Students in the Spotlight
Brittany and Aaron represented the UMaine School of Nursing at this invitational event held in honor of National Nurses Week.
Congratulations to Samantha Paradis, senior nursing student (BSN Class of December 2012) from Frenchville, Maine, for receipt of a competitive award from the American Psychiatric Nurses Association in October, 2011! Here is Samantha’s report:
Hey, my name is Samantha Paradis and I am a senior nursing and psychology student at the University of Maine. I was recently named a 2011 American Psychiatric Nurses Association Janssen Scholar. This scholarship program was established in partnership with Ortho-McNeil Janssen Scientific Affairs in order to recognize outstanding graduate and undergraduate nursing students who have demonstrated a passion for psychiatric mental health nursing, and to help foster the professional growth and development of these students within the psychiatric mental health nursing field. The scholarship includes registration, travel and lodging expenses to attend the APNA 25th Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. The winners also receive a one year complimentary membership in the APNA.
In October 2011 I traveled to Anaheim to attend the conference and had an amazing time. It was in honor to be in the presence of leaders of mental health nursing. I attended and was marveled by the keynote speakers Dr. Jean Watson and Pamela Hyde, JD. Dr. Watson is Distinguished Professor of Nursing and holds an endowed Chair in Caring Science at the University of Colorado Denver. She spoke about the science of caring and the need to live a balanced life. I loved her presentation but I had no idea how well known she was until I returned to UMaine and learned about her theories in my health research class! Ms. Hyde, JD is the Administer of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and spoke about the national initiatives that the organization is supporting. I also attended many sessions in topics ranging from post traumatic stress disorder to mindfulness and music in crisis stabilization setting. I made lifelong friends with my fellow scholars while there! Receiving this scholarship was an incredible honor and opened my eyes to the opportunities in psychiatric mental health nursing.
Corey Conner, BSN Class of 2012, recently won the 2011 ”M” Club Dean Smith Award for her outstanding academic and athletic achievements at the University of Maine. Corey is described as the greatest distance runner in UMaine history! In February 2011 she smashed the 5,000 meter record with a time of 16:06.18, which currently ranks tops in the world. Her time qualified her for the 2011 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Corey will be a very fast nurse someday…
As an athlete, in particular a Division I college athlete, a disciplined mind-set is needed to train, to compete, and to succeed. I have also found that this particular characteristic is needed to progress through the undergraduate nursing program. Having this attitude towards my studies has helped me to remain focused in the program. I truly believe that being a strong-willed, determined individual will lead you to your goals in life; my goals are to be the best runner and the best nurse that I can be and the University of Maine has helped me to do that.
The School of Nursing is pleased to feature Casey Levasseur for her exceptional performance as a U.S. Army ROTC Cadet. Casey, a senior nursing student from Millinocket, Maine, learned about the academic and career opportunities of the UMaine Army ROTC as a freshman student in Dr. Berardelli’s course, NUR 101 Issues and Opportunities in Nursing. Casey enrolled in ROTC by the beginning of her 2nd year at UMaine and quickly benefitted from ROTC academic and career counseling through which she developed leadership skills and learned to prioritize and manage her time for success in the BSN nursing program.
Casey distinguished herself during a 28-day nursing student preceptorship at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, in Summer 2010. This was a competitive application – only 12 nursing students from across the United States were accepted to Tripler Army Medical Center. Casey was instructed and supervised by RNs in the intensive care unit, on an obstetric/gynecologic surgery unit, and in the emergency room. She carried a full patient caseload and became proficient in performing many nursing procedures such as venipuncture, starting IVs, and inserting catheters/tubes. On a few occasions she was assigned to an administrative role in which she delegated responsibilities to 8 nurses and 4 medics.
According to Major James Karcanes of UMaine Army ROTC, “In addition to earning an overall rating of “Excellence” at the Leadership Development and Assessment Camp (LDAC) this summer at Fort Lewis, Washington, Cadet Levasseur was rated in the top “3″ of her 30 person Platoon and as a result, is the number 1 Cadet at the University of Maine. She was chosen over her peers to be our Cadet Battalion Commander and coordinates all Cadet activities on campus in addition to excelling in her nursing coursework. Cadet Levasseur is bringing great credit to the ROTC Battalion, the UMaine School of Nursing, and the University of Maine. She is a dynamic and tenacious young woman who will make a great Officer.”
After graduation with her BSN from UMaine in May, 2011, Casey will be commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. She will attend a two-month orientation to Army nursing at Bamsey Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. She hopes to be assigned to Landstuhl Army Medical Center in Germany.
Reflecting back on her decision to enroll in the Army ROTC two years ago, Casey says she never imagined that she’d have such amazing opportunities that have contributed to her success as a nursing student and as an Army ROTC Cadet. We wish her well in her final year of the baccalaureate nursing program and in her future career as a U.S. Army nurse!