Sigma Theta Tau: Beta Rho Chapter a Leader in a Living and Learning Community for Nursing Students
McIntosh, Constance E.
Thomas, Cynthia M.
MetadataShow full item record
Sessions presented on Thursday, September 25, 2014, Wednesday, September 24, 2014: A Living and Learning Community (LLC) was established as a collaborative project between the School of Nursing (SON) and university housing. The LLC offers a unique housing experience by introducing pre-nursing/nursing students to the SON department, and eventually to the professional nursing practice. Once students have declared nursing as a major, they are then known as pre-nursing students (i.e., taking pre-requisite courses for nursing). The pre-nursing students are placed in the LLC to live alongside with other nursing majors. Housing nearly 500 students, nursing is the second-largest LLC offered on campus. LLC is a multi-disciplinary approach involving various university departments including: nursing, library services, freshman advising, core academic advising, housing, and residential hall life. Stakeholders identify process improvement areas in need of reform. For example, several courses were identified as freshmen high volume courses and were later earmarked for nursing LLC only (e.g., CHEM 101, HIST 150). The multi-disciplinary approach is not limited to university departments but, rather, community outreach is encouraged and woven throughout the program. For instance, Sigma Theta Tau: Beta Rho chapter has been integral in several LLC events. On a regular basis, Beta Rho has presented at monthly LLC offerings. For example, at the initial LLC orientation, Beta Rho members and faculty introduce requirement for membership.It is crucial to begin introducing pre-nursing students to Sigma Theta Tau International-Beta Rho chapter early. Students then have a better understanding of what the requirements are for an invitation to Sigma Theta Tau International-Beta Rho chapter, based on the strict grade point average (GPA) requirements and demonstrated leadership and outstanding personal character. In addition, Beta Rho has sponsored events, which led to increase visibility of Sigma Theta Tau International within the LLC community. The Beta Rho chapter sponsored event was well attended by 125 pre-nursing students learning about the preparation required for the nursing application process. Beta Rho chapter supplied refreshments, giveaways, and marketing/advertising material. Lastly, at the LLC year-end event, Beta Rho was present to transition pre-nursing students into the nursing program while reviewing Sigma Theta Tau International criteria. The Beta Rho chapters involvement in the LLC is fully recognized when the new student declares nursing as a major, and transitions to nursing student, graduates, and enters the profession of nursing. At the induction ceremony many of the once pre-nursing students are inducted as members of Sigma Theta Tau International. This circle is completed through the efforts of the Beta Rho chapter officers and members, demonstrating that Sigma Theta Tau International is an organization preparing the next generation of nurse leaders.