Nurse of the Week: Senior Nursing Student Sara Huffaker Organizes Hair Donation Drive for Making Cancer Wigs

Nurse of the Week: Senior Nursing Student Sara Huffaker Organizes Hair Donation Drive for Making Cancer Wigs

Our Nurse of the Week is Sara Huffaker, a senior nursing student at Pittsburg State University (PSU), who has been donating her hair to help make wigs for cancer patients for over a decade. Inspired by her own hair donations, Huffaker decided to organize a donation drive on PSU’s campus. Discussing her decision to organize the donation drive, Huffaker told Pittsburg’s MorningSun.net:

“I’ve been doing this since I was in fourth grade. I was donating last year and thought ‘why isn’t everyone doing this?’ So I decided to get to work.”

The goal of her event was to receive eight donations – enough to make one wig. They already had eight people lined up by the time the donation drive was opening, and had over 64 donations by the end of the day, enough for eight wigs. After far exceeding Huffaker’s expectations, she decided that the hair drive will be a yearly event in the future, occurring on the first Saturday in February.

Huffaker is the Breakthrough to Nursing Program leader for PSU’s chapter of the Kansas Association of Nursing Students. Using her position there, she partnered with Wild Side Salon to organize the drive and ended up with hairdressers from multiple salons volunteering to donate their time. Donations were made through Pantene Beautiful Lengths in partnership with the American Cancer Society.

You can read the original story on Huffaker’s hair donation drive here.

Four Kansas Community Colleges Join University of Kansas in Innovative Program That Allows Students to Stay in Communities

Four Kansas Community Colleges Join University of Kansas in Innovative Program That Allows Students to Stay in Communities

A groundbreaking nursing education model is emerging in Kansas that will allow students to simultaneously earn their Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Four Kansas community colleges are joining the University of Kansas School of Nursing to make the program possible. Nursing students across Kansas will now be able to complete their BSN without leaving their home communities.

The new program, called the Partnership Model, received accreditation approval to join the four community colleges with the University of Kansas School of Nursing. Two students from Kansas City Kansas Community College became the first pioneers to complete the pilot program of the model and are both now employed as registered Nurses at the University of Kansas Hospital. Interest in the program is already very high with 43 students from the four community colleges enrolled in the new Partnership program. 60 percent of the students enrolled at Kansas City Kansas Community College have already chosen the new partnership route.

Using the partnership model makes the transition from associate level to BSN much smoother for students, while building relationships and capacity for students at the university level. It creates a more efficient pipeline for educating nurses to meet growing workforce needs and allows students to move easily through the pathway to achieve both degrees.

The program works by allowing students from community colleges with accredited nursing programs to simultaneously earn their ADN from the local school where they attend classes and their BSN from the University of Kansas via online coursework. To be admitted into the Partnership Model program, students must have completed prerequisite coursework for admittance into the University of Kansas School of Nursing and be accepted at their community college nursing program.

Faculty members from the University have worked with the community colleges to develop a curriculum that contains the necessary elements to sit for nursing licensure. Using resources already in place at the community colleges, the program is designed to be completed in four years without students having to leave the comfort and convenience of their community college setting. The Partnership Model was first introduced in 2013, and finally received accreditation this year. It is intended to improve the deficit of nurses nationwide, largely due to the high numbers of baby boomers expected to retire soon, and to increase diversity of the nursing workforce. Discussions about expanding the program across the Midwest are expected.