I was honored to attend the College of Nursing’s Diversity and Inclusion in Nursing certification award on April 18th, 2017. Throughout my Freshman year, I was working toward this certificate as I tracked the diversity outreach and learning opportunities that I participated in online. I achieved Ally level of the certification, which is the first level of three (accomplished over the course of three years. Besides relating to diversity and inclusion which is a large portion of International Affairs, this ceremony was important to me because about half of my logged events were events I attended as an International Affairs Scholar, not as a Pre-Nursing student. Being an IA scholar helped me to achieve the six events required to reach Ally status and that is why this ceremony made it onto my ePortfolio. Now as a hopeful nursing student, I can display a pin on my uniform that tells patients that they can open up to me with any concerns involving diversity and inclusion throughout the course of their treatment.
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My Freshman year was very different from what I expected. Coming in, most of my college friends told me that my Freshman year would be the best time of my life. I would have easy classes, have loads of free time, and even be able to join multiple student organizations… I’m guessing none of my friends knew I was pursing a B.S. in Nursing. Being a Pre-Nursing student is stressful to say the least, but I knew what I was getting myself into. On top of tough weed-out classes like Chemistry and Physiology, I am a member of a highly involved Scholar’s Program at OSU, and I was trying to learn more about the campus and get involved in student organizations. To put it simply, first semester of Freshman year, I tried to do everything. I was so scared of missing out on opportunities that I found myself exhausted everyday just trying to complete work and meetings for all of the commitments I made. However, once second semester started, I got used to my work load and stopped putting so much pressure on myself to be perfect and involved in everything around me, and letting go in that way gave me so much more freedom to enjoy my semester here. I wouldn’t have been able to get through the year without my fellow Pre-Nursing students, as they were experiencing the same struggle to “buckle down” and become serious about their studies in the first semester of college (which is not a typical Freshman experience). Without International Affairs Scholars and all of the neat opportunities we are provided (trips to the Zoo, German Village, and Hocking Hills to name a few), I wouldn’t have had the chance to step back and really enjoy my time here, which is very important if the next three years will fly by as fast as this year did. From taking part in Buckeyethon, to being a hand model, to spending 8 hours in the library straight, to music festivals, to seeing my first cadaver, I would say my first year in college has been very well-rounded.
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Global Awareness: Students cultivate and develop their appreciation for diversity and each individual’s unique differences. For example, consider course work, study abroad, involvement in cultural organizations or activities, etc .
Original Inquiry: Honors & Scholars students understand the research process by engaging in experiences ranging from in-class scholarly endeavors to creative inquiry projects to independent experiences with top researchers across campus and in the global community. For example, consider research, creative productions or performances, advanced course work, etc.
Academic Enrichment: Honors & Scholars students pursue academic excellence through rigorous curricular experiences beyond the university norm both in and out of the classroom.
Leadership Development: Honors & Scholars students develop leadership skills that can be demonstrated in the classroom, in the community, in their co-curricular activities, and in their future roles in society.
Service Engagement: Honors & Scholars students commit to service to the community.]
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The volunteer group of Pre-Nursing and Nursing students known as NSPIRE has made a huge difference in my experience here at Ohio State. Through volunteering at the YWCA with mothers and children as well as St. Sophia’s church, this community of empathetic men and women have taught me to value my time here at OSU and really put to use my skills in helping others through service. The people I have met through this program have taught me to spend my time increasing the happiness and well-being of those who may be struggling around me. At St. Sophia’s, we welcome citizens of Columbus who do not have homes or medical care to visit us. We check their basic vitals and give them foot baths and new socks. Although it may seem trivial, these little actions of service in our local community can empower others to commit to service as well. I plan to be a member of this service club at Ohio State until I graduate and I hope volunteering with NSPIRE continues to help me become not only a better person, but a more understanding nurse.
Brenna Bookless is a first year student at The Ohio State University pursing a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. Her compassion for others and calling for service prompted her to pursue a career in the health sciences, her favorite subject in school. Brenna is a member of the International Affairs Scholar’s Program. She hopes being a part of this group will allow her to learn more about people with diverse cultural backgrounds and apply that knowledge to patient care in her future as a Nurse Practitioner. Brenna thrives in social communities where teamwork and communication go hand in hand with success and happiness. She hopes to use her empathy to change the lives of others daily and long-term.