Kathy Wabiszczewicz, a senior nursing major at Elmhurst College, has been elected first vice president of the Student Nurses Association of Illinois (SNA), the highest elected position ever held by an Elmhurst student nurse.
The SNA, a national organization with chapters at the state and local level, is dedicated to developing leaders in the nursing field. In her new role, Wabiszczewicz serves as chair of the state association’s annual convention, giving her responsibility for planning the event, choosing speakers and preparing the agenda.
Assistant Professor Barb Bostelmann, faculty advisor for the Elmhurst College SNA, called Wabiszczewicz’s election “a great honor” for both Wabiszczewicz and Elmhurst College. “This demonstrates the caliber of students we have at Elmhurst College,” she said.
Wabiszczewicz wasn’t planning to pursue a career in nursing when she first came to Elmhurst. She wanted to work in health care, but she thought of nursing as a profession without much autonomy. “If you’d have told me I was going to be a nurse, I’d have told you you were crazy,” she said. But after researching the field and learning more about Elmhurst’s program, she discovered that nursing had a lot to offer.
Today, Wabiszczewicz works to dispel stereotypes about nursing and encourage other young people to pursue careers in the field. At Elmhurst, she serves as the president of the College’s SNA chapter, helping coordinate campus speakers and service projects such as Relay for Life and blood donation drives. She also enjoys mentoring other nursing students and helping in the College’s Simulation Center at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital.
Wabiszczewicz said she plans to use her position at the SNA to build awareness of legislative issues affecting nurses and educate student nurses about the opportunities available to them.