Student Nurses' Association: An Overview
us : An Introduction
The Student Nurses' Association, popularly known as SNA, is a nation-wide organization of nursing students. It was established in 1929 at the time of annual conference of the TNAI in Madras. Ms. L.N. Jean, the Nursing Superintendent of General Hospital, Madras was instrumental in forming this association.
After the establishment of first SNA unit in 1929, the membership grew. Ms. I. Dorabji was appointed as the full time SNA Secretary in 1947. The office was renamed as SNA Advisor in 1969. Mrs. Narender Nagpal was appointed as the first SNA Advisor (1973-1977), followed by Ms. D.K.Singh (1978-79). The office was redesignated as Assistant Secretary-cum-SNA Advisor. Mr. T. Stephens was appointed to this post (1980-83), followed by Miss. Jaiwanti P. Dhaulta (1983-96), Lt. Col.(Retd.) Miss Molly David (1996-97), Mrs. Sujana Chakravarty (1998-2001), Mrs. Sheila Seda (2002-2003) and Mrs. Nanthini Subbiah (2004 till date).
The first SNA annual Conference was held in Delhi in November 1932. Thereafter its Annual Conferences were held biennially with TNAI till 1960. The first biennial was held in Nagpur in 1961, followed by Chandigarh in 1963, Vellore (1967), New Delhi (1984, 1996), Hyderabad (1971), Indore (1973, 1994) Baroda (1975), Ranchi (1978), Panaji (1979), Kalyan (1982), Coimbatore (1986), Bombay (1988), Calcutta (1991), Jaipur (1992), Jalandhar (1996) Bangalore (1998), Madnapally (2000) Ernakulam (2002), the Platinum Jubilee Celebration SNA Conference, Melmaruvathur (2004), Surat (2007) and the present XXIII SNA Biennial Conference is being organised at Kolkata (2009).
The main purpose of forming the Association by TNAI was to provide vanities to the nursing students to facilitate their all round development and accredit them to join TNAI as qualified nurses. The purpose has been achieved in a span of 75 years. It is a remarkable achievement that the growth of SNA Units has been persistent ever since its inception.
It was started with 60 members in the beginning and in 1954 during its Silver Jubilee Celebration it had 4,259 members. When it celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1979, its membership was 22,000 and in 1989, during its Diamond Jubilee, the membership rose to 28,086. Now there are 1003 SNA Units with 102215 members.
The SNA is a major source of enrolment of TNAI Life Membership. Three-fourth of TNAI Life Members is from SNA. It is imperative to strengthen this resource and encourage students to take up the TNAI Life Membership on a concessional current rate of Rs.2000/- as against Rs.3000 paid by regular members.
A wide variety of activities are encouraged at all levels for the SNA members, keeping in view aims and objectives of the Association. The diversity of activities is derived from the professional, social, cultural and recreational spheres to strengthen curricular and extra curricular activities of the student nurses.
The SNA Diaries are assessed by the State SNA Advisors annually and the 2 best diaries from each State are then sent to the National SNA Advisor for Biennial evaluation and awards. These diaries are assessed for professional, educational, extra curricular social, cultural and recreational activities.
All categories of Student Nurses are eligible to participate in exhibitons, both as groups as an individual. They can prepare charts, posters on the subjects taught in their course curriculam. The exhibits are competed at the state level, and after thorough scrutinization, only one best entry at the state level under each category and section is entertained at the national level. There are 150 entries this year in place.
Public speaking and writing is encouraged to increase self-confidence and to help them develop communication skills. In order to achieve this, the competition on Scientific Paper Presentations related to the theme (Healthy Student Nurse: Brighter Tomorrow) of the Conference is being organised. The Scientific Papers presented by many students are scrutinized at State level. Only one Scientific Paper on each Sub-theme of the conference was sent to the national level for final evaluation. The best three Scientific Papers, one on each of the sub-themes are selected at the national level.
The students undertaking community projects such as school health projects, health surveys, nutrition surveys etc. Regular projects like medical camps, immunization programmes, health melas are also undertaken by the student nurses. In addition, fund raising activities are also commended and encouraged.
Dynamism and energy of the young who enter the nursing profession are channalised constructively through fine arts, drama, dance, music and painting competitions.
Other activities in the shape of article writing, poetry writing, flower arrangement, cooking, sewing, interior decoration and gardening etc. are also encouraged.
The Student Nurses' Association awards scholarship to the students of ANM/GNM and B.Sc programme. An amount of Rs.750/- is given for every month and Rs.2000/- is given as one time grant for buying books. This amount is given for their entire period of study.
Affairs of SNA are managed at the level of unit, state and at national level.
At the unit level, the unit executive committee manages SNA affairs. It comprises of the SNA Advisor, President (TNAI members), Vice President who presides over the unit meetings. Secretary, Treasurer and the convenors of various committees.
At the State level, the State SNA Executive Committee comprises of the State TNAI President as ex-officio member, SNA Advisor, Student Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Programme Chairperson and the Representatives of Units/Zones.
At the Headquarters, the SNA General Committee comprises of TNAI President, Honorary Treasurer, Secretary-General, SNA Advisor, State SNA Advisors and State SNA Vice President and Secretaries.