At the end of every undergraduate semester, students of the Tanner Health System School of Nursing are required to complete a project as part of the Caring Program.
According to the School of Nursing’s handbook, the Caring Program is designed to place caring collaborative relationships at the center of a curriculum designed to create a culture of caring within a nursing education program.
With hands-on learning and tough love, students understand that to be competent nurses you must first establish the basic foundation to care for one another and make lasting relationships.
The program emphasizes that professional and caring relationships occur between teachers and learners, clients and nurses, and between professionals in the healthcare field. UWG is the only school in Georgia that has this curriculum. For over 20 years, students of UWG and professionals of the Tanner Health System have incorporated this teaching into their curriculum.
“I think nursing really is a calling and if you don’t have that caring mentality then why are you in it?” said Katie Shaw, nursing student.
These final undergraduate projects are designed to give students free range to show their professors, fellow students or community that they care. Shaw and her group have decided to focus on the professors, calling her project “Professors Needing Caring, Too.”
With this they have decided to gift professors on the UWG campus a special mug with the school’s notable flame of knowledge on the front.
“I could have done something simple, but our project is special because we truly care about the professors,” said Shaw.
There is a lot of stress placed on college students to perform well and to acquire knowledge for a competing job market. Sadly, without certain professors pushing students to strive and do their best, a lot of them would crumble under pressure.
These learning practices and objectives have proven to be effective, as the U.S. News and World Report’s 2018 America’s Best Graduate Schools has the Tanner Health System School of Nursing ranked as the 31st in the nation and it is one of three public institutions in Georgia to earn the Colleges of Distinction for Nursing for the 2018-2019 academic year.
“It’s more than just a little ‘thank you’ note,” said Shaw. “I’ve been fortunate enough because I’ve had these caring professors who have helped me along the way, which in turn makes me want to appreciate them.”
This is the sentiment for most students on campus regarding most professors and mentors that have influenced their educational journey. Not only do they care for their students but they also connect them with other professionals to help them advance in their careers. The relationships between students and educators are precious and not taken for granted to those that truly take advantage of these relationships.