School of Nursing

April 2014 Western Institute of Nursing (WIN) New Scholar Award Winners

In April 2014 two students were selected to receive the  Western Institute of Nursing (WIN) New Scholar Award. Ms. Siobhan Cassell and  Caitlin Kovacevich received funding to attend the WIN conference in Seattle,  Washington to present their research posters.

Siobhan Cassell – Spring 2014 BS Program Graduate


Caitlin Kovacevich – Spring 2014 BS Program Graduate


The Western Institute of Nursing (WIN) conference  of 2014 was hosted in Seattle.  The theme  this year was “Taking It Global, Research, Practice and Education in  Nursing.”  The main objectives of the WIN  Conference 2014 were to explore the impact of nursing in practice, education  and research on a global platform in addition to domestic advancements.  Promotion of researched based innovative nursing practices translated into  practice and policy, in addition to sharing and networking within the nursing  profession. This was achieved by poster and symposium presentations based on  categories dividend into various subject matter. Subject matter was varied and  included many topic:  advances in nursing  education, simulation stations, caring for people with AIDS, health equity in  vulnerable rural populations, and educating military leadership about domestic  violence.  During the four day conference  there were over 400 posters presented, over 200 symposium sessions which ran  concurrently, in addition to guest speakers, luncheon awards, breakfasts, and  fun gatherings.

As a new Baccalaureate  graduates the sheer magnitude of information presented was awe-inspiring. I had  the pleasure of meeting in person, nurses whose research papers I had read  during school and used their research findings to help me write papers. I got  to experience the science of nurse’s work in research, education and practice  on so many levels I knew I had made one of the best career choices of my  life.  These men and women shared with me  their enthusiasm, the trials and tribulations of their knowledge and  experiences in obtaining the rich and evolving role of nurses in hospitals,  schools, communities, and abroad in countries less fortunate than here in the  US.

I truly appreciate  the opportunity I had to discuss in person in such a large-scale forum such a variety  of professional issues. To meet in person so many professionals who have  contributed to the ongoing growth in nursing was inspiring and shifted my  outlook on nursing. I now feel I have a part to play in this profession, that  my work matters and I can contribute to this profession in a personal way by  the way I deliver care. I can also contribute to the profession on a proactive  political front by supporting policies and regulations, which contribute to  positive health care. I also feel a part of something bigger as I become  involved in several ongoing studies while there, and have now experienced the  value of research, practice and education. Someday I may go on to contribute  something very meaningful which will change lives for the better on a bigger  scale.

I saw professional  networking first hand. I experienced how enriching it can be to one’s work and  personal life to exchange experiences face-to-face with people who share similar  interests and passions.  It made nursing  come to life for me.  I can say without a  second’s hesitation that going to the WIN 2014 conference has changed my  professional life and opened up windows in my mind that I never thought  possible.

Siobhan Cassell
April, 2014