Released on February 9, 2022

From the prestigious Diamond Chapter Award to state board elections and scholarships, UCF nursing students have much to celebrate from the Florida Nursing Student Association annual convention.

Student Nurses' Association at the University of Central Florida Orlando logo

The Florida Nursing Student Association (FNSA) recently awarded the Student Nurses’ Association (SNA) at the University of Central Florida Orlando a 2022 Diamond Chapter Award – the highest recognition in the state for a student nurses’ association chapter. This is the eighth time the UCF Orlando chapter has received the prestigious award since 2014.

The Diamond Chapter Award recognizes chapters for excellence in their commitment to prepare nursing students for a role as professional nurses through continuing education, community service, and advocacy toward improved healthcare.

This year’s award also honored the chapter for its ability to maintain a high level of activity and engagement even during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the pandemic and losing a lead advisor and beloved mentor, the chapter – as UCF Knights – Charged On!

“I could not be prouder of the momentum this board has maintained. They have persevered, and I cannot wait to see their continued positive impact.”

Kate Dorminy
SNA faculty advisor

During the pandemic, the chapter moved meetings to Zoom and adapted community outreach efforts to continue to help those in need. Instead of preparing food for the Ronald McDonald House, they delivered it. When essential items became hard to find, they organized donations and assembled hygiene kits for the homeless.

Additionally, four SNA UCF Orlando chapter members advocated for increased critical care nursing education. Their resolution, “In Support of Education About Post-Intensive Care Syndrome,” passed unanimously at the state convention in October and will be presented at the upcoming National Student Nurses’ Association convention in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“The students in our chapter have impressed us with their drive, their growth as leaders, and their commitment to learning,” said Brian Peach, faculty advisor for SNA UCF Orlando.

“Through their volunteer work, including speaking to local middle and high school students about the nursing profession, and this important resolution to ensure nursing students and faculty advisors receive more education about post-intensive care syndrome, they will leave a lasting impact on others.”

SNA UCF Orlando FNSA Elected Officers 2021-2022
UCF nursing students elected to the FNSA Board of Directors (L to R): Christian de la Cruz Cancel, Caroline Porter, Vanessa Iturri, and Alexandria Moran

Elected to Lead State Board

Four UCF BSN students were elected to serve on the 2021 – 2022 FNSA Board of Directors, leading the statewide organization that represents more than 5,000 nursing students in Florida.

  • Caroline Porter, President
  • Vanessa Iturri, 2nd Vice President
  • Alexandria Moran, Recording Secretary
  • Christian De La Cruz Cancel, Region 3 Director

“Throughout my time in SNA, I have been surrounded by the most hardworking and caring student nurses who have inspired and motivated me to become a better leader and future nurse,” said Caroline Porter, a senior BSN student at UCF and incoming president of FNSA. “I am beyond grateful to have the privilege to serve as the 2021-2022 FNSA president, and work alongside many of my UCF peers to lead future nurses of Florida and advocate not only for our profession, but toward improved healthcare for all.”

Awarded Student Scholarships

In addition to the high-achieving chapter, four high-achieving UCF nursing students were awarded FNSA scholarships in recognition for their academic achievements and leadership.

  • Monique Csenteri – Paula Massey Leadership Scholarship
  • Erin Tonkin – Willa Fuller Leadership Scholarship
  • Kaitlyn Yu – Mary Tittle Leadership Scholarship
  • Emily Jones – FNSA General Scholarship
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