Posted by Aurora University on June 5, 2019
Imagine standing in front of a throng of attendees of the Student Nurses Association of Illinois (SNAI) annual convention. You have two minutes — and only two minutes — to prove to them why you should serve on their next board of directors. You sigh with relief when your time is up. But you can’t get too comfortable yet. Live voting will take place once the last candidate finishes.
That’s what Kirsten Mueller, Kristy Britton, Shea Demonteverde, and Alexis Hodges experienced as they were elected last year to the SNAI board of directors as the president, first vice president, nominations and elections committee chair, and breakthrough to nursing director, respectively.
This accomplishment was impressive not only for each student but also for the Aurora University School of Nursing. This is the third consecutive year that AU nursing students have served on the SNAI board of directors but, more important, the first time in school history that four members were elected to serve during the same term. The SNAI bylaws state that there cannot be more than three members per school unless voted on otherwise. The decision to include all four AU nursing students was unanimous.
“The mission of the AU School of Nursing is to prepare a diverse population of professional nurses for ethical practice, transformational leadership, and lifelong learning,” said Jan Strom, dean of the School of Nursing. “Having four AU nursing students serve on the SNAI board is evidence that the program is meeting its mission.”
Involvement in SNAI offers students opportunities to gain insight on topics that are important to the profession; to become involved with larger organizations, including the American Nurses Association, the American Red Cross, and the Illinois Nurses Foundation; and to sharpen skills — such as problem-solving, communication, and teamwork — that will help them provide better care for their patients once they begin working in the field.
“The SNAI was one of the greatest blessings I encountered in nursing school,” said Mueller. “I was able to step out of my comfort zone to run and serve on the board, as well as to work with mentors who helped me develop the confidence as a registered nurse to speak up for change for my patients.”