March of Dimes Honors Exemplary JMU Nursing Student Eric Croucher
Senior Eric Croucher is getting ready to graduate but that doesn’t mean he has free time as his last semester has been filled with classes and 12-hour clinicals three times a week; the hours and the demand are constant. But according to him, “When the work seems too much, just remember you are learning what is necessary to take care of someone’s brother, daughter, aunt, or grandfather. The sacrifice now is worth it in the end.”
On November 9th, at the 3rdannual March of Dimes gala in Richmond, Croucher received the Virginia Student Nurse of the Year award. Even though there were moments he struggled in the nursing program, the faculty still recognized his hard work and determination. “It was a huge honor first to be nominated – that was amazing in itself…but I was kind of shocked I won,” said Croucher.
JMU’s nursing program has taught him all of the practical skills required of a Registered Nurse as well as how to deliver patient-centered care and ethical decision making skills needed in the healthcare setting.
“With nursing, it keeps you busy but I try to get involved,” said Croucher.
He is the current president of the Virginia Nursing Students’ Association, which provides networking and education benefits before entering into the profession.
Croucher also initiated JMU’s chapter of Be The Match, an organization that promotes bone marrow registration and raises funds for the foundation. When his best friend from home was diagnosed with leukemia, he decided to help him the best way he could – encouraging people to join the bone marrow registry. A bone marrow transplant is the best treatment option for blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma, and sickle cell anemia.
Back in his Maryland hometown, Croucher helped with a big fundraiser that resulted in more than 500 people swabbed and entered into the registry. Since the prime age for new registers is between 18 and 22, Croucher thought “What better place than to do it on a college campus?”
This semester JMU’s Be The Match has already got 126 new individuals added to the system and raised $2,000.
He is also a member of the Order of Omega, a Greek honors society, and the former president of the social fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon.
Croucher will be graduating in December of 2013. He is still waiting to hear back from three potential hospitals: Vanderbilt, University of Maryland, and Johns Hopkins.