National Student Nurses’ Association Offers Students Opportunities to Grow by Sarah Hamilton
The National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) is a nationwide non-profit organization focused on the professional development of nursing students. NSNA has chapters in each state and, within each state chapter, there are also campus chapters. Three years ago, IU Bloomington established their chapter, the Indiana University Student Nurses’ Association (IUSNA). The current IUSNA Bloomington chapter president is Hanna Moore, who graduated with her BSN in May 2013. She estimated that IUSNA currently has about 80-90 members, of which about 30 are active.
Hanna characterized the IUSNA as a student organization that supports nursing students by helping them expand their knowledge base and become more well-rounded. The IUSNA accomplishes this by building relationships with the community, engaging in philanthropic work, and coordinating presentations and workshops for students. The presentations can include information on topics such as interviewing skills, global initiatives, and the gamut of nursing fields that students can pursue. All of these efforts are designed to increase nursing students’ opportunities in their future career. Hanna said her favorite aspect of being active in the IUSNA is “getting to work with the different classes because we don’t get that much interaction with them. It’s just a really good way to network and communicate with others and I wouldn’t have the relationships that I do, if it weren’t for the SNA.”
Students who participate in the IUSNA have the opportunity to attend the NSNA annual conventions. This year the NSNA held its 61st Annual Convention in early April in Charlotte, North Carolina. Throughout the convention, NSNA chapter members from across the country interacted with each other and discovered what other chapters are doing. Delegate sessions were held, during which students presented resolutions from their schools that they would pass on to the American Nurses Association. These sessions helped students learn the parliamentary process by discussing the pros and cons of their resolutions and voting on them.
The NSNA national convention offered seminars concerning subjects like chapter officer duties and membership recruitment. There were breakout sessions that spotlighted global initiatives and travel opportunities available to students. The convention also had research project poster presentations and an exhibit hall featuring book sales, booths for hospitals to recruit employees and interns, and nursing organizations to encourage membership.
This year was Hanna’s third time at the convention. She said it was “a lot of fun and very different having gone the third time versus the first time that I went…” At previous NSNA conventions, Hanna found the exhibit hall to be her favorite component, but she stated, “This year I really liked the breakout sessions that were talking about how to transition to become a nurse leader and step out of the student role. As a senior it’s interesting to hear new grads talk about how you can become a leader, even though you’re a new nurse.”
As Hanna has illustrated, being active in NSNA is a great vehicle for students to become involved with their school while they broaden their horizons and prepare for their future careers through new experiences in learning, networking, and relationship-building.
Alison Krzeniak, Dr. Desiree Hensel and Rachel Cooper
Delegates Hannah Caroll and Jessica Wallpe
Sycamore Hall 4th Floor, 1033 E. Third Street, Bloomington IN 47405
Phone: 812-855-1736 FAX: 812-855-6986