University of Saint Francis – Crown Point’s Student Nurses’ Association offers students a chance to practice values

University of Saint Francis – Crown Point’s Student Nurses’ Association offers students a chance to practice values
By: Kayla Belec Last Updated: January 30, 2020

The University of Saint Francis - Crown Point (USF Crown Point) understands the competing demands of work, family, and college. While offering a life balance with personalized educational experiences —opportunities for full-time, part-time, on-campus, and online degrees are available—USF Crown Point also offers students chances to enrich their studies through activity. After all, even a balanced education should be an exemplary one. 

USF Crown Point has a long-standing reputation for excellence in nursing education. Founded in 1890, the University of Saint Francis has always been guided by Franciscan Values, attesting that professional nursing is founded on service, lifelong learning, and caring. Students can earn associate degrees in Nursing (ASN) or in the Licensed Practical Nurse to A.S. in Nursing (LPN-ASN) program; or their bachelor’s degree in the Registered Nurse to B.S. in Nursing (RN to BSN) program offered online. Students can also participate in a Certified Nurse Aide program to earn their CNA certification.

Through all these course levels, the ability to join a wonderful organization that provides practical community engagement experience is available to nursing students. The Student Nurses’ Association (SNA) is a student-run organization for nursing majors that encompasses every enrolled nursing student at USF Crown Point. By hosting frequent events and activities to get connected with other nursing majors outside of each student’s comfortable social sphere, plus plenty of chances to volunteer in the surrounding community, the SNA makes for an enriching facet to any nursing degree or certification. The goals of the SNA put Franciscan Values to work and encapsulate the goals USF instills in its students overall. 

Within the organization, six board members lead meetings and help coordinate the semester’s events. Any nursing student is welcome to sit in on meetings, and the only criteria for joining the SNA is to be a current student. In fact, every current nursing student is automatically enrolled in the SNA, and is able to be involved in the group as much or as little as they desire.

Nursing student Julianne Verbish serves as the SNA’s current board president. 

“I have been actively involved with the SNA for a year and a half,” she said. “I started the semester by volunteering my time, and by the following semester, I was voted into the Treasurer's position. After one semester in the Treasurer's role, I was then voted into the President's position the next semester.”

Volunteered time is a big component of the SNA. 

“We look for outside community service projects, fundraising opportunities, and events,” Verbish said. “We also volunteer our time for the pinning ceremony of our current graduating class and help wherever we are needed.”

Verbish is especially proud of some of the organization’s most recent community endeavors.

“Last semester, we worked with The Hope & Strength Project and collected items for the homeless community in Chicago,” she said. “We collected coats, blankets, gloves, and scarves in our lobby during the month of November, and The Hope & Strength Project went to the streets of Chicago to pass out items our school and their other volunteers collected.”

“It feels so good to know that our school contributed to helping the homeless find warmth within the freezing cold temperatures,” Verbish said.

The USF Crown Point SNA holds meetings once a month, and just hosted their first meeting of the spring semester this week. The first meeting is always dedicated to getting current students’ feedback about upcoming volunteer opportunities and any suggestions they have for the semester. This time around, attendees discussed holding a school supply drive for local school districts in need.

“We encourage our fellow students to come and be a part of our SNA,” Verbish said. “I love being a part of an organization that reaches out to those in need. It isn't easy to give up the little extra time we have during a stressful semester, but it is always good to get involved with your school, as well as give your time to help others.”

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