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ABOUT

The Nebraska State Student Nurses Association (NSSNA) is a statewide organization for student nurses in Nebraska and is a constituent of the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA).

 

NSSNA is independently organized and governed by Nebraska nursing students. In 2019, there were over 2000 members whose membership came from nursing programs throughout the state.

Founded in 1952, NSSNA is an organization for students enrolled in associate, baccalaureate and diploma nursing programs. It is dedicated to fostering the leadership and professional development of nursing students.

 

NSSNA's Board is made up of 11 nursing students who are elected at the organization's annual convention, one non-voting consultant and one non-voting student advisor who are appointed by the Nebraska Student Nurses Association to provide guidance to the association.

Over 100 nursing students participate in NSSNA's Annual Convention, which gives Nebraska nursing students the opportunity to hear well-known speakers, discuss trends and issues relevant to nursing today, learn about leadership, nurse specialties and career development activities. In addition, there is a mini NCLEX review and opportunities to network with other students from across Nebraska and the region.  Panels, exhibits, education sessions and fun events round out a conference designed to help students prepare for their careers as professional nurses.

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NSSNA Membership

Connect with nursing students across Nebraska and bring your career to the next level.

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Our 2023 - 2024 Board

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KAITLYN HARRISON

President

My name is Kaitlyn Harrison and I am the president of the NSSNA 2023-2024 board! This is my first year on the board! I currently attend Bryan College of Health Sciences in Lincoln, NE in the BSN program. In addition to my position on the board, I am a member of caring with Christ, BSNA, and action for student. Along with that, I am on the student government here at Bryan. I am from the small town of Gothenburg, NE where I grew up on a farm/ranch. I attended Gothenburg High School where I was very active in athletics. I have been a CNA at Kearney Regional Medical Center for 3 years now. Following graduation, I would love to work as a labor and delivery nurse!

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FAITH COOK

First Vice President


My name is Faith Cook and I am currently serving as the First Vice President on the NSSNA board for the 2023-24 year. I am currently a sophomore in the ADN program at Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte, Nebraska. I addition to my board position, I am also a member of Phi Theta Kappa as well as The Society for Collegiate Leadership. I am a non-traditional student who is a wife and mother of 3. I have always known that I wanted to be a nurse but just didn’t see how it could work. Life happened and we just decided to go for it. I originally obtained my CNA as a sophomore in high school and have worked as a CNA in a long-term care facility as well as a critical access hospital. Since then, I have had many odd jobs as well as raising children and starting a cow/calf operation with my husband. I started nursing school with an absolute decision to work in one area, and am now realizing there are more options, so I am currently enjoying my different clinical experiences in different specialties before deciding on a specific specialty. I am thankful for the opportunities being on the board have presented me as well as getting to know the other members and working with people from around the state. It has offered me insight and knowledge that will serve me in my career as a nurse. Being a part of the board has offered me the ability to grow and develop the skill of conducting professional business, which was something that I was unfamiliar with up to this point. By being on the board I hope that it will expose me and open up networking options to make me a better nurse for my patients and to grow as a nurse and as a person in general.  

KALAI GURNSEY

Second Vice President

My name is Kalai Gurnsey, and I am currently serving as second vice president on the NSSNA board for the 2023-24 year. I am a single mother of three wonderful kids, and my journey into nursing school at this stage of my life has been nothing short of a transformative experience. Growing up, my mother and brother were both nurses, and their dedication to the profession always inspired me. I've always known deep down that I wanted to follow in their footsteps and make a difference in people's lives through nursing.

However, life had other plans for me, and I found myself prioritizing my family's needs over my own dreams for many years. But as my children grew older and more independent, I realized that it was finally time to put myself first and pursue my lifelong passion for nursing. So, here I am, a sophomore at Mid-Plains Community College in the ADN program, determined to make my dream a reality. I am apart of the National Society of Leadership and Success, which I believe will make me a better leader as a student and as a nurse.

