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NSNA Conference Excites Kent Nursing Students for Future Careers
In April, six Kent State College of Nursing students attended the 67th Annual National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) Convention in Salt Lake City, UT. Students who are active members of their university’s chapter of the Student Nursing Association (SNA), in addition to being national SNA members, may attend convention. Junior Ashely Harayda, SNA vice president, was excited about her first NSNA conference. “This was a great experience! I enjoyed the opportunity to network with other nursing students and practicing nurses.”
Attendees learned study strategies during the NCLEX review, met nursing professionals, and shared best practices for staying organized in their studies. “I liked that they talked about having a planner. That has been beneficial to my success in the nursing program,” said sophomore Elise Cowles, SNA treasurer. “Writing down each of my assignments has helped me prepare and plan my time accordingly.”
Hearing from guest speakers opened the Kent nursing students’ eyes to nursing specialties they may not have previously explored. “My favorite speakers were the women from Johnson and Johnson,” said Megan Pietrusinski, SNA Recruitment Officer and a junior in the nursing program. “Not only were they nurses, but also they were nurse innovators! It was inspiring to learn about different possibilities within the field of nursing!”
Following the speakers, the exhibit hall was open for attendees to visit school and organizational booths and present their research posters. First-time poster presenters, junior Michaela Bann, SNA President, and Ashely Harayda, presented on child abuse. “When considering topics for our presentation, we immediately considered what we had just learned about child abuse in our pediatric rotation. We decided to expand our knowledge through more research,” said Michaela. “Abused children are likely to be seen by at least one healthcare professional and nurses need to know the signs.”
Their topic was well received by conference attendees. “People were surprised to learn the number of child abuse cases has gone down over the last couple of years. Many thought it was on the rise,” said Ashley. “We knew it was important to share this information because a majority of the attendees were nursing students. They need to be able to recognize these signs and know the procedures for reporting them.”
Michaela and Ashley credited this experience for allowing them to further develop their leadership qualities. “Presenting a poster helped me engage with nursing professionals and have intellectual conversations with other conference attendees interested in the same subject as myself,” said Michaela. Ashley agreed, saying the presentation strengthened her courage to, “talk in front of others about something I was passionate about.”
Additionally, small focus sessions were available for students to attend based on their interests. Tyler Courtright, SNA member and a junior in the program, attended the session on Narcan during which attendees were taught how to administer Naloxone during a suspected drug overdose. “It was important to learn about the signs and symptoms, along with the steps on how to properly administer the Naloxone,” said Tyler. “This knowledge will potentially help me save lives if I come across this in my future practice. I feel more comfortable and confident in my abilities thanks to this session.”
Junior Shelby Worthington, SNA secretary, also has an increased enthusiasm for her future following the convention. “After learning more about the nursing specialty I want to go into and hearing the advice and experiences of others, I feel more prepared to join this amazing profession one day.”
The Kent State nursing students who attended the NSNA conference each received a scholarship from the Mary Ellen Patton National Nursing Convention Award, gifted by alumna Rebecca M. Patton, DNP, RN, CNOR, FAAN (BSN, '80).
Are you a nursing student interested in joining us at the next NSNA convention?
- Attend the first fall semester SNA meeting and let the officers know you’re interested
- Apply for funding with other attendees
- Hold a convention meeting to plan flight, hotel, and registration with other attendees
About Michaela Bann
Michaela Bann is a junior in the Kent State University College of Nursing BSN program. She currently serves as the president of the Kent State chapter of the Student Nurses’ Association (SNA). SNA focuses on volunteering within the Kent community and on the university campus. During the school year, Michaela works as a nursing courses tutor on campus. This summer, she is completing an internship on a pediatrics floor at a local hospital. Michaela’s long-term goals include graduation, passing the NCLEX, and working as a pediatric nurse.