Connecting for a Healthier Future
By Kaelen Bach, Current Nursing Student, Chehalis, Washington, Class of 2021
The Student Nursing Association (SNA) is a group of compassionate and community-minded nursing students on campus who work to provide personal, intellectual, professional and social growth for the members through local community partnerships. We are striving to become more unified in our cohorts and within the nursing program as a whole, while also seeking unity within the greater NNU campus and throughout the Boise Valley. To accomplish this goal, we have collaborated with local partners to serve the campus and community in several significant ways as we provide more comprehensive and robust health information and services.
This year the SNA sponsored and facilitated the Healthy U @ NNU Fair. This service project is our most extensive event and provided free health screenings for blood glucose levels, blood pressure checks and mammograms for those without insurance through a generous grant from St. Alphonsus. Fair attendees were also able to receive their flu vaccination at a reduced price as well as important preventative education provided by the student volunteers.
An important part of the SNA mission is to reach out with the love of Jesus to serve the larger community around us in very practical and helpful ways, especially to those who are marginalized and often overlooked. We are currently working to collect feminine hygiene supplies and personal toiletry items that will be donated to the local women’s shelter.
This past semester, we also connected with the St. Alphonsus Mobile Outreach Clinic. Through this partnership, NNU students had the opportunity to apply nursing skills learned in the classroom in real life situations, which gave each student hands-on practice in a diverse range of cultural settings. Through this cooperative effort, we administered flu shots and provided ear irrigation to patients. These may seem like small things, but they are so critical to the health of our community as we meet the needs of underserved and uninsured people in our local area.
Another significant volunteer effort is SNA’s partnership with the HUB, an after-school program for homeless and at-risk students in the Nampa School District. We have been able to provide meals for students and build a planter box with our club funds. Most of our time at the HUB was spent hanging out with students and building relationships with them as we learned about their lives and showed them that they are loved. Through these meaningful connections, we helped to encourage these students and boost their confidence.
The NNU mission statement calls us to become God’s creative and redemptive agents in the world. As we seek to fulfill this through nursing, we are able to serve our community in ways that promote both healthy bodies and healthy relationships. As we partner with, serve and extend God’s blessing to those around us in our community, we receive a blessing in return!