I am passionate about taking care of people, and every day in nursing school reaffirms my commitment to this path. I relish the challenges and the chance to learn and grow as a student nurse. It's not always easy balancing school and motherhood, but I am determined to show my children the importance of pursuing one's dreams and never giving up. Being a part of the NSSNA board has added an extra layer of purpose to my journey, allowing me to connect with like-minded individuals who share my enthusiasm for nursing. This chapter of my life is a testament to the power of perseverance and the fulfillment that comes from following your heart.

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KATIE THOMPSON

Treasurer

I am a first-year ADN student at Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte, Nebraska. In May of 2024, I will be graduating with my degree in nursing. I grew up in Wauneta, Nebraska listening to stories of my Mom’s experiences in healthcare. It was these stories that inspired me to come to healthcare. I worked for several months as a CNA before coming to deciding to go to nursing school. After my graduation, my dream is to earn my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and one day work in gastroenterology. My goal for this year as treasurer is to work together with the board to maximize our resources while providing the best educational experience for nursing students all across Nebraska.

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TEAGAN FLICK

Secretary

My name is Teagan Flick and I am the Secretary of the NSSNA 2023-2024 board! I am currently in my third year of the BSN program at Bryan College of Health Sciences in Lincoln, NE. In addition to my position on the board, I am the President of Caring with Christ, and a member of Bryan Student Nurses Association, Action for Students, and Health Promotions. I was born and raised on our family farm in the small town of Morrill, NE, located in Western Nebraska. I am only 15 minutes from the Wyoming border. I attended Mitchell Jr./Sr. High School where I was very active in athletics and multiple extracurricular activities. Along with my extracurriculars and sports, I also showed sheep on a very competitive level in 4-H and FFA for 12 years. I now mentor younger 4-H and FFA members throughout the year to stay involved! I held many offices throughout my 4-H and FFA careers as well. My dream job is be an emergency department nurse with specialties in pediatrics!

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CLARA WHYMAN

Image of Nursing

My name is Clara Whyman and I am the image of nursing director of the NSSNA 2023-2024 board! This is my first year on the board! I currently attend Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, NE in the BSN program. In addition to my position on the board, I am a member of my school’s student nurses association. Along with that, I am on the cheer team here at Nebraska Wesleyan. I am from Lincoln, NE, but I attended high school at Palmyra High School in Palmyra, NE. In high school, I participated in volleyball, basketball, cheer, track, NHS, and musical. I have been a CNA for 3 years. I have worked in memory care, rehab, long-term care, hospice settings. I currently work as a student nurse tech in the Emergency Department at CHI St. Elizabeth’s in Lincoln, NE. After graduation, I plan on working as an emergency nurse and becoming a flight nurse in the future!

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CASSIE WORKMAN

Breakthrough Chair Director

I am Cassie Workman and am currently the Breakthrough to Nursing Director. I am from Kansas City, Missouri but have lived here in Lincoln since 2019. I am in my last year of nursing school at Nebraska Wesleyan University and then I plan to work at St. Elizabeth. Currently I work at Madonna Rehabilitation as a Nurse Aide and St. Elizabeth as a Student Nurse Technician on PCU. I am involved in a sorority at NWU and am involved in our Student Nurse club here on campus as well. I am looking forward to serving on the Nebraska State Student Nurses Board!

BRITTANY DOUGLAS

Legislative Chair

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OLIVIA PEREZ

Community Service Director

Olivia Perez is in the RN program at Mid-Plains Community College. Olivia has always been passionate about helping others and volunteering time to give back to the community since High School. This love for giving back and the drive to help others drew her to a career in nursing. After graduating from nursing school, Olivia hopes to work either as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner or in pediatrics specialized in Neurology where she can pursue her want to provide care for a diverse number of individuals in need. When Olivia is not occupied with classes she enjoys reading a book and spending time with her family especially her younger siblings.

Growing up she was involved with numerous community events including volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House, participating in FFA and National Honors Society, helping with youth sports, etc. Olivia has always been proactive in helping in the community back home in Colorado and has continued to do so throughout her college years in North Platte, Nebraska. Olivia joined NSSNA in 2022 and was elected for the President position for the school chapter and was reelected for the community Service Director for the 2023 term. Olivia is honored to serve as the 2023 Community Service Director and looks forward to this opportunity and giving back to the community.

