It was less then two years ago that Professor Debbie Filos spoke to the 39th cohort of the Traditional Bachelor of Nursing Degree. She introduced to us the role of the Student Nurses Association at UM-Flint. She explained that the chapter was a part of a larger network consisting of the state organization, the Michigan Nursing Students Association, and the national organization, the National Student Nurses Association. Then She made a comment that I will never forget, that to the best of her knowledge there had never been a student from the University of Michigan-Flint Program to serve on the National Board of Directors.
It started be being elected to serve as President of my cohort, the support was so great that I was elected to secretary of the Student Nurses Association, followed by serving as President. Concurrently I served as the 2013-14 Director of Communications for the Michigan Nursing Students Association. The work that we did in Flint was award winning and so was the work at the state level. This February I was elected President of the 2014-15 Michigan Nursing Students Association.
It was at the 2013 National Mid-Year Conference in Louisville, Michigan that I was introduced to the role of the National Breakthrough to Nursing Director. The position focuses on bringing underrepresented populations into nursing. It was everything I have ever wanted to do.
I decided to run. I ignored every comment I heard about nursing school being "too hard". I spent more time reviewing and less complaining. I stopped every negative thought I ever had. Most importantly I always reminded myself of this...it was possible.
I am proud to announce that I have been elected onto the 2014-15 National Student Nurses Association Board of Directors at the Breakthrough to Nursing Director.
Martin W. Rivera-Salas
University of Michigan-Flint