BLOOMSBURG—Five Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania nursing students brought home the first place trophy and $500 grand prize from the Geoffry Allen Walp Memorial 14th Annual Student Nurse Challenge at East Stroudsburg University this spring.
Members of the winning team were BU nursing seniors Rachel Garraway, Sinking Spring, Samantha Bailey, Landenberg, Nicole Walsh, Wilkes Barre, Rachel Toter, Kulpmont, and Amy Jo Zimmerman, Bloomsburg.
Annually BU’s nursing program sends a team of senior-level nursing students to the challenge that is based on the College Bowl program where students compete in quiz style competitions. The challenge quizzes students about information that commonly appears on the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination) exam; an exam all nurses must take to become a registered nurse.
Preparing young nurses for the NCLEX-RN exam is the main purpose of the challenge hosted by East Stroudsburg University. While the questions asked during the challenge directly relate to the questions asked on the NCLEX-RN exam, the fast-paced, quiz-style competition also prepares students with valuable techniques that are used during the exam.
“This Nurse Challenge helps you to prepare by requiring you to evaluate all choices within a fairly short period of time. From there you select what you feel is the best choice based on critical thinking, without having the option to go back and review your answer,” says Rachel Toter, senior nursing major and member of nursing honor society Sigma Theta Tau.
Professor Devon Manney, RN served as an advisor for the winning team at the student nursing challenge. She prepared multiple power points with NCLEX style questions on them, reading off each question as it would be done in the competition. The team completed two practice sessions and reviewed all subjects of nursing using NCLEX review books before heading to the competition.
Rachel Garraway, senior nursing major and vice president of BU’s Student Nurses Association adds, “Nursing students are so busy with work that we don’t often get to play competitive sports, but this allowed us to have a competitive outlet and a team goal to work towards.”
“This nursing program at BU is very challenging,” says Amy Jo Zimmerman, senior nursing major and member of nursing honors society Sigma Theta Tau. She adds that in addition to the student nursing challenge, “We also take several exams with NCLEX style questions as well as ATI tests for NCLEX practice.”
As one of the most rigorous and demanding nursing programs in the state, ranked third by RegisteredNursing.org, BU’s nursing program prepares students for careers in nursing by offering thorough in-class curriculum, real world clinical experience, and simulated learning labs. Faculty members are dedicated to preparing students for wide range of careers in critical care, obstetrics, pediatrics, rehabilitation, trauma, home care, and other clinical specialties, informatics and case management.
“The faculty members are dedicated to helping everyone succeed and are a great resource, both in the classroom and in clinical. This program teaches you not only nursing skills, but proper therapeutic communication, organizational skills, and the confidence you need to succeed as a nurse,” says Tator regarding her experience in BU’s nursing program.
Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 9,600 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.