Parents in Nursing School is a club at Pierce College designed to help relieve the pressures faced by nursing school students who have children.
PINS president Jana Alley, who has two children, says that over half of the current nursing school students have kids.
These parents work together in and out of the classroom to help each other deal with the rigorous schedule of nursing school and being a parent.
“We help out other parents with maybe watching their kids or if we get together and study we’ll get our kids together and let them play,” Alley said.
The club also provides assistance to incoming nursing school students. Occasionally, the nursing program will have times when prospective students can come and explore the nursing labs. PINS members take turns watching children so the prospective students can tour the labs without interruption.
Alley says PINS also offers sessions where future nursing school students who have children can come and talk to PINS members. The group gives these future students information about the program, what it’s like to be a parent while in school and how to navigate through the childcare system at Pierce.
“With these new nursing students coming into the program, a lot of them haven’t lined up childcare yet and they have to show up at certain things that are about to start happening,” Alley said. “We can, as a previous class, come in and say ‘Hey, we’ve been there, we’ve done that. Let us help you out.’”
PINS help out more than just each other; they provide assistance among the community as well.
Recently, the club held a food and toiletry donation drive for the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center. The center provides aid for victims of domestic violence including legal services, emergency housing information and counseling.
“They have kids who have been abused and the mom or dad will bring them in and they will have not eaten for days,” Alley said. “The crisis center will provide them with food, however the food that they get is based on donations only. After Christmas they had absolutely nothing to feed these people with.”
After hearing about this, PINS found a local grocery store that would let them sit outside and take donations. The group then brought all the donations to the crisis center and was able to stock their shelves.
Alley says being able to help her fellow students and the community has been the best part of the club.
“We all are working toward the same goal so we’re all willing to help each other out,” Alley said.
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