“I really like working in the community setting a lot because we can focus more on the preventative measures and just educating people on how to be healthy so that way they don’t get to the point where they have to go to the hospital. So it's awesome to see them at their healthy states and how we can keep pushing to keep them at their best,” Hicks said.

While the students are running the show, help is close by. Schmidt, who has been a nurse educator for decades, works along with two other faculty members, Debra Hagler and Kim Day, to keep an eye on things. But they keep their distance unless needed.

“We’re watching. When the students are doing blood pressures, the board of nursing requires pre-licensure, non-RNs to have a faculty member available if someone has an abnormal reading. If that happens, we’ll check it again and if it's still high we might refer them down the hall (to the physician) or recommend they go see their care provider,” Schmidt said.

Overall the fair was a hit. Not only was the nursing student participation on point but the athlete turnout was pretty spectacular as well, much better Metcalf says than in years past.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities with Special Olympics Arizona.

Amanda Goodman

Media relations officer, College of Nursing and Health Innovation