Students Ashley Hare, Rikkie Hemmert, Alyssa Keimig and Angela Walker began preparing for Scholars Day at the beginning of the semester.
“We started talking about it the first week of school in our nursing research class,” Hare said.
“We got together because we’re all social outside of class,” Keimig said. “We started talking about what we were going to do, and it was really interesting to see everyone’s ideas and everyone’s interests, and we met on a lot of those issues. It was great because we were able to get together, find our separate studies and they all related to each other.”
The four nursing students presented their research on “The effects of animal assisted-therapy on socialization in kids with autism” to advisors and faculty during the poster session segment of Scholars Day, Monday, Dec. 7. They were among the more than 110 students who presented the results of their Newman Studies Program research and capstone projects, an important requirement of all Newman students earning a bachelor’s degree.
The students noted how the research and project helped prepare them for jobs in their chosen profession.
“It is interesting to think about – how moving forward in the nursing program and moving forward in the nursing world – how we can apply this to help our patients,” Hare said. “And think about maybe some of the changes we can bring with us when we graduate.”
Keimig called it “a great opportunity to learn how to work better in groups and to prepare ourselves for the real world where we’re going to be working with other nurses. I didn’t just see it as an assignment. I saw it as an opportunity to learn more about our profession.”
“We learned how to do research,” Hemmert said. “So, if we have a patient that we don’t understand, we know we can go to the literature and find what we need to help that patient to the best of our ability.”
Scholars Day and the work the students put into their capstone projects taught them that research is important, Keimig said.
“It’s important to stay up on your practice and what’s going on so we can make the lives of our patients better,” she said.
And, Walker added, it’s really important to pick something you’re passionate about.