Volunteering was the highlight in April, as many Rasmussen College campuses had students and staff helping others in the community. This past month was also busy with the spring career fair that opened the door to many job opportunities for students, graduates and community members.
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Seventy-four nursing students from Rasmussen’s Bloomington and Mankato campuses participated in Teddy Bear Clinics for the March of Dimes “March for Babies” initiative. The Mankato event took place at Sibley Park on April 24; Bloomington’s event took place on April 25 at the Mall of America. The goal of “March for Babies” is to support healthy moms and save babies from premature birth and birth defects.
Before attending the Teddy Bear Clinic, the Bloomington campus nursing students toured the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital NICU. The students received comprehensive teaching about NICU care that they then shared at the Teddy Bear Clinic. The teddy bear clinics welcomed children and adults and were designed to promote the importance of immunizations, safety and health. The participants either brought their own teddy bear or were given a teddy bear to use during the six interactive stations at the clinic.
The participants made their way through the stations — which included hand-washing, newborn screening and vaccinations — while the nursing students provided education and answered participant questions. The students helped the children give a well-baby check-up to their bears. They:
● Measured and weighed the bear
● Gave it his/her immunization with a needleless syringe
● Took “blood” from the bear
● Rocked the bear “Kangaroo style”
● Practiced putting the bear into a car seat safely
Students also introduced the children to the components of Neonatal Intensive Care and interacted with them as they learned about their own past healthcare.
“I enjoyed watching the students interact with the children, as many children offered their stories from their own doctor experiences,” said Debb Pongratz, Rasmussen College nursing instructor. “As a parent who has lost a child from prematurity, I am so amazed and impressed how far the medical world has come and what it can do for people in this situation.”
Rasmussen College nursing dean Stephanie Yackel agreed: “It was such an eye-opener — we learned about one child who was born at 1 pound, 8 ounces, and the fight that child went through, and then we met the healthy 4-year-old they have now become.”
“Adopt a Classroom” is a United Way initiative where volunteers from local businesses and organizations read books and participate in fun activities with the kids in the classrooms. The Wausau campus supported United Way by participating in the event, while also supporting “Week of the Young Child,” the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) annual celebration of early learning, young children, teachers and families.
Rasmussen College staff read books about gardening and participated in an activity where they planted seeds in gloves. The gloves were then hung from the classroom ceiling so the students can watch them grow. Students will eventually take home the plants at the end of the school year.
More than 800 Rasmussen College students and alumni and more than 400 community members attended this spring’s career fair to meet prospective employers and receive training in a number of areas to help them secure jobs in the future.
The college hosted two webinars with live question and answer sessions leading up to the career fair, which was held April 18-26 on several campuses across five states. The webinars prepared students for the career fair and shared the importance of volunteering.
In addition, attendees could meet with a professional to participate in:
● LinkedIn profile training
● Reviewing their resume
● Testing their interviewing skills via a mock interview
● Listening to a human resources panel discussion
● Meeting with a dress consultant
Attendees were given the opportunity to build on current interview skills, learn what human resources and hiring managers are looking for in candidates, interact with top local employers and network with classmates, alumni and career seeking candidates in their community.