The delegate for the BYU College of Nursing has typically been pretty lonely at the annual National Student Nurse’s Association (NSNA) convention, but thanks to some creative thinking by the college SNA board, that’s about to change.
Instead of paying semester dues for SNA, students can now buy a package deal that includes two years membership to SNA, USNA [Utah] and NSNA. As new students buy the package, the college’s NSNA membership and voting power will increase.
“The main reason we made the change was to increase our voice at the national convention,” says Jim Kohl, an associate teaching professor and the SNA faculty advisor. “For however many students are registered with the NSNA, we get a vote at the national convention. It helps us with more votes so we can influence policy change.”
The new wave of students coming in has already increased the College of Nursing’s membership from 10 to around 50. With all the new members, the college will get around two or three delegates at the next conference. As membership grows, more delegates will be able to make the College of Nursing’s voice heard at the NSNA conferences.
“Taking the principles that we stand for as members of the LDS church to the national conference will make a huge impact,” says Chalese Adams, SNA president. “We’ll be able to help people gain a different perspective on nursing when they’re voting on policies. Advocating for the healer’s art at the national level is something no other school besides BYU can do.”
In addition to SNA, USNA and NSNA membership, students who buy the $200 package will also get their BLS certification.
“Students would already be paying more than $100 for their BLS certification alone,” Kohl says. “With the package they get that and membership in SNA, USNA and NSNA.”
David Adams, SNA first vice president, recently got into George Washington University’s graduate program, his number one choice. He feels that his SNA and NSNA membership were a major contribution to him getting in.
“Graduate schools eat that stuff up, so do people who are looking to hire recent graduates,” he says. “They love seeing that you’re willing to do something outside of yourself and not just focus 100 percent on school. They want people who can multi-task and they can see that when SNA and NSNA are on your resume.”
The SNA board members hope that through SNA, USNA and NSNA membership, no student will reach their senior year and realize they have nothing that sets them apart from other recent graduates.
“With nursing you could get a job out there pretty easily,” Kohl says. “But if you want THE job, your prime job, having leadership roles in school are going to make you stand out far above other people.”
Students interested in signing up for the package deal can talk to Chalese or any of the other faculty involved with SNA. They will also have the opportunity to sign up at any SNA activity, including this weeks’s SNA Twister activity on Saturday, January 30 at 10am in the WILK west ballroom.
By Nate Brown—BYU College of Nursing public relations assistant