ATLANTA – Ryan Bannan, a junior in Mercer University's Georgia Baptist College of Nursing, was elected president of the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) during the organization's 63rd annual convention, April 8-12, in Phoenix, Arizona.
Bannan, who was installed as president for the 2015-2016 academic year, is the first Mercer student to serve in the top office of the 60,000-member nonprofit organization dedicated to mentoring students preparing for initial licensure as registered nurses and conveying the standards, ethics and skills that students will need as responsible and accountable leaders and members of the profession.
"Ryan is well prepared to serve in the role of president of NSNA. He brings a passion for the profession of nursing, knowledge of the issues relevant to the profession and a commitment to his fellow student colleagues," said Dr. Linda Streit, Ph.D., RN, dean of the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing. "This is great recognition for the College and Mercer University, and I am so proud of the efforts of our faculty and students."
Mercer now holds the highest nursing student officer positions in the nation and state, as senior Melissa Thompson currently serves as president of the Georgia Association of Nursing Students (GANS).
Additionally at this past week's convention, Shayla Monroe, a junior, was elected to the NSNA Nominating and Elections Committee for the Southern Election Area.
This is the second consecutive year that Mercer has had two elected officers, as seniors Rebeka Rivera and Craig Reuscher attended the convention as the outgoing secretary/treasurer and director of the Southern Election Area.
All four students were among a group of 20 students and five faculty members who attended the national meeting.
Dr. Streit was nominated by her students and won the Leader of Leaders Award for demonstrating distinguished support and service to students.
The College also won Organization Website of the Year for www.gbans.org, the site of the Georgia Baptist Association of Nursing Students, and the Stellar School Chapter award, which is given to chapters that demonstrate ongoing involvement in NSNA, including a strong commitment to shared governance and professional development of students and faculty. This is Mercer's second time receiving the latter award, which is open to chapters that have maintained constituency status for the previous five years and meet the specific criteria for recognition.
"Our school's outgoing president, senior Carissa Brozino, has provided great leadership, and while two students were elected to national offices, it is important to note the strong core of students supporting the candidates each and every day," said Dr. Streit. "These students worked while they were at convention. Two students had resolutions pass – one for the College of Nursing and one for the state – while our outgoing board members assisted with board-sponsored resolutions."
Founded in 1952, NSNA is a nonprofit organization for students enrolled in associate, baccalaureate, diploma and generic graduate nursing programs. The organization has members in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The NSNA Board of Directors is made up of 10 nursing students elected at the annual convention. Two non-voting consultants are appointed by the American Nurses Association and the National League for Nurses to provide guidance. NSNA also employs a full-time staff headquartered in Brooklyn, New York.
About the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing
Founded in 1902 as a school of nursing, the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing is the oldest nursing program in Georgia. Over its 113-year history, the College has graduated more than 7,500 nurses. Since its founding, the College remains dedicated to educating the person, fostering the passion and shaping the future of nursing. The College merged with Mercer University in 2001 and offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing, a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a Ph.D. in nursing. The College of Nursing is one of four academic units within the Mercer University Health Sciences Center. nursing.mercer.edu