Spring Fling Brings Together College of Nursing’s Four Campuses

The College of Nursing presented its 9th Annual Spring Fling on Friday, April 20, 2018, an event initiated by Dean Betty Adams, and assigned to the Office of Admissions and Student Services (OASS) to implement. This day of educational and recreational activities brings together students, faculty and staff from the Main Campus, Houston Center, Northwest Houston Center, and RELLIS (Fall, 2018) campuses. The College of Nursing is the only unit at the University represented at the four local campuses.

Dr. Forest Dent Smith, director of OASS, coined the phrase, Spring Fling and designed a day to include an overview of the Texas Medical Center, information on pre-nursing programs (Getting Ready to Implement A Nursing Degree- GRIND for continuing pre-nursing students, the Summer Bridge for entering freshmen, and the Nursing Tools for Success course), requirements for entrance into the College of Nursing, and tips for academic success from students, faculty, and staff. To increase the relevance of the event, Dr. Smith solicited assistance from the faculty. Drs. Pam Cormier and Lakeshur Green, both clinical assistant professors on Semester II, volunteered as co-chairs for the Spring Fling, and continue in that role.

This year, the Spring Fling began when the 50 pre-nursing students arrive at the Houston Center to be greeted by Dr. Forest Dent Smith. An Official welcome came from the Dean, Dr. Betty Adams, followed by introductions to CON and Pre-Nursing lead student ambassadors, Olivia Johnson, Semester II President, and Zaccheaus Ransom, Prairie View Student Nurse Association (PVSNA) President, Main Campus. After an overview of the College and questions and answers with the Dean, the pre-Nursing students have an unique opportunity to observe Nursing students and faculty exploring nursing content in their classrooms. Nursing Student ambassadors serve as guides throughout the classrooms, simulation laboratories, study rooms, student organization centers, study halls, student lounge, faculty offices, library, Student Learning Centers, and the Wellness and Fitness Center in the state-of-the-art nursing complex. Interactions with students, faculty, and staff throughout the day often lead to lasting mentoring relationships. Nursing students share the experiences and answer pre-nursing students questions about how to be the path to becoming a professional nurse.

At mid-day, PVSNA meets, as indicated in its Bylaws, for a joint Session of the two divisions. During that meeting, plans for subsequent mentoring opportunities, face-to-face, electronically, via social media, and telephone communications are forged. Students were advised that the fall 2018 new students would comprise the College’s Centennial Classes.

Immediately after the meeting, students attend an Apartment Fair to plan for, or change housing facilities to attend the Houston Center, which is a commuter campus. Transfer student accepted in the College to enroll in fall 2018 were also invited to the Apartment Fair.

A picnic in Houston’s Herman Park is another major component of the Spring Fling, highlighted with food, fun, and fellowship. Everyone dons their favorite nursing or PV attire. Faculty and staff join the festivities to interact with the pre-nursing and nursing students. Pre-nursing and nursing students bond. Numerous activities such as a photo booth, sack races, egg relays, hula hoop contests, dancing, and card and board games make the picnic an exciting afternoon. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream is the silent cry of the students, faculty and staff in attendance.