photo of SNA

Photo by Kerri Reynolds

Student Nursing Association lets no woman be overlooked at breast cancer awareness event

Jacob Downey




Each year 1,288 women in New Hampshire will learn that they have breast cancer. A 2021 announcement from the New Hampshire Department of Human Services showed that the Granite State has the fourth-highest rate of breast cancer in the country, part of which can be attributed to demographic and other economic factors such as access to healthcare and diet. It is incredibly likely that we all know someone who will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime.

On Oct. 23, The Student Nursing Association held its “Let No Women Be Overlooked” event in partnership with Speare Memorial Hospital. For donations of one dollar, students could enter to win prizes including a lift ticket to Tenny Mountain and assorted gift cards, raising $622 for the NH Healthy Lives Breast and Cervical Cancer Program. According to senior Garrett Gruendling, SNA holds events like these to “give a better picture for nursing students to see how preventive care can be overlooked sometimes, and how we can combat that.” 

Through BCCP, Speare seeks to expand access to “…critical breast/cervical cancer screenings and dental care at no charge,” According to a 2022 press release from Kate Tarbox, the Director of Marketing and Community Relations for Speare Hospital. Continuing, “Because breast and cervical cancer is treatable when detected early, all women over the age of 45 should have these important screenings. If breast or cervical pre-cancer or cancer is diagnosed at Plymouth OB-GYN, and the patient does not have health insurance to cover it, the staff will assist in finding other resources to cover the cost of treatment.” 

Photo by Kerri Reynolds

The event was complete with baked goods, lawn games, and a breast cancer information booth manned by Linda Simpson, an oncology nurse for Speare. According to Simpson, the best way to live cancer-free is to eat right, drink and smoke only in moderation, and stay active all while getting checked regularly as you get older. Simpson stressed that breast cancer has a 99% survival rate when diagnosed early. “That’s why we’re here today. Just pushing prevention and awareness of what you can do, what factors you can control to prevent breast cancer,” she said. 

SNA holds many charitable events and fundraisers over the academic year to support various causes including sending PSU students to National Student Nurses Association conferences and a service-learning trip to Navajo Nation, scheduled for January 2024. The trip’s goal is to “[learn] about that culture and talk about some needs they have.” according to senior Grace Sullivan. 

SNA will additionally be holding social events including a mixer for freshmen nursing majors to build relationships with their peers.

Nursing as a major is famous to college students as incredibly demanding, but Sullivan says “…it’s one of the most rewarding majors in my opinion. You really get to know people that you may not have been friends with outside of the major and you do things that you wouldn’t do with your friends on a day-to-day basis. Like, you’re at a hospital at 6:30 in the morning on a Sunday, and you can’t say that you did that with anybody else.”
SNA meets monthly, with their next meeting scheduled for Nov. 14 at 4:30 p.m. in Samuel Read Hall, room 103. NH BCCP offers free breast and cervical cancer screenings to New Hampshire residents between 21-64, who are uninsured or whose insurance does not cover the cost of screening, and those with household incomes at or below 250% of the federal poverty level. More information can be found by calling the State BCCP office at (603) 271-4931 or Speare Memorial Hospital at (603) 536-1104.