Senior Nursing Project Assists Local Camp

seniornursingepworth811The nursing program at Piedmont Technical College is working to prepare not only great nurses, but great leaders.

“Volunteering and community service are a big part of the nursing field,” said Tara Harris, interim department head for nursing at PTC. “It also helps to create leaders.”

Nursing Management and Leadership is a required course for associate degree nursing (ADN) students. The course involves a capstone project in which the students are required to make all of the decisions. The students select a project and then divide into teams to handle each aspect, from marketing to fund-raising to securing vendors. Harris stated that the instructors offer guidance, but not assistance.

“Students have to learn conflict resolution and working on a team,” said Harris.

Harris said students also have to gain knowledge of budget requests, check approval requests and deadline management. Upcoming projects will require students to apply for the committee positions and go through the interview process.

“We are trying to make their experiences more realistic to prepare them for what is to come,” Harris said.

For the past four years, the senior nursing students during the summer term have worked with the Epworth Camp in Ninety Six. Students work with the campers, providing health screenings and information on a variety of health topics from exercise and nutrition to bike safety.

“Projects like Epworth Camp give them a community aspect for nursing,” Harris said. “It provides a different outlook on their nursing career.”

In 2006, Harris’ project also won the Teaching in Excellence Award for Innovative Teaching from the South Carolina League for Nursing. In 2007, the project won the overall Student Community Service/Project Award through the South Carolina Technical Education Association.

Donations and sponsorships are collected to fund the projects and a portion of the proceeds are given to local non-profit organizations. With the dwindling participation combined with ever rising costs to offer the camp, Epworth Camp, like many non-profits, is always in need of assistance. This year, the senior project contributed $3700 to help cover operating costs.

“I told Ms. Harris that we could use prayers, but honestly, what we really need is financial help,” said Buddy Rushton, president of the camp. “This is such a blessing.”

To learn more about the nursing program, contact the Admissions Office on the Greenwood campus at (864) 941-8369 or any county center to sign up for a Health Science Information Session. The session is offered three times a week and provides any information needed about pursuing a nursing career.

Photo Caption: Piedmont Technical College’s summer 2011 senior ADN nursing class recently presented a check for $3700 to Buddy Rushton, left, at the Epworth Camp following a week of assisting with the camp. Making the presentation were nursing students Anthony Richards of Ninety Six, right, and Kim Dickerson of Waterloo.