March 14, 2011

Nursing students head to New Orleans for spring break

Twelve students from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing are in New Orleans this week to rebuild houses with the Episcopal Church Diocese of Louisiana and volunteer in the Touro Hospital emergency room and at a health clinic for the homeless. The Hopkins Student Nurse Relief Corps, a subgroup of the Johns Hopkins National Student Nurses Association, has sponsored the spring break trip to New Orleans for the past five years. On Jan. 31, the group hosted a Creole Charity Gala, which netted more than $5,000 to cover the cost of this year’s trip.

Senior Tal Raizer, co-leader of the trip, had made the expedition last year. “I had no idea that the situation was still so dire,” she said of post-Katrina New Orleans. “This is more than just a great experience for my nursing career. The educational value and the cultural experience are completely different than nursing clinical skills, and it helps to bring me closer to certain populations and cultures.”

Raizer said that the fundraiser brought in more money than needed for the service trip, thanks to the participation of Charm City Cakes, owned by Food Network star Duff Goldman, and that the extra would be donated to New Orleans charities. The event was made possible by junior Jessica Curry, who was financial director for Charm City Cakes for five years before becoming a full-time nursing student. She still works part-time at the bakery, and Geof Manthorne, the bakery’s executive sous chef, designed the meal and cake for the 50-person gala.