Fairfield’s student nurses took to the beach this past Sunday – but not in their bathing suits. 

Hoping to kick the academic year off by giving back to others, the Student Nursing Association (SNA) hosted a food drive open to cans and connections. The event supported Operation Hope’s Food Pantry in Fairfield.

Senior nursing major and SNA President Miriam Dupree stated the event was all in efforts to arouse excitement towards the club. 

“[It’s] mostly to get people excited about the events that we are going to start to do [and the] people that we’re going to be with,” she said. “It’s a great way to connect with other student nurses through this club, and also just [to get] excited about giving back to the community.”

From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., people were invited to not only drop off canned goods, but to “stay a while” and meet other student nurses. Mentorship and community relations remain key values to SNA, so establishing those mutual connections early on is crucial.

The club celebrated a full bin of cans following the event. A variety of food was contributed, complete with canned vegetables, soups and a six-pack of chicken Ramen Noodles. All canned goods were donated to Operation Hope’s Food Pantry.

Eight student nurses gathered for the hour’s festivities, eager to meet new faces. Dupree also organized two raffles for members of SNA who left a donation: one for medical-themed badges– brains, lungs and hearts–and one for Littmann Stethoscopes. 

The club buys stethoscopes from Littmann each year, which has established a mutual support of both organizations. “We help them out, they help us out,” reported Dupree.

An overarching purpose of SNA is to prepare Fairfield’s nursing students for a career in nursing while also engaging in aspects of their local community. The club works closely with its members to develop the skills needed to make an impact. Aside from being introduced to clinical proficiency, being paired with an upperclassman mentor and hearing from various nursing professionals, SNA nurses partake in various community service projects and charity events. 

“We have a lot of different community service activities that we are committed to every year to not only help our community but to also help our student nurses kind of get a feel for helping other people,” said Dupree. Getting connected with community patients through activities like blood pressure screenings is another key component of SNA and aids in achievement in and out of their scrubs.

Dupree added that SNA often merges with other clubs to help nursing students find time for things other than their workload – which adds up very quickly. Previously, they joined Fairfield’s Art Club to paint pumpkins and create cards for hospital patients. 

This food drive was the club’s first time working with Operation Hope’s Food Pantry. Dupree noted that “food drives are always helpful,” and said she was simply seeking a local organization to give back to. Throughout the academic year, SNA donates to places like hospitals and children’s centers alongside their annual clothing sale.

At the drive, an event sign-up page was available via laptop for interested nursing students to sign up for upcoming events. Dupree teased an event called “Stop the Bleed” that will hopefully occur this November. She remains excited about all the potential events and activities this semester.

“Our big initiatives [are] to give back to the community in any way we can,” she said. “Anything that we can do to help our student nurses get connected with other patients in the community and also give back at the same time.”

“The SNA Kickoff Event is an example of bringing our nursing students together through community service, while still bringing an element of fun with our badge reels and stethoscope raffles and event sign-ups,” added Dupree post-food drive.

A Mentor-Mentee meet and greet for SNA will take place next Tuesday, Sept. 26. Because of its predicted attendance, disclosed through Sunday’s sign-up sheet to be large, the food drive will be extended to that event.

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