The School of Nursing at the University of Mississippi Medical Center has long emphasized the value of community service among its educational programs.
Students and faculty in the school have taken that commitment to heart.
According to GiveGab, a social network website that tracks the actual value of volunteer efforts, the School of Nursing has surpassed the $200,000 mark in donated community service.
Dr. Kim Hoover, SON dean, said the milestone reflects the core values of the school – and of the Medical Center.
“Service learning creates opportunities for our nursing students, students from other programs, faculty and staff to engage with the communities we serve,” Hoover said. “In doing so, we all develop a deeper respect for each other and find meaning in this work that helps better prepare us to meet the complex challenges of health care in Mississippi.”
Each nursing student is required to complete a minimum of eight academic hours of community service each year. As of the first week of December, faculty and students logged 9,441 hours of service on GiveGab, worth $212,895, based on a national average of $22 per hour as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Kayla King and Chris Vinson
The school began tracking its service learning activities on GiveGab last February. Since that time, students from baccalaureate, graduate and doctoral programs in the SON have participated in more than 170 different volunteer efforts – from local events such as health fairs, sports physicals, Stewpot Community Services and Habitat for Humanity builds to statewide programs like the SON’s Mercy Delta Express, the March of Dimes and the Mississippi HeArts Against AIDS campaign, according to Tammy Dempsey, director of student affairs and service learning for the School of Nursing.
“Every activity students do is viewed in light of learning outcomes adopted as service learning outcomes,” Dempsey said. “We look for experiences and activities that expose students to diversity, health disparity, as well as opportunities that allow students to practice professional values and professional skills. If an activity exposes students to these, then it will qualify as a service learning activity.
“Although students are required to complete eight hours per year, most students do a lot more than their share.”
Among the School of Nursing faculty and students participating in a service learning project building sheds for new Habitat for Humanity builds and re-sale houses are, front row from left, Brett Reiter, accelerated B.S.N. student; Kayla King, accelerated B.S.N. student; Tiara Turner, traditional B.S.N. junior; Jalisa Williams, traditional B.S.N. junior; and Monica Wade, administrative assistant in student affairs; and back row from left, Tammy Dempsey, director of student affairs and service learning; Donald Horne, post masters student; Jonathan Smith, accelerated B.S.N. student; Chris Vinson, M.S.N. student, Dalton Montgomery, traditional B.S.N. junior; Amanda Osborne, traditional B.S.N. junior; Sammy Johnson, M.S.N. student; and Bobby Wilkerson, accelerated B.S.N. student.