Student Nursing Organization
Madelyn Cooper, a senior in the BSN program, spent the last year as president of Missouri State’s Student Nursing Organization. This leadership role proved to be invaluable for Cooper as she got to see how the program runs behind the scenes. Things looked a little different during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the SNO board and faculty advisors still managed to keep students engaged and involved.
Cooper participated in a variety of clinical experiences, from hospital, community, and covid vaccination clinics. The diverse clinical experiences helped Cooper explore specialties that interested her. She credits a specific experience at Carol Jones Recovery Center, an inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation center for women, that helped prepare her for her role in the NICU.
“Working in the NICU after graduation, I recognize that I will see a lot of mothers and families who struggle with these addictions and spending 8 weeks at Carol Jones helped me to gain the empathy and understanding that addiction is truly an illness that needs to be treated as such. I let go of previous biases I did not even realize I had during this experience and was even able to do a short teaching project with the help of the nurses at the site on my last day for the patients over the effects of drugs and alcohol during pregnancy.”
Cooper will take what she learned from the experience into her future career as nurse at Mercy St. Louis’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She will start with a 16-week fellowship before working the floor on her own. She never wants to stop learning and growing as a nurse. Cooper plans to continue her education and nursing knowledge throughout her career.
Cooper will also be joining two other BSN seniors at Mercy St. Louis.
Advice to future nursing students
Cooper would encourage future nursing students to be flexible, keep the faith, and not sweat the little stuff.
“There are always going to be things you do not necessarily agree with or like very much, but how you handle yourself in those moments of conflict is what matters. I have learned during my time in nursing school to not worry so much about the little things, and to always take opportunities to learn and grow.”
“I am grateful for every experience I have had in this program, and I feel that I have been given many opportunities to grow and learn here, both as a nursing student and as a person in general.”