Flames, faculty, and philanthropy: August FLAME! FORWARD!

FLAME! FORWARD! is our company’s time for all collaborators, both faculty and administration, to realign with our mission, vision, and values, and to be appraised on the state of the College. It is also a week to remember Florence Nightingale’s caring example, and to carry the flame forward to help those in need.

Mikhail Shneyder, our president and CEO, said that the College Seal, which has flames in the center, represents the lantern that Florence Nightingale carried to each bedside as she worked tirelessly through the night to save dying soldiers in the Crimean War. She was even nicknamed “The Lady with the Lamp.”

Through personal elevation, company unity, and giving back to the community, Nightingale College’s tradition of FLAME! FORWARD! is an opportunity to spread some good in the world, just as Florence Nightingale did.

This year, we also heard from our Elevate Coach, Greg Wightman. Greg spoke about how he tries to improve people, relationships, and functions through elevation, without taking away the differences that make each party unique. “I try to elevate the process, but not lose the humanity in the elevation,” he said.

The second and third days are faculty development, the time when faculty learn from our Executive Council how to better teach their learners. For example, the lead faculty in St. George, Utah, taught our faculty different ways to prepare the high-fidelity simulation mannequins within the school, including some new techniques for removing the clothing of a burn victim. Susan Jero, the Director of Nursing Education Services, presented on the College curriculum and provided other nursing program updates.

The faculty also discussed how their learners are doing, and the specifics of different classes. Some teachers had questions about how to deal with absenteeism. Others had questions about the remote model, and how to connect and interact with the learner over the internet.

Give Back Day is usually the favorite part of FLAME! FORWARD! This year, there were three different locations that needed our help: The Ogden-Weber Community Action Partnership, The Humane Society of Utah, and the Weber County Animal Shelter.

OWCAP is a local “Head Start” program, or a preschool program for children in low-income families. The facility also houses a food bank, an employment center, an adult education center, a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (Vita) program, and many other services that help those in our community with low incomes.

Those who went to OWCAP helped with landscaping and cleaning in preparation for the upcoming school year. While some collaborators washed windows, others pulled weeds in the playground areas and others ripped out bushes that were becoming too overgrown. Some bushes were so hard to pull out, our crew had to recruit the help of the OWCAP staff’s pickup truck and rip them out with a chain!

At The Humane Society of Utah, a no-kill shelter in Salt Lake City, our collaborators helped load trucks for the upcoming “Clear the Shelters” event, on August 19, 2017. Animal lovers, listen up! All cats, bunnies, and small animals have a waived adoption fee, and all dogs will have a 25% off adoption fee for that day only.

Many of our collaborators wanted to adopt the animals themselves after volunteering to walk the dogs and cuddling the cats and small animals. The hard part for them wasn’t loading trucks, it was returning to the College without an animal.

The faculty volunteered at the Weber County Animal Shelter, a facility that has a mission similar to our own, but a smaller, fluffier clientele. Like the volunteers at the Humane Society, they walked dogs and helped clean the facility. The shelter thrives on volunteers to assist in their day-to-day operations, and help their pets find forever homes.

Volunteering is essential to our own operations here at Nightingale College. Our first value, Beyond Self, constantly challenges us to selflessly serve others. We do that by not only serving in our communities, but by helping educate those nurses who will, in turn, serve their own communities. We hope that those nurses we graduate will carry the FLAME! FORWARD! tradition on and continue to elevate themselves and society.