May 16, 2013 12:00AM
The PSU chapter of the Kansas Association of Nursing Students (KANS) wrapped up the academic year with two national awards for service projects and national recognition for the strength of the chapter.
The PSU chapter was honored for having the most successful school project demonstrating the national theme of “Committing to Community: Empowering with Knowledge.” That project is the first aid and information station staffed by the students at GorillaFest before each home football game and now before home basketball games.
PSU Nursing Department faculty member and chapter adviser, Barbara McClaskey, said most of the first aid the students dispense is as simple as treating a child’s scrape or bruise. They also check blood pressures. Most importantly, McClaskey said, the students use their presence at these high-profile sporting events to share information on a wide variety of public health issues including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, healthy living, prostate and breast cancer, influenza, West Nile virus, and other topics.
“Nursing students involved in this project have an exceptional opportunity to use their patient teaching skills and to demonstrate to the alumni and the other attendees that nursing students have already made volunteerism and service to the community part of their professional practice,” McClaskey said.
The chapter also received a national award in the Legislative Education category for a forum the chapter sponsored with two candidates for the Kansas House of Representatives. The forum allowed the candidates to discuss their views on various health policy issues.
In addition to the national awards recognizing the PSU KANS chapter for community service programs, the National Student Nurses Association selected PSU as a Stellar School Chapter. The award recognizes the PSU chapter for involvement in leadership at all levels, faculty and administration support, participation in NSNA programs, professional development of students, and participation in service learning. Just 16 schools have been named Stellar Chapters since the designation was established in 2009 and PSU is the only school in Kansas and Missouri to have achieved the honor.