Conducting blood pressure and BMI screenings, administering flu vaccinations, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, and teaching health classes at local middle schools were just a few of the School of Nursing’s fall 2013 volunteer efforts.
Senior Traditional BSN students administered about 150 flu vaccinations on the Ole Miss campus in October.
School of Nursing students also participated in the National Night Out against Crime with the Jackson Midtown Partners and the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi’s Camp Kandu, a camp for children with diabetes. At the camp, students engaged and provided educational information to both children with diabetes and their families.
“Service-learning activities that emphasize specific learning outcomes allow students the opportunity to integrate classroom learning in a community context, extending learning and practice beyond institutional walls and eliminating boundaries to practice and service,” said Tammy Dempsey, director of student affairs.
All graduate and undergraduate nursing students are asked to complete a minimum of eight service-learning hours per year. Service-learning activities are pre-approved by Dempsey and align with a specific set of learning outcomes. Students participated in at least 38 service-learning activities across the state during the fall semester, contributing more than 3,200 hours to the community.
School of Nursing team at 2013 Alzheimer's Association walk
“Service learning helps a person see beyond his or her own views and expand on deeper concepts allowing that person to take a walk in somebody else's shoes,” said Walk to End Alzheimer’s team captain Shelby Sirmon, a senior Traditional BSN student, “The School of Nursing did a wonderful job with this service-learning activity, and I'm proud to be a part of it.”
“Students meet the people they are serving within their environment adding another dimension to student learning, often resulting in greater understanding and compassion for those they are serving,” Dempsey said.
Dr. LaDonna Northington, director of the Traditional BSN Program, has witnessed this enrichment firsthand.
“Service learning allows the students to develop relationships and make connections that might not otherwise happen,” Northington said, “It is a purposeful connection between classroom learning and community learning. Service learning affords reflection on how these intertwine and influence the growth of the student, personally and professionally, while providing a service to the community.”
Katie Lee Lloyd, a Traditional BSN student, will graduate in May. She already has learned a priceless lesson, one that she will carry with her throughout her nursing career: the value of mentorship, empowerment and service to the larger community.
School of Nursing team at 2013 Mississippi's Walk for Diabetes
This fall, she led the student body as team captain for Mississippi’s Walk for Diabetes, in addition to spearheading the school’s Mississippi Association of Student Nurses “Breakthrough to Nursing” Project, alongside classmate Presley Forrester. Through these students’ efforts, more than $1,000 was raised for the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi, and more than 168 Mississippi children were mentored by nursing students and inspired to consider careers in nursing.
“Giving back to the community provides us with the opportunity to improve the lives of those around us, as well our own,” Lloyd said, “I am so proud of all the work the School of Nursing has done this year, and feel so fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful group.”
SON students raise more than $11,000 in Fall 2013:
• In September’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the School of Nursing had the largest walk team, 137, and second highest fundraising total, nearly $3,000.
• At Mississippi’s Walk for Diabetes in October, School of Nursing students, wearing super hero-themed costumes, raised more than $1,000 for diabetes support services including Camp Kandu, a camp for children with diabetes.
• Also in October, a group of Accelerated BSN students participated and raised approximately $4,500 in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s walk.
• Students partnered with UMMC nursing staff members and SON alumni to form the “Heart Throbs” team in the American Heart Association’s Metro Jackson Heart Walk. The team raised $2,788.