St. Scholastica Nursing Students Organize New Branch of National Nursing Organization

Alexa Jokinen

Attention nursing students! Looking for a fun way to further your knowledge as a prospective nurse? A few nursing students from St. Scholastica along with nursing students of the Twin Ports area have founded a branch of a national organization in Duluth called Nursing Students for Sexual and Reproductive Health (NSSRH).

“This club fills in the gaps for nursing students that exist in the nursing programs in the area,” said Andrea Daube, a senior nursing student at St. Scholastica. “For example, elective abortions were something that Scholastica’s nursing program didn’t touch on once. Yet one in threee women have abortions, and as healthcare professionals, these are procedures that we need to know about if we work in any healthcare setting.”

NSSRH is used not only to further education among nursing students, but provides scholarship, externship and networking opportunities for students interested in working in sexual and reproductive health after graduation.

“The club entails workshop meetings that cover specific topics in healthcare. So far, we have had sessions on LGBTQ Health and Birth Control,” said Daube. “We are a branch of a national NSSRH organization, and are therefore additionally able to connect students to mentorships and clinical externship programs.”

The club attendance has fluctuated over the past year, but roughly 10 to 15 students have regularly attended club meetings.

Members of NSSRH “have the opportunity to become advocates for sexual and reproductive health by attending events in the community,” said Hannah Mayne, a sophomore nursing student at St. Scholastica.

Dana Palokangas, a senior nursing student at St. Scholastica recently found out about NSSRH and saw it as a great opportunity. “There is a high need for healthcare professionals in the sexual and reproductive health field, both preventative care and acute care,” said Palokangas.

Students have learned valuable lessons from the meetings and now feel more confident in their abilities as care providers.

“I feel more confident and better prepared to handle transgender health, women’s health services and other treatment options in healthcare. I am so lucky I found an organization like this,” said Mayne.

Students interested in NSSRH are encouraged to attend meetings and to get into contact with Andrea Daube, or Haley Spohn, leaders of the organization.

“New students are always welcome,” said Spohn.