This year, Penn’s annual Summer Mentorship Program (SMP) was different for a lot of reasons. First, and most obviously, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forced the program into a virtual format. For this program, that meant going virtual using Zoom for daily programming, instead of the usual in-person, hands-on activities typically planned for the month-long professional development program for rising high school juniors. Second, this year, the School of Nursing (SON) Program was the largest it has ever been, with a total of 20 students from over 10 different Philadelphia high schools.
The Elizabeth Wright Fund—which gave Penn Nursing its first student exchange program—has its roots in a time when post-operative hospital stays were longer, and when private duty nurses attended patients in the hospital as well as at home after discharge.