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Featured | Health Education and Human SciencesApril 12, 2024

Student Nurses and the Heart to Save Lives

“You have to have the heart for it,” said Savannah Baldwin, a senior nursing student and president of the UAFS Student Nurses’ Association (SNA).

Although any nursing student can join the program, being a member of SNA and working toward becoming a nurse is personal to Savannah. Her answer has two meanings. One is to answer the call to become a frontline worker. The other is to have compassion and patience for others in need.

Savannah may not have been the first nursing student to join SNA, but she and the current members continue the mission set forth when the program began in the early 2000s.

It reads, “We, students of nursing, believe there is a common need to organize, to represent ourselves to the consumer and other health disciplines, and to assume our rightful place in the profession of nursing. We believe every citizen has a right to the highest quality of healthcare. We believe in the development of the whole person toward their professional role with its rights, responsibilities, and ideas. We believe every right bears inherent responsibility. We believe responsibilities are participatory, not purely philosophical or ideological. We believe the quality and quantity of participation are not exclusive, but bear the responsibility of participation.”

However, having the heart for the job isn’t all it takes to be a nurse. It takes years of schooling and a support system behind you every step of the way.

“It’s important to have that community with nurses,” explained Ally Wright, SNA Community Service and Marketing Management and December ’24 graduate. “Even real nurses have a community because it’s really hard to be a nurse with all the struggles that come with it. … It’s nice to know someone else is doing the same thing as you, going through the same things as you are.”

Leaning on her belief of what it means to be a nurse and caring for others, Savannah echoed Ally, saying, “Others have been through it, and I’m still pushing. One day, I’ll tell newbies, ‘You can do it. I can do it; you’ll be fine.’”

Increasingly, more students opt to pursue a career in nursing for the money, partly due to travel nursing. But for Savannah, it comes down to being someone that others can rely on in a time of need.

“Nursing takes a team because you have your physician, you have your other nurses, and you have their families,” Savannah said. “When you’re sitting there providing care, you don’t know who’s going to walk in and help. You don’t know if you’re going to be the only one. No matter what, you got to be equipped to do it all.”

For Ally, it is a tradition that is three generations deep.

“My grandma was a nurse, and my mom was a respiratory therapist,” Ally said. “When I was in high school, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to help people.”

Both students are proud of their decision to pursue a degree in nursing and owe much of their success to the support of SNA. Due to their giving nature, both say that through SNA, they have benefited from and given back to the community.

“Student Nurses’ Association is committed to serving our future nurses and our community,” Savannah stated.

“SNA has reshaped and furthered my love for community projects and volunteering,” Ally said.

However, Savannah, Ally, and the other members of SNA lean on the community of nurses the most. Both have attended conferences, classes, and lectures, learning more from others in the field, like fellow nursing students, faculty, travel nurses, and ICU nurses, to name a few.

Seeing how much help is out there for them to succeed in their mission to help others, Ally is encouraged by others investing in SNA and the nurses of the future.

“We can do so much more in the community if we have more people because we have the heart; we just don’t have enough hands to do it,” she said.

  • Tags:
  • College of Health Education and Human Sciences
  • Nursing
  • Day of Giving

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Rachel Rodemann Putman

  • Director of Strategic Communications
  • 479-788-7132
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