Nursing students plan Nicaraguan trip

Colorado Mesa University nursing students will sponsor a Zumba-thon fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the university’s Maverick Pavilion.

The event will feature a handful of instructors teaching Zumba, a Latin dance exercise. Attendees can exercise as long as they want. Students will sell baked goods and refreshments as well, and attendees can participate in a silent auction and a raffle. Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for students and $2 for children.

All proceeds will help send 12 Colorado Mesa nursing students and four professors to Nicaragua and pay for medicine and medical supplies the students and their teachers will use to treat patients. The group will work in remote Nicaraguan clinics and hospitals July 22 through Aug. 1.

Each student will pay tuition, which will help pay for some but not all of the trip cost. Beverly Lyne, assistant professor of nursing at CMU and the trip faculty leader, said she wanted students to raise money for the trip so they can learn ways to pay for future medical trips to Third World countries once they become nurses. Lyne co-founded the Teso Safe Motherhood Project in 2005 in northern Uganda and plans to return to the African country soon to treat patients and advise nurses there. Donations for that trip or the Nicaraguan trip can be made to the CMU Foundation, Attn: Lyne, 1450 N. 12th St., Grand Junction 81501.

Lyne said Colorado Mesa’s nursing program is becoming more focused on international health issues. She believes students can learn a lot about caring for people in other cultures and use that experience to be more culturally sensitive in their U.S. work.

“What I learn every trip is how alike we are, that nurses across the globe are focused on patients and are advocates for patients and families,” she said.

Student Kayla Rudolf said she’s interested in learning more about Third World countries on her first trip outside the U.S. aside from a Mexican vacation. Classmate Kelsey Nordin said she is looking forward to seeing what it’s like to work in a clinic with few medical supplies. Student Jessica Hallquist is interested in using the experience to inform her work in the U.S. with patients from other backgrounds.

“I think it will make a huge difference in how we treat patients here,” she said.


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