College of Nursing's outreach crosses borders and changes lives

College of Nursing's outreach crosses borders and changes lives

Barry University Nursing: Great opportunities to learn and give back to the community

Barry University College of Nursing students learn skills, values and a sense of community that stays with them as they graduate and throughout their careers.

As they go from the community within the university to a much larger one outside, they expand their positive influence on others through their work, compassion and selflessness; some even achieve an international reach and become, as Barry University encourages, true global citizens.

Mureen Shaw, DNP-MSN, FAMILY-BC, assistant professor in the College of Nursing, is a prime example. A self-described “Barry Baby,” she earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate of Nursing Practice degrees at Barry, so she’s learned and lives the university’s values and sense of community involvement. In addition to lecturing full-time to undergraduate nursing students, Dr. Shaw goes on at least one nursing mission trip each year.

Her most recent destination: Haiti.

Beautiful Place, Proud People

Shaw primarily assessed community needs in Haiti, something that comes naturally to her as a nurse.

“The basis of this trip was not to go in and tell them ‘Here are the things we can do for you.’ Instead, we listened,” said Shaw. “We then correlated their issues with how we can help at the College of Nursing.”

Above all, she was impressed with the Haitian people.

“Although they are at a socioeconomic disadvantage, they are doing a lot with what they have. They really just want someone to believe in them and give them assistance to enable them to carry on after we step back,” she said. “They’re not looking for a hand out; they’re looking for a hand up."

Partnership and Collaboration

The Haiti mission was a collaboration between the Barry University College of Nursing, the Center for Community Service Initiatives and the Adrian Dominican School of Education. The interdisciplinary group also worked with Amore En Accion, the missionary arm of the Archdiocese of Miami.

“This is really within Barry University’s mission of responsibility and working in collaboration with community partners,” said Shaw.

From Career Foundation to Career Freedom

The Barry College of Nursing gave Shaw the strong foundation she needed to continue learning and acquiring a diverse set of nursing skills.

“It’s a skill set that will take you anywhere you want to go – whether you want to work in acute care, administration or in the community. Nursing skills are transferrable, so the sky’s the limit on where you want to go,” she said. “What I love about nursing is no two days are ever alike. If you have a heart of compassion and a heart of giving, plus a thirst for knowledge, nursing is personally very gratifying.”

Shaw plans to bring undergraduate nursing students with her on next year’s mission so they, too, can learn first-hand what kind of difference giving back makes.

“Nursing is always a necessity,” said Shaw. “We’re the cornerstones of health care. We can always roll up our sleeves and help in any capacity.”