Some people cringe at the thought of needles, blood and cadavers. To members of Oklahoma Baptist University's Student Nurses Association, the words represent a career they desire and love.
The SNA at Oklahoma Baptist University gives nursing students from every class a connection to other students in their field.
"It creates a community of all nursing majors and it is a way to involve freshmen," said junior Laura Cooprider.
Being involved with the SNA since their freshman year, Cooprider and senior Kara Brock appreciate the relationships with other nursing students and the information it provides.
"It encourages the lower classes. It's nice to know people who have been through the classes and tests," said Brock. "I feel better prepared after being involved in SNA."
Brock and Cooprider said entering the nursing program was similar to beginning the Western Civilization sequence at OBU. Fabricated stories and myths float around to make the new students nervous. To help reassure the underclassmen nursing students, Brock and Cooprider gave them a chance to better understand the nursing program experience.
"Earlier this year we went to the sophomores and were very open and let them ask us any questions about the nursing program," said Cooprider, a junior from Edmond, Okla. "We want to be talking with underclassmen and making sure they are prepared for the years to come."
"I think it has been really helpful," said Brock, a senior from Enid, Okla. "I have had people contact me since and say 'I didn't understand this can you help me?'"
To the SNA members, the association provides more than information about the nursing field. It gives them an opportunity to use nursing in serving the Shawnee and OBU communities.
"Service is a huge factor in it. We have a heart to serve the community and nursing is just an outlet to do that," said Brock. "The people in SNA really want to serve."
With Operation Christmas Child, Race for the Cure, Red Cross and the Oklahoma Blood Institute, the SNA members find outlets to volunteer their time, physical help and nursing skills.
"The blood drive is the biggest thing we do, but we also look outside of OBU for ways to serve and get involved," said Brock. "We coordinate with OBI twice a semester. It's a good opportunity to get the nurses involved."
The 40-member association is part of the national Student Nurses Association. The OBU chapter participates in national and local events to create relationships with other nurses and hospitals and to find more opportunities to serve within the local community.