The National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) is dedicated to helping nursing students in their professional, academic and personal endeavors. They provide students with leadership opportunities, networking experiences and enrichment through community service.
NSNA is a nationally recognized club on college campuses across the country and CSUN students recently founded the first NSNA club on campus.
“Creating a new club was a challenging, scary and exciting process,” said Ashley Diamond, founder and former president of the NSNA, and recent graduate of the nursing program.
Diamond along with co-founder and current NSNA president, Heidi Erickson, 25, nursing student, created the club at CSUN to provide nursing students with more opportunities and tools to further their education.
Erickson explained the club started out as a small group of students whose newly funded organization experienced some challenges along the way.
“Because we’re a new club there’s a lot of freedom in deciding how we want it to run,” said Erickson, “…We get to make it what we want it to be but also sometimes challenging because it hasn’t been done here before.”
After getting approval, the next process was to start recruiting members interested in nursing as a profession.
“Once we were approved we just started trying to generate interest within the different nursing cohorts to get more people involved,” said Erickson.
Last semester, NSNA had only six members and this year there are over 40, said Diamond.
“It’s really exciting to see it grow from something that was just a conversation over lunch to what it is now with a full officer board and people interested in coming,” said Erickson.
Many students have gradually become more interested in NSNA because of the activities planned for students to partake in. This includes community service, guest speaker lectures, leadership involvement and networking events.
Erickson believes having these activities helps to promote the mission of the club.
“We want to promote a professional image of nursing within the CSUN community and the surrounding community in the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles area, by volunteering, and getting our name out there and acting in a way that helps preserve that professional image of us,” Erickson said.
Nathan Hadar, 27, who is a graduating nursing student and the legislative director of NSNA, explains the club’s professional image has helped him gain the skills he needed for the workforce.
Erickson describes the members of NSNA as individuals with diverse backgrounds.
“We’re similar in the fact that we’re all pretty compassionate people…but aside from that we definitely have diverse interests,” Erickson said.
Student leaders for the NSNA have worked hard to start the club and make it stronger for the students to come.
“Being the first time this club’s been here at CSUN we’re just trying to get a lot of membership and get a good foundation, so I would like to see it keep growing…,” Hadar said.
Nursing students are encouraged to contact members for more information or join via Facebook
or through the national NSNA website at http://www.nsna.org/.