Nine nursing students from Fort Hays State University attended the 52nd Annual National Student Nurses' Association convention in Nashville, TN, March 31-April 4.
"I went because in our nursing classes, we're learning how to get politically involved in our careers," said Susan Becker, Centralia senior. "It was a really good opportunity to see on a national level how nurses are getting involved politically within their profession."
As well as being introduced to the political side of nursing, the students learned about cutting-edge health care topics, heard several national nursing leaders speak, attended plenary sessions related to the profession and attended the annual meeting of the House of Delegates.
Students were also able to speak with hundreds of health care recruiters, National Student Nurses' Association leaders and nursing students from all over the United States.
"There were representatives from all over the United States trying to recruit nurses since there's such a shortage right now," Becker said. "It was interesting to see how they tried to get people interested in their facilities.
"For me, the convention was beneficial because it helped me understand where we're at on a political level," she said. "I didn't really realize that politics are a big thing in the profession. We have to speak up and have a voice in the legislature so that other people don't make a decision for us."
The students were accompanied by their advisor, Rebecca Applebaugh, assistant professor of nursing.
Students who attended are listed below by hometown and classification.
COLBY: Kala Jo Hunter, senior.
FOWLER: Megan Leis, senior.
GREAT BEND: Melanie Schartz, senior.
HAYS: Jennifer Butler, senior.
HOXIE: Jessica Bruggeman, senior.
HUTCHINSON: Alison Gill, senior.
OLATHE: Lindsay Bengtson, senior.
WICHITA: Rhonda Dukich, senior.