Minnesota State University, Mankato’s first ever Nursing Exploration Fair took place Tuesday in the CSU Ballroom.
The fair was put on by the College of Allied Health & Nursing. Student relations coordinator, Kasi Johnson, explained that the purpose of the fair was to “provide pre-nursing students an exciting opportunity to enhance their understanding of the nursing profession and connect them with resources to support their success.”
Pizza and churros were provided for attendees. Prizes were also available to win, made possible by the fair’s many sponsors, including the College of Allied Health & Nursing, The Glen Taylor Nursing Institute for Family and Society, Weggy’s and Pub 500.
Tables were set up, each with a number on it identifying the “station number” and topic of information that was covered at the table. Each of the 11 stations had two to three current nursing students, faculty or Registered Nurses from Mayo Clinic to lead the discussion happening at each station.
The topics covered included diversifying the nursing workforce, clinical sites and rotations, resume building, and how to stay organized while in nursing school. The facilitators were in charge of introducing their station’s topic, providing an overview, and answering any questions.
Attendees were given 10 minutes to ask questions and gain insight from the professionals at each station. Attendees received a stamp for each station they went to, and then could use their stamps to win prizes. Some of the prizes available were t-shirts, blankets and water bottles.
Three nursing students, Gao Ja Yang, Taylor Facto, and Juliana Scanlan, led the “Surviving & Thriving as a Pre-Nursing student” station. They gave excellent advice to the future nursing students. One piece of advice given by Yang was to join a Living Learning Community if you live on campus. She said that being involved with and living close to other nursing students helped her get through her tough classes.
Another topic covered at this station was how to do well on the HESI admission exam. “I wish I would have studied more,” Factor said.
All three of the girls advised to get a job as a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) during the holidays and over the summer, if one’s able to.
The event had a great turnout for the first year, with 117 total attendees, 53% of who attended four or more table topics. Many pre-nursing students are looking forward to another fair in the future. Attending events like these helps prepare future nursing professionals for their journey through the HESI, nursing school, clinicals and into a career.
Header photo: Students from the MNSU College of Allied Health & Nursing program ask questions during the Nursing Exploration Fair held in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 in Mankato, Minn. (Jack Linell/MSU Reporter)