New student org to assist aspiring nurses

Courtesy Photo/
Erin Busscher is an academic advisor for the Kirkhof College of Nursing.

Courtesy Photo/ Erin Busscher is an academic advisor for the Kirkhof College of Nursing.

Dan Spadafora

To begin its inaugural year at Grand Valley State University, the Pre-Nursing Student Association looks to assist and provide networking opportunities for any undergraduate looking to enroll in the nursing program.

With 50 to 75 interested members already, Erin Busscher, the group’s adviser, said there is great student interest.

“We hold a freshman transitions event, our advising center does here, and we talk with incoming freshmen and transfer students that want to come in for nursing,” Busscher said. “Even at that event we already have students asking about, ‘Is there an association I can be a part of before I get admitted to the program?’”

The already-established Student Nursing Association is reserved for those already in the nursing program. Angela Caruso, adviser for the Student Nursing Association, said there was a desire by several students for a group to get involved with before becoming admitted to the nursing program.

“There is a group of students that got together last year who decided to form the Pre-Nursing Association,” Caruso said.

Janine Sulavik, president of the Pre-Nursing Student Association, said creating the group is important because there are many unknowns for freshmen.

“We are kind of just thrown into our freshman year, told what classes to take and told to apply at a certain time,” Sulavik said. “Some pre-nursing students didn’t even know what the job of a nurse completely entails or what other branches of nursing there were.”

After spending time talking to students interested in the group and reviewing goals of the organization with Busscher, Sulavik said the main function of the group will be to provide opportunities to group members, such as possible networking or volunteering opportunities.

“Just getting myself and all the other pre-nursing students, who were freaking out, questions answered was what I thought would be the main function of the association,” Sulavik said. “But after talking with other people interested in getting the club started and Erin Busscher, we talked about all the other benefits.”

Activities for the Pre-Nursing Student Association are planned almost every month.

“It’s really important for students to learn early on really what nursing is about,” Busscher said, “so they can explore what they would be doing in their future career, because a lot of times I feel nursing is romanticized. It’s important for students to know how important the profession is.”

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