Boston College sophomore nursing students can usually be found on the T headed to their clinical placements as the sun is rising, in Cushing 001 for hours of classes, or studying in the library late into the night. But this past weekend, from February 10 to February 12, every CSON sophomore could be found at the Wonderland Conference Center in Sharon, Massachusetts for a much needed three-day retreat. SCRUBS, the Sophomore Connell Retreat for Undergraduate B.S. Students, gave students the chance to take a step back from their busy lives at BC and reflect on their experiences this year, both socially and academically, their journey through nursing, and their goals for the future.
During the retreat, students heard from Connell School Senior Leaders and nursing faculty about what to expect in the years to come. The fourteen senior leaders and several faculty members delved into their own experiences as nurses, and nursing students and shared their own personal anecdotes, giving the sophomore nursing students a taste of what is to come in their years at BC and beyond.
For Maddie Luetmer (CSON ‘19), hearing from the faculty panel was the best part of the retreat. She stated, “It was amazing to hear about their careers and to see all of the different paths you can take with a nursing education. Listening to these amazing women helped me start thinking about what I really want to do after I graduate from BC.” Hearing from professors in a relaxed environment allowed the sophomores to see their professors in a different light than classes usually allow. These professors even ate meals with students, offering the students the opportunity to get to know them as people, rather than as just professors.
Nicole Macedo (CSON, ‘19) added, “Other than having dessert after every meal, my favorite part of the weekend was having the opportunity to get to know my classmates on a more personal level, like how they really became the people that they are today and what shaped them along the way. It was comforting to find out that I’m not facing the challenge of balancing schoolwork and social life alone. In hearing about the clinical experiences of the senior leaders and faculty, I learned that everyone has their lows, but it’s important to learn from them and move forward. I loved that they could look back and laugh about their roughest moments.”
In addition to hearing from nursing faculty and seniors, students also heard from Professor Kerry Cronin, who highlighted the importance of paying attention to the right things in life. She recommended that students not just focus on what consumes and overwhelms them, but be aware of what is around them.
Not only did SCRUBS weekend provide great insights from mentors, but it also gave the sophomores a chance to get to know their fellow nursing students a little bit better. While they spend plenty of time in classes together, the weekend offered time away from the stresses of academics to really focus on forming new friendships and strengthening bonds. Sophomores were split into small groups, which consisted of about seven people, to get to know their classmates better, reflect on the talks that they heard, or just vent about the stresses of their college lives.
When asked if the SCRUBS retreat would have a lasting impact on her, Luetmer responded, “I definitely think SCRUBS will stay with me because it made me more connected to so many of my fellow classmates. It also made me realize that all students face difficulties in clinical and that our school and professors are here to support us through every step of the way.”
Over the course of the weekend, the CSON sophomores had the chance to reflect on their highs and lows so far, receive useful advice for their future as students and as nurses, and connect with each other on a deeper level. The students even made a collaborative video to TLC’s “No Scrubs,” showcasing their personalities and giving them a unique way to remember their SCRUBS weekend for years to come.