Team of seniors win regional nurse challenge


Five Bloomsburg University nursing students brought home the trophy and $500 grand prize from the Geoffry Allen Walp Memorial 14th Annual Student Nurse Challenge at East Stroudsburg University this spring.

Members of the winning team were BU nursing seniors Rachel Garraway, Samantha Bailey, Nicole Walsh, Rachel Toter and Amy Jo Zimmerman.

Annually, BU’s nursing program sends a team of senior-level nursing students to the challenge that is based on the College Bowl program where students compete in quiz style competitions. The challenge quizzes students about information that commonly appears on the NCLEX-RN exam; an exam all nurses must take to become a registered nurse.

Nursing graduates once again perfect on NCLEX

Preparing young nurses for the NCLEX-RN exam is the main purpose of the challenge hosted by East Stroudsburg University. While the questions asked during the challenge directly relate to the questions asked on the NCLEX-RN exam, the fast-paced, quiz-style competition also prepares students with valuable techniques that can be used during the exam.

“This Nurse Challenge helps you to prepare by requiring you to evaluate all choices within a fairly short period of time and select what you feel is the best choice based on critical thinking, without having the option to go back and review your answer,” says Rachel Toter, senior nursing major and member of nursing honor society Sigma Theta Tau.

Professor Devon Manney, RN served as an advisor for the winning team at the student nursing challenge. She prepared multiple power points with NCLEX style questions on them, reading off each question as it would be done in the competition. Once students buzzed in, they would have 10 seconds to come up with the right answer. The team completed two practice sessions and reviewed all subjects of nursing using NCLEX review books before heading to the competition.

The challenge invited student nurses from several universities and colleges across the region; giving students who competed an opportunity to network with other young professionals while also giving them a break from their demanding work load as nursing majors.

Rachel Garraway, senior nursing major and vice president of BU’s Student Nurses Association adds, “Nursing students are so busy with work that we don’t often get to play competitive sports, but this allowed us to have a competitive outlet and a team goal to work towards.”

In BU’s nursing program, the work to prepare students for their NCLEX-RN exams and for their lives as registered nurses after college does not stop with the Geoffry Allen Walp Student Nursing Challenge.

“This nursing program is very challenging,” says Amy Jo Zimmerman, senior nursing major and member of nursing honors society Sigma Theta Tau. She adds that in addition to the student nursing challenge, “We also take several exams with NCLEX style questions as well as ATI tests for NCLEX practice.”

As one of the most rigorous and demanding nursing programs in the state, ranked third by, BU’s nursing program prepares students for careers in nursing by offering thorough in-class curriculum, real world clinical experience, and simulated learning labs. Faculty members are dedicated to preparing students for wide range of careers in critical care, obstetrics, pediatrics, rehabilitation, trauma, home care, and other clinical specialties, informatics and case management.

“The faculty members are dedicated to helping everyone succeed and are a great resource, both in the classroom and in clinical. This program teaches you not only nursing skills, but proper therapeutic communication, organizational skills, and the confidence you need to succeed as a nurse,” says Tator regarding her experience in BU’s nursing program.