Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA students to study nursing in East Texas

June 25, 2011 - Shirley Luna
Two academic areas at Stephen F. Austin State University are joining forces to offer a unique learning opportunity to nursing students this fall, and they are seeking assistance from area nurses to help bring the history of nursing in East Texas to life.

The DeWitt School of Nursing and the English department have created a program for incoming nursing majors that will draw upon the rich history of nursing as it has been practiced in East Texas over the generations.

A freshman orientation class, a history of nursing class and an English class will be combined to expose students to the voices and writings of nurses, from Florence Nightingale to nurses currently living and working in East Texas.

"We will draw upon the rich history of nursing as it has been practiced in East Texas through the generations," said Dr. Marc Guidry, associate professor of English and philosophy. "The Freshman Interest Group members will interview East Texas nurses from every generation beginning in the 1930s."

Nurses who practiced or attended nursing school during the 1930s through the 1980s and who are willing to be interviewed as part of the course project, are asked to contact Guidry at mguidry@sfasu.edu or Dr. Glenda Walker, director of SFA nursing, at gwalker@sfasu.edu.

Students in the linked English 131 will read books recommended by nursing faculty, view films about nursing, interview nurses from the past, and write compositions based on nursing.

"In Nursing History, student projects have included creating presentations and videos about nursing and nursing leaders, and letters enacting the role of nurses in the Crimean War," said Walker, who teaches the course with Dr. Rhonda Tubbe.

The freshman orientation class, SFA 101, is taught by Dr. Karen Migl and focuses on familiarizing students with university resources and nursing as a profession.

By linking the courses as an interest group, the faculty members hope to immerse students in the enduring themes of nursing and to inspire and encourage them as they pursue the difficult curriculum and challenging career events they will experience academically and professionally.

"Contact with East Texas nurses will provide a special source of inspiration for nursing majors in the group," Walker said.

For more information, call (936) 468-7700 or (936) 468-2128.