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Nursing students throw luau for nursing home residents

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Cutline for attached photo: Jefferson County Nursing Home resident Anna Sinard (center) dances with Carson-Newman mascot, Talon, and C-N sophomore nursing students, Alyssa Koster, left, and Catherine Hunley, right, during the end of semester luau students held for residents.

Jefferson County Nursing Home resident Anna Sinard (center) dances with Carson-Newman mascot, Talon, and C-N sophomore nursing students, Alyssa Koster, left, and Catherine Hunley, right, during an end of semester luau students held for residents.

Carson-Newman University nursing students held a luau for residents of the Jefferson County Nursing Home on Monday, April 29.

“We have seen residents smile and laugh — residents we have never even seen smile or laugh before,” said Director of Nursing at the Nursing Home, Samantha Warren.

The party celebrated the end of the sophomore nursing students’ clinical at the nursing home. As part of the Nursing Fundamentals course, sophomore nursing students go to the nursing home every other week for a day. Each student is assigned a resident to care for, and is given the opportunity to practice beginning nursing skills.

“This event represents the student’s appreciation of the staff and residents of the Jefferson County Nursing Home in accommodating our educational needs of this last semester and for future students’ experiences,” said C-N nursing student Elizabeth Witkop.

Assistant professor of nursing, Sharon McAnear said that beginning nursing students have been going to the Jefferson County Nursing Home for years for their first clinical experience. However, this was the first time the students threw a party for the residents.

“The students were in charge,” she said. “All I did was pick up the cake.”

McAnear said that planning a party for people wheelchair bound and with limited diets required some ingenuity and planning, but she was proud of the students for creating an event that got the residents active.

The luau included activities such as coconut bowling, corn hole, a “fishing pond,” photo booth, Conga line, the Hokey Pokey and a hula dance contest.

Carson-Newman mascot, Talon, attended the luau to dance with residents and lift spirits. Nursing students even gave residents manicures.

“They really went over and above,” McAnear said of the nursing students.

Dr. Roy Dobyns, former Carson-Newman vice president and academic dean, and now resident of the nursing home, attended the party where students honored his past service to the University. He was instrumental to the beginning of the University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. The students presented Dobyns with a C-N hat, shirt and Eagle mug.

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