As we are coming close to Valentines Day (& I <3 NIU week), I can’t help but think of all the things I love! And one of the things I love most is NIU! NIU has so many great opportunities for students like undergraduate research, the University Honors Program, meeting our successful alumni through the Student Alumni Association/Alumni Association, our amazing sports teams, and especially the opportunity to be a Northern Lights Ambassador! Each week I have the opportunity to engage in different events on campus. There is always a new workshop to attend or a new club to join! That is one of the reasons I <3 NIU! The diversity of our campus means that there will always be new opportunities, new ideas, and new growth!
Yesterday I was talking to my mom and I told her “If I could do it all over again, I would pick NIU in a heartbeat. NIU has been so good to me, and I have grown so much here.” It’s terrifying to think that in May I will graduate and NIU will not be where I spend each day. I have made so many friendships here that I cannot imagine living without. But NIU (and it students and staff) will never leave my mind or heart. NIU is where I learned so many life lessons and where I made so many great friendships. Luckily, when I joined the Alumni Association on their trip to the Poinsettia Bowl, I became a lot less scared and sad to graduate. I realized that graduating did not mean leaving! Instead it meant that I would be able to join an amazing group of Alumni and hopefully be able to give opportunities to future students (like how they did for me).
I cannot go on enough about how much I <3 NIU, and I want to remind everyone to thank those people who have made the NIU experience so wonderful! I have had so many great opportunities here and I know I am not the only one!
This summer I had the most amazing experience with my internship! I was a Professional Student Nurse Intern (PSNI) at Swedish American Hospital. There were about nine other girls in the program with me, and only one other girls was from NIU. It was so interesting talking to the other girls about their nursing programs, and how they are different. It has made me appreciate NIU’s program so much more. The flexibility of the nursing schedule here is unlike any other program, and we have a greater variety of classes. But that’s enough on that :D
Through the program I went through orientation, trainings, and any other program that a real nurse would do when he or she starts at the hospital. After that, I worked on my unit and had continuing education classes throughout the summer. I got to practice so many new skills and I was able to do almost anything a real RN can do. SInce, I worked on a Med/Surg unit, I also got to meet many different types of people. The patients were from all professions and all backgrounds. Each case was also very different so i got to practice a wide variety of new skills. It was one of the most exciting experiences of my life!! It really reminded me of why I want to be a nurse!
Without that intern experience, I would be so scared and lost. Graduation is coming up so quickly, and the experience I had this summer has made me so much more confident. I actually see what a full 12 hour shift looks like, and I have seen how nurses act in collaboration with other members of the healthcare team. I feel so much more confident in clinical AND (even better) when I am not sure about a question on an exam, sometimes I remember something from my internship that helps me figure out the correct response.
Even though summer is over, I am still engaged in my work. Right now I am beginning to work on my Capstone Project for the University Honors Program! I am working with Dr. Rossetti to help present a new patient care model to a local mental health facility. We will be educating the nursing staff on the Tidal Model. Right now I am learning more about the model, and finding research articles on the topic. Next semester we will actually teach the classes! This is a much better project than I ever could have imagined!
The extra experiences I have gained this year are going to be a huge asset in the future too. How many nursing students can say they have real life experience AND were able to work with some amazing professors on extra projects! Those projects not only help my personal growth, but are sure to look good on a resume!
My advice: Get involved! College will go by no matter if you only do school work, or if you stock your free time with extras. You might as well make the most of it!You will thank yourself later; I can guarantee it!
It’s finally week three of school! Going into this semester, I was ready for a… less challenging year. I heard that only one of my nursing classes (Pediatrics) has tests. The rest (Community Health Nursing, Nursing Genetics, Nursing Informatics, Peds and Community clinicals, and Intro to Public Health) are group projects, quizzes, and discussion boards. I knew there would still be lots of reading, but I didn’t see all this coming! Luckily I have still found to enjoy my classes, and I would have to say that Community Health Nursing is my favorite. I have really gotten into the laws governing public health and the holistic care that community health nurses give.
Now it’s the end of week three, and it’s time to get ready for my first test. Trying to sift through over 700 pages of content for a mere 50 question test will be the focus of my next few days. So for the first time in my college career, I plan to make a study chart! With 3 pages typed up in my chart, yet only two diseases covered, looks like my computer will get a workout with weekend. Rounding out with a few quizzes and three other classes to read for, my brain may be fried by Tuesday.
BUT LUCKILY I have something to look forward to on Tuesday night!!!! Not only is it the second Honors Student Association meeting, but afterwards is a mangeant (yes, a man pageant) and bonfire. Plus I am starting to plan a formal for HSA :D Room is booked, and the theme is picked. Now I just have a few more phone calls, and I will be able to start with marketing and pinterest-ing decorations!
Extra-curricular’s are what I have to thank for my sanity. Taking time to go to events not linked to nursing school, and having conversations that do not involve disease processes or nursing homework are what save me each week. I know so many people who will only join organizations or take part in activities that will further their future career. For me, I love taking time to talk to people outside my major, and do something “just for fun”. It reminds me that there is more to life than homework, and what could be more awesome than that!
My name is Faith Stauersboll, and I am a senior nursing student in the college of Health and Human Services. I come from the small town of Belvidere, IL. My one and only sister is becoming a Huskie herself this year by joining me at NIU! Nursing school keeps me pretty busy, but I try to make time for myself. I would have to say the highlight of my week is running my dance program back home. The program is starting it’s 8th year, and I could not be more excited. I am also a member of the University Honors Program, and I have to admit that it has shaped my NIU experience more than anything else! I have met so many of my friends through the program, and it is what has connected me to the university the most. The classes can get a little challenging at times, but I wouldn’t trade the Honors community for anything.
I chose NIU for several reasons. DeKalb is about 30 minutes away from my hometown. Being near my parents is exactly what I wanted! I also was blown away by how friendly the NIU faculty and staff were even in my initial visit. I also was amazed by the University Honors program and housing opportunity. Once I got to NIU, I jumped right into getting involved! Each different group I joined introduced me to different students, and different leadership opportunities. My sophomore year I became an University Honors House Leader, the Vice President of the Lambda Sigma Sophomore Honors Society, the Vice President of Honors Student Association and a Forward Together Forward Scholar. My junior year I became a University Honors Fellow, and a member of the School of Nursing Portfolio Committee. And now I am a member of Mortar Board Senior Honors Society and a Northern Lights Ambassador!
I am so excited to be an NLA! I would have to say that getting to know new students is what I look forward to the most. I have been so fortunate to be involved with so many organizations on campus and I would love to help other students get involved!