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In fall of 2016 UW nursing alumni voted for a new slate of officers for the young UWAA Nursing Chapter. President Dani Johnson ('13), Vice-President Samantha Baker ('16), and Secretary/Treasurer Elinore Simpson ('15) have already taken the reins from the previous and original board. The original board (or "transition" board) led the new chapter, which was formed only two years ago. The transition board was composed of Emily Hill ('13), President; Johnna French ('12), Vice-President; and Peter Skorcz ('15), Secretary/Treasurer.
New board members Johnson, Baker and Simpson have shared their individual hopes and vision for the chapter below.
Dani Johnson began her career working at Children's Hospital Colorado on the surgical specialty unit for two years. In 2015 she started travel nursing, first at Dallas, TX; then Alexandria, VA; and now in a pediatric sedation unit at OHSU in Portland, OR.
Johnson's Vision for UWAANC:
"This year as president" states Johnson, "I would like to.
.work toward building a community of nursing students, staff, and alumni.
.further develop a mentoring program with working nurses who have gone through all that students/new grads currently experience.
.be involved in the community as a whole. Discover ways to improve the nursing profession.
.work together with Wyoming community leaders and those who have moved out of state, creating ways to make a difference wherever we are."
Johnson continues, directing her comments to nursing students, staff, alumni, and community leaders: "I am looking forward to a great year, and can't wait to work with all of you!"
Samantha Baker began her nursing career following her recent graduation in 2016. She has been working at Albany County Public Health in Laramie, Wyoming.
Baker's Vision for UWAANC:
"As a recent graduate from the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing," begins Baker, "I cannot fully explain the feelings surrounding the transition from student to professional. This enormous life shift is known to cause some anxiety, stress, and above all, overwhelming excitement. I truly believe the support and education provided by the University of Wyoming made this transition a smooth one."
Baker continues, "As Vice-President of the University of Wyoming Alumni Association Nursing Chapter, I greatly look forward to the opportunity.
to provide support--to passionate nursing students as well as to esteemed colleagues
to promote a nursing chapter that enhances both the individual and the profession
to use mentoring and collaboration to support the transition from student to professional
to promote collegiality."
Elinore Simpson has been working at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Alabama on the ICU-Step Down unit since her graduation in 2015. She will be moving to Colorado shortly to continue her nursing career.
Simpson's Vision for UWAANC:
"My vision for the University of Wyoming Alumni Association Nursing Chapter," shares Simpson, "is that it will bring together resources that will empower the current Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing students. I hope that the Alumni Association and the Student Nurses' Association will collaborate to provide opportunities for the students to explore aspects of the nursing profession about which they are curious, but which may not always be covered in a classroom setting."
Simpson elaborated on just what those "aspects of the nursing profession" might be, listing topics such as:
What it is like to transition from a student nurse to working as an RN
What to prepare for in regards to interviews
What certain fields of nursing are like from the perspective of alumni who have experience in that field, etc.
Simpson concludes, summarizing her vision: "I hope that this collaboration [between UWAANC and SNA] will be a means to answer any questions that the students have so that they may feel more confident as they near graduation."
Story posted: 12/15/2016