By Mandi Enger
NSC’s chapter of the National Student Nursing Association (NSNA) held the organization’s second presentation in the Life as a Nurse: The Untold Stories lecture series on February 27, 2012, along with guest speaker and NSC faculty member, Dr. Sherri Coffman. The ongoing series was developed by the pre-professional student organization in efforts to bridge the gap between students and nursing faculty.
We often forget that our professors are more than classroom instructors. They have had years of hands-on experience working in various hospitals and clinics, said NSNA’s President, Jennifer Scott. Their unique stories and insight from the field are an invaluable resource that can help us grow and prepare for real life experiences in our own careers.
Attendees at the Tuesday evening event included both nursing and pre-nursing students that were eager to hear from Dr. Coffman. The group’s attention was immediately captured as she stepped to the front of the room dressed in the pink and white nursing uniform that she wore throughout her last three years of nursing school in the late 60s.
During her presentation entitled, Lessons I Learned in Nursing School, Dr. Coffman shared inspirational stories and practical tips from her clinical trainings as an undergraduate nursing student. Of the eight tips presented, one stood out to the audience: Don’t leave your scissors on the bed. Dr. Coffman spoke of an incident during her college training when an instrument was left behind after working with a patient in isolation. After realizing the error, Dr. Coffman set out to make safety a personal priority moving forward. Dr. Coffman challenged NSNA students to become advocates for patient’s safety by forming strong safety skills that will become long-lasting habits.
It’s important for students to know that our faculty members have all been in their shoes and have likely made similar mistakes, said Dr. Coffman. Perhaps our students will create a list of their own lessons learned during their trainings at NSC that can be shared with future generations of nurses.
Dr. Coffman has been a registered nurse for over 40 years, has been educating nurses for over 30 years and helped found Nevada State College in 2002. Dr. Coffman’s written work has been published in an array of textbooks and medical journals since 1968. Other accomplishments of Coffman include the development and management of various support groups for patients and family members affected by medical conditions including spina bifida and diabetes.
The NSC chapter of the National Student Nursing Association is dedicated to assisting in the development of skilled and ethical members of the nursing profession. The group is overseen by faculty advisor; Susan Growe, RN, and is open to pre-nursing and nursing students in all tracks.
The NSNA will be welcoming Dean Shirlee Snyder as the next guest speaker in the Life of a Nurse: The Untold Stories series. The event will be held on Tuesday, March 26 at 7:00 p.m. in BWI, room 101. For more information on NSNA or for application details, please contact Susan at Susan.Growe@nsc.edu.