The 38th annual Nursing Mock Convention on Friday will bring Goshen College nursing students and faculty together to debate and vote on controversial issues in the nursing field.
Topics include the legalization of marijuana for medical use, mandatory organ donation and refusal of all unpaid treatment for undocumented patients. The convention is an annual event that students real-world experience outside a hospital setting.
The day-long event begins at 7:45 a.m. in the College Mennonite Church Fellowship Hall, with the theme "Diversity in Nursing: Avenues to Holistic Care."
"Today, medicine is running down the path of science, and ignoring the client as a person and their needs, aside from the physical," said Carolyn Stigge, a senior nursing major who is president of this year's mock convention executive board. "Nursing, however, has had a tendency to look at the client holistically, or to take a look at the client from all angles. Diversity in nursing is important to address issues of alternative forms of medicine and care, but also to be sensitive to cultural differences and needs."
Goshen College Professor Emerita of Nursing Anna Francis Wenger will give a keynote address followed by debates about three resolutions proposed by groups of students, including: the legalization of marijuana for medical use, mandatory organ donation and refusal of all unpaid treatment for undocumented patients.
"Convention gives us an opportunity to research actual vital issues faced by professional nurses today and formulate our own ideas on how to address them," Stigge said.
While the mock convention helps students practice debating skills and evaluate the pros and cons of issues in their field, it also prepares students for membership and participation in professional nursing organizations after they graduate.
Mervin Helmuth, associate professor of nursing, helped initiate the mock convention program in 1973. Helmuth believes the convention is helpful for students. His goal for them is "to learn that if I have an idea to make nursing better or give better care to patients, I know how to begin the process of presenting it to a local or national audience for a hearing," he said.