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University of Colorado College of Nursing

College of Nursing
 

Gretchen Schlueter: First-Hand Clinical Knowledge Molding Her into an Amazing Nurse

CUSNA president and dedicated student


Gretchen Schlueter

Gretchen Schlueter, a nursing student in the traditional legacy program, is one hard worker. As president of the CU Student Nursing Association (CUSNA) since 2012, she oversees, plans, and coordinates CUSNA board members and activities and acts as a liaison between the college and the Alumni Board. 

CUSNA is the local chapter of the National Student Nurses’ Association, and they are dedicated to the career development of student nurses. CUSNA holds lectures in which professional nurses in specialized fields come to campus to discuss job opportunities. CUSNA also works closely with the College of Nursing to engage in leadership opportunities as well as contribute to campus activities such as interview days, orientations and tours. CUSNA is also very involved in philanthropy. 

“This semester we have provided teaching and meals for at-​risk teens at Urban Peak, Held blood bone marrow and platelet drives, and held a campus wide opportunity to package thousands of calorically rich meals to children in need with Kids Against Hunger.” Schlueter says.

She continues, “The best thing about being a part of CUSNA is the opportunity to meet so many others. During our Kids Against Hunger event, we had students from every school on campus work together for a great cause. It was awesome to hear their stories and experiences. And it was a great feeling to know that our association allowed for that gathering.” 

Part of her presidential duties include sitting on the Alumni Board as an unofficial member. “I find this a great part of my presidency. It is so great to be able to meet nurses that span every decade, and see that for many this career is one that can last forever,” she says. 

And, she is getting first- hand knowledge of that career through her clinical.

"I will never forget when I was on the 9th floor of Children’s Hospital, dealing with a four-year-old patient who was desaturating. I pressed the call light to speak to my nurse, but she was dealing with a crisis of her own. Just then the words of Tammy Spencer rang in my ears "Assess, Intervene, Reassess." I knew that I could reposition the patient, administer suction via Yonkaur, and increase the oxygen per standing order. After doing that his oxygen saturations returned to normal. After realizing that I myself was holding my breath, I knew that it was in that moment that I was truly able to see my schooling here was molding me into a strong nurse.​