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UW-Eau Claire Nursing Student Wins National Essay Contest

RELEASED: April 21, 2008

EAU CLAIRE — A University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire senior at the College of Nursing and Health Science's Marshfield site was the grand prize winner in the National Student Nursing Association/Nursing Spectrum Essay Contest.

Jennifer Steif
Jennifer Steif

Jennifer Steif received $500 and a plaque for her 1,000-word essay, "Global Awareness in Nursing," which she wrote in response to a question asking nursing students why it was important to be aware of international and domestic health care issues, and what actions they could take to better these issues.

In the essay, Steif wrote about a mission trip she took in January to provide medical care to villages in the western portion of the Dominican Republic. She worked with two teams: one provided food and water filtration systems for villagers' homes; one set up clinics in local schools or public facilities to provide medical care and medications.

Steif's church community in Wausau, where she has lived most of her life, along with nursing faculty and students in Marshfield and Eau Claire, made donations to help buy over-the-counter medications and supplies for her to take to the villages. The Student Nurse Association also donated funds to purchase additional health care supplies. Steif and 17 other Americans worked with four Dominican doctors to see more than 1,300 patients.

"My Mom also is a nurse and watching her care for others as I was growing up became a large part of why I decided to go into nursing," Steif said. "I think nursing is something that can be seen in a person's daily life, and I feel honored that I have the opportunity to have a career in which I am able to care and work with individuals and families in the community."

In her essay, Steif encouraged other nursing students to become involved in any issue they were passionate about, whether it was providing clean water to people in a Third World country or helping elderly people or neighbors in simpler ways in their own communities.

Steif's essay will appear in Nursing Spectrum, NurseWeek and Imprint, a NSNA publication.

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NW

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