Nursing Students Petition for Graduation Cords

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BY Katelyn Norowski

Staff Reporter

Sacred Heart University’s chapter of the National Student Nursing Association (NSNA) will no longer grant nursing cords at graduation unless students receive a certain amount of points granted by the SNA.

In order to receive the nursing cords at graduation, nursing students must earn points directly from the NSNA by participating in on and off campus service opportunities. These points vary based on graduation year.

Sacred Heart nursing students have reacted to this rule by creating a petition. The petition argues that receiving these points should not be a requirement to receive cords for graduation.

“I feel that the petition is fair,” said senior nursing major, Jessica Poole.

“I don’t believe a cord should only be given to those who attended NSNA meetings, or those who had the most hours,” said Poole.

The NSNA was created in 1952 and is a nonprofit organization. Their mission is to prepare students for becoming a registered nurse. They also work to encourage nursing students to learn the ethical aspects of being a registered nurse as well as how to be leaders in clinical situations.

“I feel that doing extra hours can be challenging for a number of reasons,” said junior nursing major, Alana Corrente.

“First, our education comes first so it can be hard to fit in doing extra hours when we have tests, projects, presentations, etc.,” according to Corrente. “I also think it is hard for the underclassman because they do not have access to transportation when events are not at school.”

“In the past, a lot of the of the events that were created to get points involved having to spend money,” said Corrente. “For example, going to the Sound Tiger’s Game and fundraising at Panera Bread. This was challenging because we are college students.”

“However, I do think SNA this year has worked on those issues a lot in the sense that they are now offering carpool for events and they have added more opportunities to get enough credits to get a cord,” said Corrente.

“This year, you need 15 credits each semester, whereas last year you needed 20,” said Corrente.

According to Corrente, “there are also more meetings this year which allow you to get more points.”

“Overall, the Student Nursing Association is a program that most undergraduate nursing programs have,” said Corrente.

“There are services that they provide on an off campus to help the community, promote developmental skills, and practice standards and ethics that are needed to become a responsible nurse,” according to the Sacred Heart website.

“For example, as a junior and senior nursing student, SNA provides you the opportunity to administer the influenza injections to students at school and we also do fundraisers like the Turkey Drive,” said Corrente.

There are not only requirements within the SNA to receive a nursing cord, but nursing students also have requirements from the University.

“Nursing students must gain a liberal education for Baccalaureate Generalist nursing practice, with knowledge from biological, behavioral, social and nursing sciences,” according to the Sacred Heart University website.

“All nursing students should get a cord at graduation,” said Poole. “We all work equally as hard throughout our four years here to reach the same goal.

Another aspect of nursing that is required for graduation is clinical.

Therefore, according to the Sacred Heart website, “nursing majors must learn to make clinical judgements based on knowledge and evidence, and developed through the process of clinical reasoning.”

“Clinical allows you to be hands on and interact with the patients,” said Corrente. “You are able to practice your skills and gain knowledge from being in real life scenarios.”

Futhermore, the website said, “embracing the core values of professionalism that support optimal health outcomes, is required for students to graduate with a nursing degree.”

“Nursing is an amazing and awarding profession,” said Corrente. “It is a field that will always keep you thinking because science is always changing and evolving so learning never stops.”

Due to inappropriate comments on the petition, it has since been closed.

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