Many people think that if you are a nursing student, all of your spare time is spent studying. At Illinois State University’s Mennonite College of Nursing, students not only study hard, but they also learn how to balance their time by doing other activities. One of the most popular activities is the Student Nurses’ Association (SNA).
SNA meetings and events are run by a group of officers. SNA’s current officers are Nicole Norris, president; Morgan Love, vice president; Emily Amadio, secretary; and Dani Wright, treasurer.
SNA is a student-run organization that meets twice a month. Students who would like to become a member are required to pay a membership fee. “Students can pay $25 for the whole academic year, or $15 for one semester,” said SNA advisor Nancy Diller. “The dues go towards the spring formal, membership rewards, and other events and charitable donations. For the 2016–17 year, SNA has 271 active members this year, with the largest group being our freshmen!”
Members of SNA are required to earn at least four points per semester. After attending three meetings, members will receive one point. All other events and opportunities are worth one point. And there are plenty of events and opportunities for SNA members!
“Students can get involved with service projects like the Alzheimer’s Walk, The Baby Fold Diaper Drive, peer mentor programs, Community Health Clinic Supply Drive, Heart Walk, Homecoming week and St. Jude Up ’til Dawn,” said Norris. “They can also attend several college events including Homecoming and MCN Nurses Week.”
A new program SNA is working on this year is a peer mentor program, which will pair upperclassmen with underclassmen. “The goal of this program is to provide underclassmen with a more experienced nursing student to provide support and assistance while moving through the nursing program,” said Norris. “We also hope by establishing this program, it will enable students to connect with other student and create relationships outside of our cohorts.”
SNA also has several fundraisers throughout the year. One of the most popular is the merchandise drive, which is offered at the beginning of each semester.
“We work with a local vendor to provide various products like T-shirts, jackets, sweats, bags, hats, and water bottles,” said Norris. “This year, we also added specific items for the M.E.N. in Nursing group, and for MCN alumni. We plan to launch the online store again in the spring, and will have a special site just for alumni to place orders and have them shipped to their homes.”
The group also has fundraisers at various restaurants in the Bloomington-Normal area, where a portion of the sales during certain hours go to SNA. These opportunities will be posted on the MCN Facebook page. There is also an ongoing fundraiser with Papa John’s until May 2017: Use the promo code ISU55 on orders and receive 40 percent off your order and 10 percent of all sales will go to SNA. The promo code is good for all Papa John’s in Bloomington-Normal, Peoria, Springfield, Decatur, Pontiac, and Quincy.
“Being a member of SNA not only provides students the opportunity to participate in meetings and activities, but it also contributes to personal and professional development and networking,” said Diller. “They do an outstanding job of getting guest speakers for the bimonthly meetings and have many opportunities for community service. I encourage all of our students in the undergraduate program to consider becoming a member of SNA.”
More pictures of the activities SNA has been involved in can be found on the MCN Flickr account.