By Brittany Thompson- Assistant Editor
Club participation seems to be a standard on most scholarship, internship and even job applications. But what does it mean to write down active member or officer of various Viterbo clubs. For some, to write down Viterbo’s Student Nurses Association (VSNA), can mean quite a bit.
VSNA is a student run club on campus that “emphasizes health and nursing techniques as well as promoting a strong sense of community service for La Crosse and the surrounding areas” according to the Viterbo website student organization page.
VSNA is one of the largest clubs at Viterbo. Lindsey Salfer, senior nursing major from Pine Island, Minn. and president of VSNA told Lumen, “Currently, we have over 180 members made up of nursing students of all years, including traditional and non-traditional students” Salfer said. “Last year we averaged 12 to 15 people per meeting and now we average 70 to 80” Salfer said.
Why the dramatic increase in participation? Salfer said, “We have made a lot of changes this year. We have implemented active member incentive so at the end of the year if members attend so many meetings and events, we provide a small gift.”
The content of meetings has also changed from past years. According to Salfer, each meeting has a guest speaker. Most are local nurses who work in different areas of the medical field. “We try to have speakers from fields where we may not have exposure to during our clinical rotations” Salfer said. Past and future speakers have included emergency room, camp, surgery, and music therapy nurses.
Volunteer opportunities VSNA members partake in on and around campus include blood drives, involvement during health fairs taking blood pressure and blood sugar readings, decorating a tree for rotary lights yearly, ringing bells for the Salvation Army and fundraising for select senior nursing students to study in Belize. According to Salfer, “Some of our officers go to local high schools as guest speakers to promote nursing as a profession as well as Viterbo as a school.”
“One of our goals is to find more activities within the La Crosse area that we could be involved in because the majority our events are in the Viterbo community” Salfer said. “Viterbo is its own world, but you have to remember that it is a very little part of the whole world.”
“Being president, I see all the opportunities that are out there for students to not only serve others, but to better themselves and to see the bigger picture outside of the Viterbo community” Salfer said.
As a note to students on campus, Salfer said, “Be sure to watch for VSNA sponsored events this semester and get involved on campus.” Salfer continues, “Even if you are not a nursing student, find a club to be involved in because it is a great way to meet new people and be a part of the community.”