nursing and the BTN mission. Some ideas include contacting local elementary, middle or high schools to present to students about the field of nursing, or seeking out health fairs where you can spread the word about nursing to diverse populations. NASA has a hand book titled “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 Ambassador Includes 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

If you have any questions about starting a BTN program at your school, or are interested in joining the MANS BTN committee, email our Breakthrough to Nursing Chair at mansbreakthroughtonursing@gmail.com!


NSNA. (n.d.). Breakthrough to Nursing Committee. Retrieved 07 27, 2017, from National Student Nurses' Association:http://www.nsna.org/breakthrough-to-nursing-committee.html