Nursing major Carson Applewhite ’14 is blazing a new trail for Hiram College’s nursing program as she takes on a national leadership role.
Students from across the country elected her to serve as Director North for the National Student Nurses Association’s Board of Directors at the organization’s conference in Charlotte, N.C., earlier in April. In this role, she will represent student nurses from all states.
She is one of four students elected from across the country to serve as a Director, and the first student in Hiram’s young nursing program to be elected to a national or state level position. In October 2012, she was elected to serve as Community Health Director for the Ohio Student Nurse Association.
She said she is “excited and really honored” to be taking on this role, representing both Hiram College and nursing students from all over on a national level.
“I want to help other nursing students recognize their power and what a voice we have as future health care professionals – and how it’s not too early to start using it,” Applewhite said. “It’s never too early to start acting on the things you find important.”
The National Student Nurse Association’s mission is to mentor students preparing for initial licensure as registered nurses, and to convey the standards, ethics and skills needed to become responsible and accountable nurses. Board members are responsible for passing the organization’s annual operating budget, and each board member serves as a chair of a committee.
Applewhite, who has traveled with Hiram and other organizations to Zambia, Peru, Guatemala, Mexico and Nicaragua, will chair the Global Health Initiatives committee. On these trips, she has worked on health initiatives, including AIDS and HIV outreach, so the appointment is right up her alley. She hopes to create training programs for student volunteers to work internationally in preventative care.
As a board member, Applewhite will travel to other conventions, like American Medical Student Association’s, on behalf of NSNA, leading talks on global health. She will also be part of leading and planning NSNA’s conventions, like the one she and others from Hiram recently attended.
Applewhite said being part of and leading an organization like NSNA on a national level has prepared her to be a leader in the nursing field.
“It’s given me the insight and experience with leadership and professionalism within nursing to be active and to be a voice in whatever work setting I’m in,” she said. “I want to be a leader in the nursing world.”
Nursing Students Gain Insight at Convention
Aside from Applewhite’s appointment as Director, the National Student Nurse Association’s convention, held April 2-7, proved to be a great learning experience for other Hiram College students who attended: Lindsay Cajka ’13, Marissa Humphrey ’14 and Annie Matz ’13.
The students heard gained insight about current issues and initiatives in nursing by attending speeches and workshops. They also with representatives from nursing schools and vendors. Topics included nursing licensure and the differences from state to state, working with wounded troops as a civilian nurse and living healthily as a nurse.
Cajka, secretary of the Hiram Student Nurse Association, said she and the other students learned a lot and met a lot of great connections.