WINSTON-SALEM – Winston-Salem State University is North Carolina’s top producer of bachelor’s degrees for African-Americans in nursing and health professions.1
In the accompanying video, WSSU Chancellor Elwood Robinson traces that to when the university – which started as a teachers’ college – launched its nursing school in the 1950s.
“As a result of that, I think for the past almost 70 years, Winston-Salem State University has been critical to the overall workforce in terms of the health industry in this region,” he says.
“As a system, we can’t educate enough nurses, so I think we’re making a considerable impact,” Robinson says.
The lessons go beyond education to serving surrounding communities, Robinson says.
“If you go around the university and you ask students, ‘What is WSSU’s motto?’ most students will blurt it out: ‘Enter to learn and depart to serve,’” he says. “Our nurses, our doctors of physical therapy, they get involved in the community almost from day one.”
WSSU is one of the only Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the country with one – now two – mobile health clinics that visit hard-to-reach communities, Robinson says.
“Invariably, we find someone who is suffering from high blood pressure, high cholesterol level – these screenings now give folks information about how they can go back and get higher quality health care,” he says.
“So we think we’re making a big difference in that arena.”