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ODU Student Nurses’ Association Members Give Back to the Community

Photo of Student Nurses' Assocation membersODU Student Nurses’ Association members (left to right) Soonja Heber, Ashley Atkinson, Alexis Tynes, Leah Fiedler, Halle Healy, Lizamarie Bedolla and Elisa Hendrix pause for a group photo during a recent trip to Bayside High School’s Health Science Academy where they taught students how to properly measure blood pressure. Not pictured: SNA members Robert Dortman and Raul Cardona. Photo of Student Nurses' AssociationODU Student Nurses’ Association President Leah Fielder (center) instructs two students from Bayside High School’s Health Science Academy in the proper method for measuring blood pressure.

From August to December 2013, members of the Old Dominion University Student Nurses' Association (SNA) logged more than 253 hours volunteering at various community activities, including health and wellness fairs and fundraisers for nonprofit organizations.

SNA is a student-run professional organization that strives to organize, represent and mentor students preparing for licensure as registered nurses as well as those enrolled in baccalaureate completion programs.

The association sponsors a variety of volunteer events that center on aspects of health care or community building at ODU and beyond. One of those recent events involved a trip nursing students made to Bayside High School's Health Science Academy in Virginia Beach to teach students how to properly measure blood pressure.

"ODU students were able to share their expertise and gain confidence in the skills that they have learned as nursing students," said Janice Hawkins, the chief academic adviser for ODU's School of Nursing. "Bayside benefited from their individual assistance and guidance with this hands-on skill."

SNA activities and events provide opportunities to promote development of skills that students will need as members of the nursing profession and advocates for high-quality health care. ODU officially recognized the SNA as an organization in 1975. In the years since, membership has grown from 10 to a current roster of 58.

SNA joined the Virginia Student Nursing Association and National Student Nurses Association, and ODU student members were in attendance at their recent respective conventions, including the VSNA convention, in January, which was attended by the SNA's full membership.

"The efforts and dedication put forth by SNA officers have helped to improve SNA's standing and have gained the attention of many students, from freshmen to seniors," Hawkins said. "SNA strives to make the experience personable and professional, so the underlying theme of SNA is interpersonal relationships and appreciation: all members offer something unique and beneficial for growth and success of an organization. Students are encouraged to be active members, as well as leaders within the organization, so students feel more welcome and free to express ideas and creativity. They're given the opportunity to practice leadership skills that will be critical in nursing careers."

To learn more about academic and career opportunities available through the ODU School of Nursing, visit the College of Health Sciences website.