UACCB Nursing Student Takes First Place In Public Speaking Competition

At her first major public speaking endeavor, Alice Crabtree struck gold. Crabtree took home first place in the prepared public speaking competition at the Arkansas Licensed Practical Nurses Association Conference.

“The other competitors were so good, I didn’t think I would even place. I’ve never won first place for anything. I was shocked and very excited when they called my name,” Crabtree said.

Crabtree is a practical nursing student at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville. She enrolled in college immediately after graduating high school in 2013 but left school in her second semester. Her aunt, Trisha Venegas, who graduated from the PN program and is enrolled in the registered nursing program at UACCB, convinced her to return to college and enroll in the nursing program.

“I convinced myself a long time ago that I wanted nothing to do with nursing because of a bad experience, but I thought I can be a nurse that does all I can to help. I want to make a difference. I took my pre-requisites, applied for the PN program and was accepted,” she said.

Crabtree’s speech focused on qualities she admired in nurses and what inspired her to become a nurse. She focused on the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. and the qualities necessary to be an effective nurse in such a situation treating both victims and the suspect.

“I talked about how a nurse must be respectful and nonjudgmental in a situation like that because ultimately your job is to provide care for those affected including the suspect,” she said. Crabtree added that she also discussed how a nurse must maintain a calm, collected demeanor in crisis situations.

Crabtree currently works as a certified nursing assistant at Batesville Nursing and Rehabilitation. She plans to continue working part-time as an LPN after graduating while working toward her registered nursing degree. She said she would eventually like to obtain her master’s in nursing. “I thought if I could get accepted into the PN program, I just need to keep pushing myself to go further.”

As for her career goals, Crabtreee said she would love to work as a psychiatric nurse or as an emergency traveling nurse with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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