Student Work #4: Volunteer Work at St. Andrews Food Pantry

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So I actually have had the opportunity to already begin my service at St. Andrews food pantry in South Jordan. I went at first just thinking I would check the place out and see how I liked it. As my service began I was nervous that I would not have much of an opportunity to teach people and apply some of the skills we have as nurses. As the day went on, I quickly remembered there is just something about giving service to others that opens your heart and allows you to learn. I quickly was able to engage with those I was helping and able to give them insight on things that could potentially help them. One of the things I loved the most was the variety of people we would see come in; from small families to the single elderly.

Service-Learning to me is what is in the title. Mahatma Gandhi said ” the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” I have always loved this quote because it is so true. In helping others we are able to forget about ourselves and focus on someone else, in doing this we in a way re-evaluate who we are and begin to learn so much about ourselves. I know I recently read an article that talked about truly happy people, and one of the number one things that makes people happy is being able to serve others, it is not having the most expensive possessions, but simply giving of your time for someone else.

So in thinking about what I would like to learn from this, is one to learn to love to serve so it becomes a life long activity for me. The second; I would love this to be able to overflow into my nursing, that my compassion and willingness to help those around me will grow and make me a better nurse. The third thing I would like to take from this is to help me be more grateful for where I am in my life, I think happiness stems from the idea of being grateful and who doesn’t want to be more happy.

I think I pointed out what I feel is the important things from service based learning in that we can forget ourselves and focus on others which in turn allows us to have compassion for those around us. We then from this can experience gratitude for what we have and allows us to be a happier person. I have already enjoyed my time spent serving at St. Andrews and the opportunities I have had in teaching and learning. I look forward for the other chances I have to serve there and I know without a doubt there will be experiences that will impact me for the better.

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Student Work #3: Volunteer Work at Head Start

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I chose Head Start as my service learning organization.  Head Start is a national non-profit organization that provides early intervention services from infancy to children aged five in order to make available education and services that they would not be able to receive otherwise.  I was interested in working with Head Start because I enjoy spending time with children, but have not had the opportunity to work with them much in a professional situation.  Many years ago I worked for a non-profit, which in a different branch of the organization provided early intervention services to children with a variety of developmental delays and disabilities.  This area always seemed very beneficial to me, as services or lack of services at a young age can make such a huge difference in someone’s life as they age.  With the adults with disabilities I serve now, it is easy for me to wonder in what ways their lives and/or health would be different if services and educational opportunities were different and more readily available when they were young.  I find the idea of helping children get the extra support they need during such formative years to be very rewarding.

At the start of this program I was not expecting to complete service learning project as part of my education.  I have wished for many years that I had the available time to give back to the community in some way, so this will be a good opportunity to actually be able to do this.  When I spoke with Head Start they expressed that they have a need for volunteers in a variety of areas and that the coordinator would help find an area that would work best for me.  This was also helpful as for the most part my schedule is strenuous and can vary a great deal from week to week.  I will also likely be able to spend my time at a location that is near my current workplace.  I am currently awaiting approval of my application, at which point I will meet with a Head Start coordinator about finding the project and schedule that is the best fit for me.

I know I will learn and grow from this experience.  The Center for Civic Engagement’s website mission statement made an impact on me.  One point that really resonated with me was the use of service learning to build leadership skills.  At this point in my education one of the most beneficial things I have learned as part of the BSN program is how to develop leadership skills and how critical being a good leader is in the field of nursing.  Possessing excellent leadership qualities allows a nurse to impact not only their patients’ lives, but also the field of nursing overall through their positive influence on their colleagues, and the organizations the work for, as well as those they belong to.  I look forward to using this service learning opportunity as a chance to continue to grow in the area of leadership.  I also love Westminster’s attitude toward service learning and striving to be involved and give back to the community it is part of and am excited to become a part of this.

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Student Work #2: Volunteer Care Clinic

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The service agency I was most interested in getting involved with was the Rape Recovery Crisis Center.  After talking with both the Salt Lake and the Utah County Rape Recovery agencies, I was sad to find out that the training dates for both locations were not compatible with my work schedule.  I contacted a few other agencies including the American Diabetes Association and United Way before I discovered the Volunteer Care Clinic in Provo.  This clinic provides care to the under-served population who either have financial challenges and can’t afford medical care or who do not have health insurance.  I spoke with the volunteer coordinator and was excited to learn that they are in need of an RN on Tues or Thurs evenings which are my nights off from work.  So not only is it perfect for my schedule, but it is also close to home, and I will be able to utilize my skills as a nurse.

I submitted my application this week to the Volunteer Care Clinic and I am currently waiting to hear back on what the next step is and when I can start.  It has been awhile since I was involved in a service activity and I am looking forward to this experience.

I had to think for a minute, why it is called service-learning?  Then it made sense to me, learning through service.   What things will I learn through service? I am curious as to what kind of experience I will have serving as a nurse for a different purpose than that of a paycheck.  Will me perspective me different?  Will I find greater value in what I do as a nurse?  I am interested to work with other people who I know are also volunteering their time and services.

On Westminster College’s Center for Engagement home page, a portion of the mission statement reads: “By investing in civic engagement, Westminster College expects that its students will develop better collaboration and leadership skills, deeper empathy, and a sense that they can contribute to the well-being of their homes, communities, and nation.”   I feel this statement is so insightful and the words “deeper empathy” adds such value to the meaning of service.  To be able to shift my focus from my life, to somebody in need who may be less fortunate, will open my eyes to the blessings I have and deepen my empathy for people in my community who have less.