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GRACE TRAUTMAN

Nominations Director

My name is Grace Trautman. I’m the new Nominations Director. I’m originally from Omaha NE, but I go to school in Scottsbluff. I used to be an active member of my sorority during my freshman and sophomore year and am currently part of my local SNA chapter. I plan to graduate in May 2024.

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NICOLE STRATER

Communications Editor

Hi, my name is Nicole Strater and I currently serve as the Communications Editor for NSSNA. I am going into my fourth year at Nebraska Wesleyan University in their BSN programs. While in school, I am on the NWU cheer team, part of the student-athlete advisory committee, and previously served as secretary on my school's SNA chapter. I am from Omaha, NE. In my free time, I enjoy reading, trying new coffee shops, and spending time with my friends. I currently work as a CNA on the Cardiac Care Unit at Children's Hospital and Medical Center and will be an RN on the unit once I graduate in May 2024!

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RAVEN LANCE

Consultant

Raven Lance is the NSSNA Consultant. She is currently a Critical Care Transport Nurse at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. She is also a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska. Her other nursing experience includes 3 years of CVICU at Nebraska Medicine and 6 months of local travel ICU experience in Fremont Nebraska. She is also a Certified Critical-Care Registered Nurse (CCRN). She previously served on the NSSNA board from 2018-2019 as the Image of Nursing Director. During that time, she worked to revamp the social media presence and  created the Image of Nursing Social Media Award with the Image of Nursing Committee. She was the 2019 Nebraska State Student Nurse of the Year, which she notes as one of the greatest honors that she has ever received. She graduated in the spring of 2019 with her BSN from Clarkson College. She enjoys her time as a nurse, and spending time with her husband and two children. She hopes to eventually go back to school but is currently enjoying learning and developing her skills in her currently role. "There are many very different career paths, but that is the beauty of nursing you can go in so many different directions!”

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TRACY TRAN

Consultant

Tracy Tran is NSSNA’s Consultant. She is currently a pediatric psychiatric nurse at Boys Town in the Pediatric Residential Treatment Center and Inpatient Psychiatric Unit. Tracy also has a goal of earning her Doctor of Nursing Degree specializing in psychiatry within the next few years. Tracy previously served on 2022-2023 as the Student Advisor and the 2021-2022 NSSNA’s board as the Breakthrough Chair Director and took on another role during that time as Image Chair Director. Outside of school, Tracy enjoys weight-training, spending time with friends and taking her puppy, Atticus, to PetSmart. She served in many professional organizations while in nursing school and currently serves in the Boys Town Emerging leaders, Women’s Inclusion Network and the Asian Pacific American Connection Employee Resource. Tracy states one of her greatest honors is being recognized by DHHS for outstanding innovation in the Division of Behavioral Health and is currently working on publishing her research with a colleague. 

“Nursing is an art [...} it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation as any painter’s or sculptor’s work [...] I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts.” - Florence Nightingale

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KARA KUDERA

Student Advisor

My name is Kara Kudera, and I serve as the 2022-2023 Legislative Director. I currently attend the University of Nebraska Medical Center Northern Division in Norfolk, Nebraska. This is my senior year of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, and I plan to graduate in May of 2023. I plan to pursue a career as a nurse in the emergency department of rural Nebraska. I have been working as a CNA since 2017 when I turned 16. I started out working in a long term care facility, and in my transition to nursing school I started working as an aid on a Medical- Surgical Unit. I have a passion to care for patients of rural Nebraska, as I am one of the RHOP students from Wayne State College. It has been a pleasure serving as the NSSNA Legislative Director. It gave me a unique insight into the impact that the legislative process has on Nurses across the state and the nation. Through my time on the board I led a portion of the philanthropy project for the Northeast part of the state, I monitored local and state legislation and reported as necessary, and assisted with activities necessary to prepare for state convention. I appreciate the opportunity to serve as the NSSNA Legislative Director! I was able to make new connections with other nursing students from across the state and build on my leadership skills as I prepare for my career in nursing.

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2023 Bylaws

Nebraska State Student Nurses Association Bylaws

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FAQ

Information - responses to our most commonly asked questions.

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