Class Project Inspires Students to Take Action to Help Babies

Students posing with their presentation poster

Poster presentations serve an important role in nursing school – they help students master a topic and educate their fellow students on important issues. At Chamberlain’s Miramar campus, Professor Nancy Miller, MSN, BSN, RNC-AWHC, also uses the poster presentation to help students learn about advocacy and the power of a nurse’s voice.

Each academic session, Professor Miller assigns a poster presentation to the students in her NR-321 Maternal-Child Nursing course. Because she is active with the March of Dimes—having served on the March of Dimes Broward County Board for 16 years and now on the State Program Service Committee and State Public Advocacy Committee—she likes to choose topics related to health observances or priority issues for the organization.

This past January, in honor of Birth Defects Prevention Month, her students created presentations on four major types of birth defects—chromosomal abnormalities, limb reduction deformities, abdominal wall defects and congenital heart defects.

In November 2012, Prematurity Prevention Month, students also participated in the poster presentation project. Three of her students—Carrie Gomez, Marjorie Freisthler and Lindsay Martin—were later selected for a poster presentation for the Florida State Meeting of the Association of Women's Health, Obstetrics, and Neonatal Nursing (AWHONN) on Saturday, April 29th, in Clearwater, Florida. Their presentation focuses on neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), in which newborns are withdrawing from prescription drugs that their mothers used during pregnancy.

“Our focus is on educating healthcare providers about the effects of medications on the fetus while in utero,” said Freisthler. “We are really focused on making a positive impact on the number of babies born with NAS by providing this education.”

Through experiences like the poster presentation, Prof. Miller said, “Our students learn they have a voice. When they graduate, hopefully they will get more involved in something they’re interested in to help the community.”

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