Capable, competent and caring are words that describe the more than 47 "Level III" Orvis School of Nursing students at the University of Nevada, Reno. With much of their time spent in the classroom and at the hospital, it is rare that students and faculty get to hang out and have fun. That is until student Paul Dente decided to organize a team for the 40th annual Reno Gazette-Journal's Journal Jog Saturday, Sept. 15.
"I like to be very involved in things I care about," Dente said. "I'd say that nursing and community service are at the top of my list. Because we spend so much time in class, studying and at the hospital, I thought the Journal Jog would be a good way for students and faculty to have fun outside of the classroom and give back to our community."
Dente has been working furiously over the past few months to generate awareness of the event and organize a team to represent the 50-year-old nursing school.
"I enjoy running in my free time," Dente said. "When I found out that other students and faculty members also enjoyed it, I thought it made perfect sense and I decided to organize a team."
An anonymous donor from the community sponsors the team. Orvis School of Nursing Director Patsy Ruchala provided team members with an official uniform.
"I am pleased to see these students and faculty participating in a healthy activity that benefits our community," Ruchala said. "We want the community to be aware that we are here, educating students and providing valuable services locally and statewide."
Lorraine Bonaldi-Moore, an assistant professor at the nursing school, has also been involved in the school's participation in the Journal Jog.
"I think Orvis is a remarkable school," Bonaldi-Moore said. "We produce some of the most capable, competent and caring nurses, and I am very impressed with these young people. They are enthusiastic and detailed, and an activity like this is a perfect opportunity for us to get together and have a good time."
"Paul is a magnificent young man who carries himself with great decorum," Bonaldi-Moore said. "I am happy he organized our team. He is always well prepared and thoughtful of others. He is like this in everything he does; it carries over into all aspects of his life."
So far, at least four faculty members are participating in the race.
"Nursing is unique because it is an art and a science," Bonaldi-Moore said. "Teaching and helping students learn, while showing compassion and concern, demonstrates the collegiality of what we do and shows them we care. These students will soon be our peer group in the profession."
Bonaldi-Moore is also hosting a pre-Journal Jog pasta feed at her house Friday night.
"I wanted to host the pasta feed at my house as a way to create an intimate, welcoming environment for students and faculty to spend some quality time together," she said.
As the race approaches Dente anticipates the team's rising energy level, "I am surprised at how excited the team is. We have all been talking about it for the last few weeks and it's finally here."
Win or lose, Team Orvis is sure to have a good time.
"Winning would be nice, but we want the community to know that the Orvis School of Nursing is here and we care," Dente said.
The Orvis School of Nursing was founded in 1957. It was the first nursing program established in the state and is the only program in northern Nevada awarding bachelor's and master's degrees. The school includes the Orvis Nursing Clinic, the only nurse-run clinic in the state, and is part of the College of Health and Human Sciences at the University.
Through education, research, and community outreach, the College of Health and Human Sciences is dedicated to the development of tomorrow's leaders who will help build a healthy Nevada through the prevention and resolution of the issues that challenge people's everyday lives.
Founded in 1874 as Nevada's oldest, land-grant university the University of Nevada, Reno has more than 16,000 students, four campuses and hosts Cooperative Extension services in all Nevada counties. It is ranked as one of the country's top 150 research institutions by the Carnegie Foundation, and is home to America's sixth-largest study abroad program, as well as the state's oldest and largest medical school.