Students Crave Real Connections

Our NCF chapter, like many, went through a challenging time during COVID. Going into Fall 2020, we had a board of mostly graduating seniors and continued monthly Zoom meetings.

Then those students graduated, and we had no mechanism to generate interest in NCF. We were in danger of going inactive in Fall 2021. But God is faithful. Some juniors responded to an announcement on our NCF site and we were able to meet virtually through the school year, although our numbers were way down and we had no freshmen and few sophomores. We even participated in a virtual nursing organization fair.

In April, we assembled in-person and virtually at our College of Nursing for the NCF student retreat, “Kept: Finding Peace in Nursing School.” It was the first time many of us had actually met in person. We ate a meal, talked, had fellowship, and real connections were made between students and faculty.  The students decided our last meeting of the year would be in-person. We didn’t have a huge turnout, but discussing in-person was so much more meaningful than online!

Now we’re again looking at a board of seniors and hoping to recruit more underclassmen. At our College of Nursing fair for incoming freshman, a graduate NP student spoke about NCF and shared quotes from other members. Of 80 participants at the fair, 20 filled out cards! Many were interested in small group Bible study, exploring Christianity, and/or learning more about Jesus and nursing.  We’ve collected ideas on how to follow-up with these students:

  • Board members will each email and/or call five freshman students to welcome them, encourage them, and get acquainted. Let them know we’re praying for them.
  • Make and distribute welcome packages for students living in dorms (snacks, sunscreen, card with a verse on it, a personal note)
  • Visit classes of sophomores and juniors who didn’t have a nursing fair due to COVID. Invite them to our first meeting with a make-your-own-burrito dinner.
  • Our first meeting can include time for upperclassman can give tips to freshman students about surviving nursing school.
  • Continue weekly devotionals from faculty and board members.

Mary Ann Leavitt, PhD, RN, CHFN, CCRN-K, is the faculty advisor for the NCF student group at Florida Atlantic University where Mary Ann is an assistant professor at the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing.

Jen Wojtysiak and Katharine Provost are keen to involve more nursing faculty in student groups nationwide—contact them for information and encouragement.




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