Augustana Hosts Statewide Student Nursing Convention

Last weekend, Augustana nursing students and faculty hosted the Nurses Student Association of South Dakota annual convention in downtown Sioux Falls.

Themed "Waves of Change: Oceans of Opportunity," the two-day conference focused on what it called the "'waves of change' hitting the American health care system and the 'oceans of opportunity' those changes will provide professional nurses in the health care setting." Dr. Karla Abbott, instructor of nursing at Augustana, guided the planning over the last year, along with Augustana junior Nicole Elsasser (Sioux Falls), who served as convention chair.

Senior nursing major Ali Lammers (Hartington, Neb.), attended the conference and took in the event from what she called "three different perspectives: a student, a member of this year's planning committee, and as a new nurse."

"As I graduate this May I realize how crucial it is to remain active in your career and to be proactive about the changes occurring in our health system," Lammers said. "The career of nursing is going to be re-shaped profoundly in each community; we are focusing on reimbursement for keeping people out of the hospital rather than in, as well as the preventative measures we can take to avoid hospitalization of community members overall."

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"Nurses are going to have to be able to adapt to many different scenarios, and I was so appreciative of the wonderful speakers we had at this year's NSASD Convention. Our theme ... could not be more fitting to the healthcare world today. We had speakers that were administrators, organ donation managers, professors, and even some of the first nurses to begin practice in South Dakota's first care facilities. The Convention was a huge success and we had a great team of planners and organizers that made the whole weekend come together."

As the need for nurses continues to grow nationwide, Augustana is reacting. The College recently announced its new Accelerated Nursing Program, a 16-month post-baccalaureate program designed for individuals interested in a career in nursing.

"Between 2012 and 2022, they expect the nursing ranks to grow by 19 percent," Augustana Nursing Department Chair Dr. Janet Philipp said recently in an interview.

A number of Augustana students were elected to statewide offices at the Convention, including:

  • Joslyn Bialas (Mount Vernon), elected President of the South Dakota Student Nursing Association.
  • Nicole Elsasser (Sioux Falls), elected Nomination Chair
  • Grace Hoober (Minnetonka, Minn.), elected Parlimentarian
  • Gretchen Huber (Rochester, Minn.), elected Community Health Representative

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Learn more about Nursing at Augustana, including the new Accelerated Nursing Program.

In addition, two students were awarded nursing scholarships:

  • Ali Lammers received the Leadership Scholarship
  • Brittany Jaminet (LeMars, Iowa) received the Florence Nightingale Scholarship.

PHOTO ABOVE: Student and faculty attendees listen as a speaker addresses the Student Nurses Association of South Dakota statewide convention on Saturday, March 22, at the Holiday Inn City Centre in downtown Sioux Falls.