Friday, January 29, 2010

Goshen College's 39th annual nursing mock convention to focus on justice in health care

GOSHEN, Ind. – While the health care debate rages nationally, Goshen College's 39th annual Nursing Mock Convention on Friday, Feb. 5 will bring nursing students together in critical discussions on the theme, "Mandate for Nursing: Health Promotion and Justice in Health Care." Nursing students will debate student-proposed resolutions on the topics of Human Papilloma Virus vaccines, determining unnecessary health care (futility) and federal funding for abortions.

"As nurses in the 21st century, our roles have become incredibly diverse," wrote senior Patricia Hershberger, the president of the Mock Convention Executive Board. "We are not only expected to provide nursing care to our clients, but also be involved politically in the health care arena. As expectations for nurses evolve to include working in health promotion and justice-related fields, it is crucial that we develop a knowledge base to be able to discuss such subjects."

The all-day event begins at 7:45 a.m. in the Church-Chapel Fellowship Hall and ends at 5 p.m., with a lunch break from noon to 1 p.m.

Discussion of the resolutions will follow a keynote address given by Goshen College Associate Professor of NursingSherry Wenger.

Senior Allison Kauffman, executive director of the Mock Convention Board, wrote to Goshen College's nursing students: "As nurses in 2010, we live in a time where issues of ethics, morality and justice are at the forefront of our thinking now more than ever."

While the mock convention helps students practice debating skills and evaluate the pros and cons of issues in their field, it also prepares students for membership and participation in professional nursing organizations after they graduate.

Associate Professor of Nursing Mervin Helmuth, who helped initiate the mock convention program in 1973, believes the convention is helpful for students. His goal for them is "to learn that if I have an idea to make nursing better or give better care to patients, I know how to begin the process of presenting it to a local or national audience for a hearing," he said.

Goshen College's annual Mock Convention is an activity that is unique to the college and significantly contributes to student participation in professional nursing organizations. Goshen College nursing alumni have a 41 percent membership in their professional organizations compared with the national rate of 20 percent.

In 1953, Goshen College graduated its first class of nurses, after starting the first bachelor's of science in nursing program in Indiana in 1949. In the years since, more than 1,600 graduates have responded to the call to nursing by earning a bachelor's degree at Goshen College. Learn more at

Editors: For more information about this release or to arrange an interview, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or


Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college's Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron's Best Buys in Education, "Colleges of Distinction," "Making a Difference College Guide" and U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" edition, which named Goshen a "least debt college." Visit

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Goshen College
1700 S Main St
Goshen, Indiana 46526
phone: +1 (574) 535-7569
fax: 535-7660