Students from Peru will join TWU’s nursing students in Arlington
Emily Nickles, Editor-in-Chief
TWU students in Houston will be attending the Texas Nursing Student Association 68th annual convention hosted by the University of Texas Arlington on Feb. 25-27. There will be eight members of the Houston chapter attending the event, in addition to two faculty advisers and two students from Peru.
The Houston chapter of TNSA will be taking its leadership including President Shara Grob, Editor Alex Martinez-Leon, Treasurer Annette Duong, Historian Chanelle Dozier, and Special Events Coordinator Katie Vu. Dedicated members Michelle Nguyen, Jose Amaya and Jamie Nguyen also will be attending along with faculty members Associate Professor Dr. Joan Edwards and Clinical Professor Dr. Peggy Landrum.
Two Peruvian nursing students, Nataly Membrillo and Tania Benevides, will be flying to Houston for the convention and joining them as they travel to the Sheraton convention center in Arlington. Membrillo has visited the campus before and attended a course instructed by Edwards. Following the event, Benevides and Membrillo will be able to attend another course session following the convention and sit-in on a TNSA officer meeting Feb. 29 at the campus.
Grob, the TNSA Houston chapter president, expresses that there is a push to interact with other nursing students from other countries: “We want to learn from each other’s cultures and our nursing processes. We want to learn everything we can about a new culture since it will help us to provide more compassionate care to all our patients. Especially since we interact with so many different cultures.” TWU nursing students have visited Peru to witness the nursing practice there, and now two Peruvian students will have the same opportunity here.
She continued: “Seeing how their nursing processes compared to ours and look at the good in each of our cultures and integrating it into our own care. It’s always interesting to see how different countries and cultures provide nursing care.”
Membrillo and Benevides are planning on presenting at one of the breakout sessions at the convention—topic and time still to be determined. Latina Voices, a television program based in Houston, has contacted Dr. Edwards and plans to attend the session.
Houston TNSA gets involved
In addition to attending regional conferences and boasting of around 130 members which includes 10% male participation, the TNSA Houston chapter participates in community volunteer events that help to continue their education outside of the classroom and engage with the community they will be serving.
The chapter has had two volunteer events this month already. The president was excited to share the TNSA chapter’s involvement: “We have really fun volunteering opportunities as well; [for example] the women’s shelter and Star of Hope.” At Star of Hope they help them set-up dinner and serve the homeless. Grob stated: “It’s small, but it’s fun and appreciated.”
The chapter also volunteers at the women’s shelter fall and spring festival “the women and kids really enjoy having us there,” Grob intimated. Grob also explained that there are practical volunteering opportunities that incorporate what they learn in class and apply it to real world instances. They attend Health Fairs where they are able to administer shots and healthcare services.
The most recent event was the past weekend at the Caring for Katy Gumbo Cook-Off, in Katy, Texas. Members helped set-up for the event, served chili and gumbo, and hosted a table area at the event. The preface of the charity event was to support school-age children with life-threatening illnesses.
How is being a member beneficial?
Grob expressed her thoughts on membership: “Actually having TNSA on your resume is really helpful, but you have to be an active member—it’s not just paying the membership fee. It gives you a really good chance to network. We really like student input, so if someone wants to hear about a field that isn’t common we want to get someone to speak.”
The TWU chapter in Houston invites speakers to general meetings from several popular fields of nursing such as ER Nursing, Advanced Practice Nurses, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and doctorates in nursing. They also invite student externs who share their experiences of getting an externship and how they were able to attain one.