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UJ Nursing Association Awarded at ND Convention

Over the weekend of January 23, the Nursing Student Association of North Dakota (NSAND) met for their annual convention in Grand Forks, ND. Each of the schools of nursing in North Dakota are represented at this event.

University of Jamestown experienced outstanding results, with achievement of the following:

North Dakota State Student Nurse of the Year: Kelsey Marschke (junior)
North Dakota State Nursing Leadership Award: Megan Bidwell (senior)
Most Active NSA Chapter in the State: University of Jamestown

“Because of our emphasis at University of Jamestown on servant leadership on campus and in the community, our students not only strive to do well in their major, but excel in broader aspects,” explained Sheri Gunderson MS, RN, CNE, faculty advisor of University of Jamestown Nursing Student Association (UJ NSA).

“UJ students stand out in personal and group competitions. Kelsey and Megan achieved both of the individual awards given out at the state competition.” Gunderson then expanded on the group’s achievement, saying, “Our chapter has demonstrated, year after year, our numerous activities including blood drives, hands-only CPR and AED training, community service, fundraisers, educational speakers, and outreach to university and high school students.”

Additionally, seven members of the University were elected to the NSAND state board. They are:

1st Vice President: Hayley Johnson (sophomore)
ND SNOY: Kelsey Marschke (junior)
Director of Community Health: Ruth Kpahn (freshman)
Local Arrangements: Amber Domres (sophomore) and Alexandra Glynn (sophomore)
Graduate Representative: Megan Bidwell (senior)
Faculty Advisor: Penny Briese (nurse faculty and UJ alum)

“UJ NSA is one of nine chapters in the state, but UJ members were voted into seven of the 19 board positions, which is very impressive,” explained Gunderson. “All levels of students in the nursing program, from freshman to alumni, were ready to step up, give a speech about why they qualify, and commit to serving on the state level.”

University of Jamestown was the only University with a freshman nursing student at the convention. Gunderson commented on this unique situation: “UJ provides every freshman student with a foundations class that reveals their unique strengths and supports the use of these strengths in teams. The nursing program faculty encourage students to continue with co-curricular sports, arts, spiritual, service, and leadership activities throughout their time at UJ.”

This emphasis on co-curricular activities was made evident at the convention when UJ placed first in the Quarter Challenge Design Contest. In this contest, each chapter brought quarters collected locally for state award scholarships. They then had to quickly design a picture representing “The Year of the Nurse”.

“The University of Jamestown chapter won through teamwork and creativity by recognizing the achievements of the first professional nurse, Florence Nightingale,” explained Gunderson.

The primary purpose of NSA is to promote socialization into the nursing profession through education, leadership and service. The organization provides the opportunity for development of collegial and mentoring relationships among nursing students of all levels.

“The experiences and opportunities that the University of Jamestown has given me is beyond what I thought I’d ever be blessed with,” explained sophomore Hayley Johnson, who was elected 1st Vice President of the State Board. “The friends, advisors and professors- I’m surrounded by the most positive and inspiring individuals.”

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Posted:March 7, 2020


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