Future Nurses Get Ahead by Giving Back at Kent State Geauga
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at Kent State University Geauga Campus is a rigorous academic environment that requires serious discipline, study, practice, and testing. It’s also an intimate environment of friends, instructors, and mentors who support each other from one challenge to the next, and inspire one another to reach out for the benefit of others. As a student association, they give back to the community through fundraising, strengthening the nursing program for future students and charitable outreach throughout the region.
The Geauga Student Nurses Association (GSNA) is a student organization that includes nursing and pre-nursing students who want to expand their knowledge about the nursing profession. According to faculty advisor Kerry Myers MSN, RN, OCN, lecturer at the College of Nursing, the student group provides a network of support and encouragement that nursing students find valuable. The group focuses on social engagement, seeking out additional educational opportunities and coordinating activities as a means of giving back to the community.
As faculty advisor, Meyers’ role is to provide support and encouragement to the group and help facilitate activities as needed. The GSNA officers include Ashley-Estella Boyd, President; Sarah Marmash, Vice President; Amanda Hall, Secretary; and Kayla Brown, Treasurer. They are responsible for determining the direction of the group as well as day-to-day operations and communications.
“The students have worked hard and have set an excellent example of giving back to their campus community,” Myers says.
One big project the GSNA students in the 2020 and 2021 classes have committed to is raising funds to purchase lab equipment that will enhance hands-on learning for future nursing students at the Geauga Campus. They plan to purchase additional durable medical equipment such as hospital beds and exam tables to provide additional space for practicing physical assessments and executing technical skills, and for simulation in each of their courses. They raised $1,300 through a basket raffle this past February and are hoping to raise additional funds to secure these purchases before graduation each year.
The group has also been very engaged to help the Geauga community during the winter holidays. The GSNA hosted a food drive for the local Burton Food Cupboard and collected hats, scarves, and mittens for WomenSafe, a local not-for-profit domestic violence shelter in Geauga County.
Further, students also raised funds to purchase fleece fabric to make blankets for children who were hospitalized over the winter holidays at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. GSNA members spent a day hand-tying and wrapping 16 fleece blankets. Then five of the students drove to Cleveland on their winter break to deliver the blankets to hospital staff.
“As you can see from their involvement, I have a strong group of very dedicated students who are committed to doing all things with great care and compassion,” Dr. Myers says. “I am heartened and inspired knowing that they are the future of nursing!”
Over spring break, the students deepened their understanding of human anatomy and physiology by spending a day in observation at the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office. They viewed vital anatomical structures and asked the surgeon questions about physiological structure and function. Myers reports that “All students in attendance stated that the experience led to an increased understanding and appreciation of the complexities of physiology and the human body. “
Whether its members are enhancing their technical skills, deepening their academic understanding, or practicing compassion, the GSNA sets a high bar for excellence, engagement, and philanthropy —- all which will be highly valued in their professions as future nurses.