NMCC Student Nurses Offer a Hand and Boost the Community

March 2, 2018

Officers left to right: Kim Wilcox (Secretary), Michele Wilcox (President), Hailey Caron (Secretary-Elect), Katie Giberson (Treasurer), Janelle Pottle (Vice President)

The Northern Maine Community College Student Nurses’ Association (NMCC SNA) has been very busy throughout the 2017-2018 academic year. The association, consisting of 29 members representing the Presque Isle campus and Nursing students from Houlton and Calais cohorts, continue to participate in events which benefit the community and their education.

Michele Wilcox, President of NMCC SNA, said in October all members participated in a 30 Days Thankful Raffle Fundraiser.  When the raffle was completed, the association voted to donate $900 of the funds raised, to 30 families in need for the holidays. Thirty gift cards were given to 30 students and their families, so they could purchase Christmas dinner or gifts for their families during the holidays. Another $100 was donated for two senior citizens to be able to participate in the Seniors Achieving Greater Education program.

“We, as SNA members, want to make our community a better place, and we want to help any person in need, any way we can,” said Wilcox. “Volunteering our time is a way to accomplish these goals and we like the idea of helping local people and local projects. Knowing that we have made a difference in one person’s life makes it all worthwhile for us.”

The association also took on a project to assist the homeless shelter in Presque Isle. Members donated their time to organize the donation facility to make room for more donations this winter. Wilcox added that members have voted to donate more time to the shelter this spring.

“We have someone, who wishes to remain anonymous, who is going to donate paint and brushes, and we are going to volunteer our time to paint some of the rooms in the shelter,” she said. “We are hoping, by painting the rooms, we will make the shelter a better place to stay for families that need to be there.”

“Taking part in community events, volunteering in the community, and being able to raise money to help others, will help us grow tremendously as nurses,” said Janelle Pottle, Vice President NMCC SNA. “These projects teach us about compassion, respect, and dignity. This also helps us to become professional leaders within the health care community while teaching us the importance of responsibility and empathy, two important factors in becoming a great nurse.”

The advisor for the SNA is NMCC Nursing Instructor, Angela Buck. She says that involvement with the SNA demonstrates the students’ ability and commitment to balance their education successfully while giving back to the community.

“Volunteering through the Student Nurses’ Association helps students recognize various needs across the lifespan, which coincides with the Nursing process,” said Buck. “Their involvement at the state and national level also helps foster relationships beyond the boundaries of The County. Making these connections as students opens more doors of opportunity for their futures.”

In addition to volunteering in the community, students were also active in Maine State Student Nurses’ Association, as nine of the NMCC members were able to attend the state convention in Orono.

“Attending these conventions are important to give us insight as to what is going on in the student Nursing community throughout the state of Maine,” said Wilcox. “By attending, we were able to learn new laws governing nurses, new advancement in technology, and the importance of learning how to become a good leader.”

2018 continues to be busy as well and events include some of the NMCC SNA members attending the National Student Nurses’ Association Convention in Tennessee in April. The last time an NMCC Nursing student attended the national convention was more than 15 years ago. This has members already thinking of ways to fundraise to send four to Nashville this spring.

“We are all striving to become the best nurses we can be, and our association is helping each one of us achieve our dream,” Pottle said.