The Stony Brook University Student Nurses’ Association (SBSNA) was officially first recognized as a Stellar School by the National Student Nurses’ Association’s (NSNA) in 2019. The Stellar Award is a five-year award and SBSNA will continue to build on this initial recognition award until 2024, at which time they can seek renewal. The mission of the NSNA is to mentor students who are preparing for initial licensure as registered nurses and to convey the standards, ethics and skills they will need as responsible and accountable leaders and members of the profession. Launching this award began in 2013 when two undergraduate nursing students partnered to establish a chapter of the NSNA at Stony Brook. In spring 2019, the SBSNA student board members and their constituents then applied to be recognized as a Stellar School. That requires the chapter to be active for five years; have increasing membership growth; have support from faculty/staff; and promote professional development.
The Stellar School recognition honors the predecessors for their hard work to establish the chapter and foster its growth. Further, the designation gives students the opportunity to represent the strength of Stony Brook Nursing on a national level—though the recognition wasn’t limited to the students. Former Dean, Dr. Lee Anne Xippolitos provided mentoring and support to the students during this time and was recognized as a “Leader of Leaders” for her dedication and commitment to the school and the SBSNA and received the “2019 Weingarten Leader of Leaders Award.” As a result, Stony Brook was not only recognized for its program; the Stony Brook Chapter leadership of the Dean was also honored.
Jessica Rodriguez ’20 said that joining the SBSNA board as the treasurer and the Nursing Students Association of New York State (NSANYS) board as a regional director was a life-changing experience.
“It led me to attend the 67th NSNA Annual Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2019 as a representative of New York State and Stony Brook University, which was truly an honor and a privilege,” she said. “I appreciated the chance to further develop my leadership abilities and meet other students from across the nation.”
As a delegate for New York in the NSNA House of Delegates, Rodriguez had the opportunity to vote on resolutions that will impact the future of nursing. She said attending the lectures and workshops at the convention opened her eyes to the many possibilities and opportunities for growth within the nursing profession.
“I learned about groundbreaking innovations that are paving the way for nurses to be fully included on any medical team or discussion,” she said. “The nursing innovation lectures allowed me to understand the impact that nurses have on the entire healthcare system, sparking a confidence in myself that I did not believe I could possess at this point in my nursing career. Attending this convention allowed me to grow and take anything I learned and bring it back to SBSNA.”
Connor O’Sullivan ’20 was also invited to join SBSNA and NSANYS at the national convention in Salt Lake City.
“I was beyond ecstatic. Being a part of both a board of directors and hoping to continue with my leadership roles the following year, I knew this opportunity would be the best way to increase my leadership skills,” he said. “Each day was filled with seminars and guest speakers where I was able to gather an abundance of information to bring back to SBSNA and share with my fellow members.”
O’Sullivan said that what he valued most about the convention was being able to interact with other student leaders from different states and local boards to exchange ideas to help the association.
“This experience solidified the importance of networking for professional and organizational development,” he added. “I will remember this as I transition to the role as a professional nurse. During the convention, I was lucky enough to be a member in the House of Delegates for Stony Brook University, which allowed me as a student to have a voice over many concerns and ideas occurring today in the nursing world.”
While the Stellar School recognition is an honor to the School of Nursing, it extends to all of Stony Brook.
SBSNA Earns Five National Awards
Continuing to build on this legacy, the Stony Brook Student Nurses’ Association (SBSNA) in 2021 won five national awards at the National Student Nurses’ Association 69th Annual Convention and introduced two resolutions that were successfully passed at the Convention. This builds on the four national awards from the National Student Nurses’ Association meeting held virtually in 2020 that were for Ethics and Governance, Empowering Resolutions, Image of Nursing and Get Out the Vote. To date this brings the total number of National Awards to nine for the Stony Brook School of Nursing Stellar Award chapter.
“I extend a huge congratulations to our organization and the students at Stony Brook University School of Nursing,” said Dean Annette B. Wysocki. “A special thank you to all of the Stony Brook Student Nurses’ Association Board of Directors and respective committees for their hard work throughout the year and dedication to the students of Stony Brook University School of Nursing.”
Below are the 2021 NSNA awards granted to Stony Brook University School of Nursing.
Core Values Award: Brianna O’Sullivan ‘21
Health Policy and Advocacy Award
Breakthrough to Nursing® Monthly Awards: January, Denise Barrera-Trejo; March, Denise Barrera-Trejo
Newsletter Contest Award: Level 1 State, Nursing Students’ Association of New York State, Inc. “STAT Newsletter”
Below are the two resolutions that were passed:
Topic: “In Support of Promoting Culturally Competent Nursing Mental Health Care for Asian Americans” (pg. 54)
Authors: Amanda Loo, Lyanne Oblein, Sean O’Brien, Pamela Villa-Coppiano and Darlene Tenoyo (Stony Brook University, School of Nursing)
Topic: “In Support of Increasing Health Literacy Precautions with Regard to Vaccination Reception” (pg. 26)
Authors: Mary Andrews, Max Amestegui and Philip Massaro Jr. (Nursing Students’ Association of New York State, Inc.)
“We are proud of all of our fellow students and thankful for all of the support from faculty and staff at the School of Nursing,” said Dean Wysocki.