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5/18/2009 Linfield student named to board of national student nursing association

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             McMINNVILLE – Liz Patail, a junior at the Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing, was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) in April.

The NSNA, the preprofessional organization for nursing students with a membership of over 50,000 nationwide, mentors the professional development of future nurses and facilitates their entrance into the profession by providing educational resources, leadership opportunities and career guidance.

            Patail, who had served on the Linfield Student Nurses Association and on the Oregon Student Nurses Association, will now represent student nurses and promote the role that nurses play in the medical profession. In her role as director, she will travel around the country, raising awareness on issues such as mental health disparities and environmental health, and will also help state organizations develop policies and by-laws, support legislation and help plan next year's convention.

            Patail's work on the national level will hone her leadership skills and put her classroom learning into a broader context.

            "The best part of successful leadership is helping to create positive change on a larger scale," she said. "Nurses have the potential to positively influence our health care system. Fostering leadership through participation in professional organizations is a key part of that. While success in coursework is a crucial part of becoming a nurse, there are other ways in which we must grow during nursing school to become well-rounded professionals."  

            Patail was elected during the national convention in Nashville, Tenn. Her successful bid required months of preparation, a week of campaigning at the conference and speaking before more than 600 student peers from across the country.

            Patail, a native Oregonian who graduated from high school in North Bend, was drawn to nursing for the diversified opportunities, because of the core values of caring and advocating for people, and for the leadership opportunities.

            "Whether you are providing bedside care or working on legislation, you can benefit not just individuals, but families, communities and the nation," she said. "With changes in health care being proposed, nurses need to be at the forefront of change. Nurses need to make sure their voices are heard and explain how we fit into the scheme, as we are the group of care providers that have the greatest affect on patient outcomes."

            Patail's stint as a certified nursing assistant in a long-term health care facility led to her interest in geriatrics. "We don't take good care of the elderly in our society, and they have so much to offer," she said. "It's the one population we will all be a part of some day. Now is an amazing time to enter that field with the aging baby boomer population and new ideas and programs emerging."