I also appreciate the idea that I will gain a sense of contributing to the well-being of my community.  A definition of community I like:  a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.  I do believe that being able to provide service to my community will increase my feeling of fellowship within the community. – Alyssa Vest

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Student Work #1: My Service Project at ESLC

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I have chosen to do service and teaching at ESLC, English as a second language. I will start with my training on February 11th. Twice weekly, for 2 weeks, 3 hours a night. A total of 12 hours of training before a teacher can teach a class with ESL. The commitment is for 100 hours of volunteer work over the next 6 months of at least 5 hours a week. I hope to be able to teach people from other cultures and new to the United States how to speak English. According to my Spanish teacher English is harder to learn than Spanish. But, how would she know since she was brought up learning Spanish. I hope that will come in handy if I am teaching people that speak Spanish and are trying to learn English. I hope that this will be a rewarding experience and I hope to have many new adventures with other cultures.

I hope I can be of service to these people seeking to learn English better. I speak, read and write well, so I thought it would be a good fit for me. I also have had lots of experience as a teacher in many different teaching jobs in my church

I was surprised that I had to pay $50 to get a background check done before I could be considered for the volunteer position. I had also looked into doing the Rape course, but it was already full and new classes weren’t being held until April, too late for having it on time for this semester.

Three of the many things that the college would like us to get out of this service learning is that it will improve our student learning experience in general, help to develop our leadership skills and hopefully we will acquire a greater empathy for the groups that we serve. All admirable things to attain in our quest for service projects.

Looking forward to this new adventure, LeAnn Hill

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Westminster’s RN to BS in Nursing Program: A Student’s Perspective

Westminster’s RN to BS in Nursing program is unique; utilizing high-tech learning tools for distance education and combining it with a few seminars each semester. The program offers flexibility so students can continue to work throughout the program.

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Three current students practicing their clinical skills: LeAnn Hill (right), Alyssa Vest (center), Jared Petersen (left).

Alyssa Vest is a current student in the program. She works full-time in the OR and balances her family responsibilities, work and school. Her goal is to obtain a BS in Nursing and later attend graduate school. “An on-line program is so convenient,” said Vest. “It cuts out time spent sitting in a classroom and better allows me to continue working full-time. With a competency-based program, I can draw from my experience as a nurse and apply it to my school work.

“We believe our RN to BS in Nursing program fills a void that other programs are not offering,” said Sheryl Steadman, Dean of The School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Westminster College. “Our program allows for greater flexibility and will help RNs build on their current skills while still being a part of the workforce. Our ultimate goal is to produce nurses with the leadership skills and competencies essential for succeeding in this constantly evolving industry.”

If you would like to learn more about the RN to BS in Nursing Program, please click here or call our Admissions Counselor Alex Steed at 801.832.2223.

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Scholarship Announcement – Summer 2014

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We are excited to announce that scholarships will be available for students who are applying for summer 2014 enrollment. If you are interested in applying, click here for a scholarship application.

Applicants who are interested in the program are invited to attend an Information Session. Upcoming Information Sessions will be held on February 4th and 13th. Click here to RSVP.

If you would like more information about the RN to BS in Nursing program you can find it on our website or call our Admissions Counselor Alex Steed at 801.832.2223.

 

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Accepting Applications for Summer 2014!

Converse Hall (front facade), Westminster College (UT)

The RN to BS in Nursing Program at Westminster College is currently accepting applications for the 2014 summer semester. We are holding two Open Houses on February 4th and 13th from 3:00 – 5:00 PM. Anyone interested in applying to the program is invited to attend. Attendees should RSVP here.

Applicants should contact Alexandra Steed in the Admissions Office at asteed@westminstercollege.edu. Alexandra is happy to answer questions about the application process. Applicants are required to submit and meet the following criteria:

  • Application
  • $50 Application Fee
  • A minimum cumulative and prerequisite grade point average of 2.8 and a grade or C or higher in all prerequisite courses.
  • Official Transcripts from all colleges attended including an ACEN (NLNAC) or CCNE accredited school of nursing documenting diploma or degree with a major in nursing.
  • An unrestricted Utah RN license.
  • A typed letter of intent, which includes statements related to your skills and qualifications.
  • A state and federal background check indicating no arrest history or no criminal record. Applicants can use copies from their board exam. (This cannot be used unless the student kept copies. If the results went directly to the DOPL, they will have to do a new background check.) Copies from background checks must be within the last six months. If a background check shows an arrest history or criminal record, the Dean conducts an evaluation of the background check.
  • Students in the program may be required to obtain background checks and/or drug screens during the program.

Additional requirements upon acceptance include:

  • Current health certificate indicating health status and current immunizations, including Hepatitis B vaccinations and a negative TB test or its equivalent (must be kept current throughout the program).
  • Current CPR certification (must be kept current throughout the program).
  • Students will be required to provide 10 panel drug test results from an approved laboratory (Salt Lake WorkMed and Murray WorkMed are acceptable labs in Utah). Drug test results must be negative. Copies from employment within the last six months are acceptable.
  • Proof of health insurance.

For additional information about the RN to BS in Nursing Program, please visit our website.

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