Caring Across Borders

This photo was taken in Nicaragua by Justine Skillings, BSN class of 2017, received Honorable Mention in the 2016-2017 Seattle University Imagining the World photo competition.

Photo by Nursing Student, Justine Skillings, Receives Honorable Mention

This photo entitled, "Touching Up," taken by Justine Skillings, BSN class of 2017, received Honorable Mention in the 2016-2017 Seattle University Imagining the World photo competition. It will be on display in the Kinsey Gallery during spring quarter.

Justine Skillings is a senior BSN student who grew up in the suburbs of Seattle. She chose to pursue nursing as a way to give back to those who cared for her family in times of need. She believes strongly that caring for people involves “meeting them where they are.”

Justine traveled to Nicaragua in 2016 as part of a Global Nursing Seminar and Immersion class and said she was “elated to have the opportunity to offer community care across borders” as part of her nursing education. Seattle University nursing students have been traveling to Nicaragua since 2011 to participate in global nursing education courses.

To prepare for their travels, nursing students learn about the history, economics, health, and communities of their host countries. While in Nicaragua they spend about 3 weeks volunteering in community organizations, like Corazón Contento “Happy Heart," the subject of Justine’s photo.

Corazón Contento is a school for individuals with disabilities located in the city of Granada. Seattle University nursing students spent time at the school supporting the health and well-being of its students, their parents, and school staff. Some of the service work that nursing students performed in 2016 included painting parts of the school.

The photo “Touching Up” was taken on the nursing students’ last day in Granada. At the moment she took the photo, Justine said, “we were saying goodbye to a place full of people who were so full of color, it was so fitting to see, at that moment, the rainbow being renewed in its color.”

Upon news that her photo had been selected, she expressed, “I’m honored to be recognized and thankful to be able to share a small amount of beauty I experienced while studying in Nicaragua with wonderful people within the College of Nursing.”

After she graduates with her BSN from Seattle University in August, Justine looks forward to working in a hybrid environment that offers opportunities for practice in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Although Justine and her husband plan to remain in the Seattle area, she said she hopes for future travel opportunities to volunteer and “pour love and care into” communities most in need.

The Imagining the World: Study Abroad and International Photography Competition highlights the participation of Seattle University students, faculty and staff in the global community. It is held annually by Seattle University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Entries into the competition are reviewed by a panel of professional judges. Justine’s photo will be featured in the Kinsey Gallery during spring quarter. The gallery is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.