Middle schoolers in Hall County are getting a little help from the nursing students at North Georgia College & State University.
In September, more than 100 middle-school students in Hall County Schools were certified in CPR with the help of the associate in nursing degree program out of North Georgia, building on a 10-year partnership.
“Service in the community is particularly valuable for new nursing students as they learn the various roles of nursing and experience diverse environments for care,” said Patti Simmons, nursing program coordinator. “Service learning can occur before the student starts clinical experience, so early on the student begins to see that not all health care is given in acute care settings. It is different from volunteerism in that it meets a need identified by the community while achieving course learning outcomes.”
Nursing students attending the Gainesville State College satellite campus assisted Rachel Allison, a registered nurse at West Hall Middle School, in teaching the American Heart Association procedure for CPR to students in her health care science classes.
“We all enjoyed the day working together and we certified 101 students in AHA CPR,” Allison said. “The ASN students also shared with my sixth-grade classes details about the nursing career, how to obtain a nursing degree and how to fund it.”
Jessica Hewell, one of the seven nursing students involved in the project, said she enjoyed speaking with the sixth-graders about her interest in nursing and answering questions about nursing school.
“It’s important for North Georgia to reach out to community schools with service-learning projects,” Hewell said.
“Speaking with students of WHMS may have given them a better idea of how to prepare for nursing school or any college degree.”
Darin Kimbrell, a nursing student, said he believes they may have convinced some of the students to go further in their education.
“Some of the students had no educational goals beyond graduating high school,” Kimbrell said. “I hope they may have seen something in us that will entice them to pursue higher education. While the hands-on work we perform is important, these mental contributions we make to students of the community are far more important to me.”
The nursing program is planning another CPR certification day at West Hall Middle before next year.