by Marilyn Huerta
Photo of Arianna Larragoitiy at CSUSM
Last May, Arianna Larragoitiy graduated from the School of Nursing at Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM) with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and a minor in Spanish, but not only did she accomplish earning her degrees, she also collaborated with her colleagues in researching and authoring “Public Health Nurses Helping Incarcerated Women with Hypertension” published in the February 2019 edition of the American Jails magazine.
Co-authors who were CSUSM nursing students but have since graduated, includes Mariana Arevalo, Alana Vargas, Carmen Warner-Robbins as well as Professor, Pamela Kohlbry — the Interim Director of the School of Nursing at Cal State San Marcos.
“The article brings to light the hypertension epidemic affecting women in prisons across the United States and it highlights the need for Public Health Nursing practice standards (and interventions) within women’s correctional system and explains how Public Health nurses are key to helping solve this problem, Arianna explains.
Through research, CSUSM’s alumni discovered that over 111,000 convicts in U.S. prisons are females and it’s common for these women to suffer with “hypertension (HTN)” which we know as high blood pressure. A lack of physical exercise and poor diets for incarcerated women could lead to HTN, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and depression was stated in the article.
While conducting their research the nursing students concluded that inequality is apparent between the male correctional system and female correctional system. Although there are fewer women incarcerated in prisons and jails, their needs have been overlooked for many years.
“I co-authored this article as an opportunity to publicly advocate for women and bring attention to this alarming issue. My hope is that this publication will start the conversation about incarcerated women’s health and will lead to providing adequate preventative interventions and treatment, Arianna stressed.
Our curriculum at CSUSM School of Nursing includes a Health Promotion and a Research class. These courses inspire innovative educational opportunities for students. This article began with a health promotion class activity involving incarcerated women and then scholarly work was undertaken in the research class. These committed students and now graduates demonstrated a deep understanding of the process of improving care and dissemination. – Pamela Kohlbry, Professor and Interim Director of the School of Nursing
The School of Nursing would like to acknowledge and thank Carmen Warner-Robbins for her ongoing national work in the jails and for incarcerated women.
She was instrumental in mentoring their nursing students about the health issues of incarcerated women.
For more information about nursing degrees, please visit the School of Nursing at Cal State San Marcos website.
Public Affairs Communication Specialist II
College of Education, Health & Human Services