United Houma Nations Donates Lab Coats to Nicholls Nursing Students

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Alaiana Daigle, BSN program coordinator; Cami Dardar, student; UHN Chief August Coco, and Dr. Raquel Engolio, nursing department head pose in front of Ayo Hall. (submitted).

The United Houma Nation has donated nearly $20,000 worth of clinical lab coats to the Nicholls State University Department of Nursing to help students save money on their education.

Following Hurricane Ida, the UHN received donations to distribute to the community. The UHN is comprised of approximately 19,000 tribal members residing within a six-parish service area.

Cami Dardar, a senior nursing student form and member of the UHN, discovered that among those donations were boxes of white lab coats. She jumped at the opportunity to bring together two integral aspects of her life.

“I knew I had to get in contact with Dr. Raquel Engoloio to get these uniforms out. I really think this is from God because the uniforms could have gone anywhere and out of all the people involved, I knew what to do with them,” she said. “I would have never thought that being a nursing student and a member of the UNH would ever cross paths. It’s amazing to see two important parts of my life come together.”

Principal Chief August “Coco” Creppel lead a team of tribe memes to deliver about 450 lab coats to the college on Friday, Nov. 5. This will save new clinical students about $115.

“To see another student who needs the uniform due to losing them in the storm or can’t afford them is just a feeling I can’t describe,” Dardar said. “I remember my first semester and how much of a burden it was to afford these uniforms. Now, students don’t have to worry. It is an honor to bless upcoming students with these coats.”

The Nicholls BSN Program admits 160 students every year – 80 each semester.

“This wonderful donation will assist Nicholls Nursing students by saving them both time and money,” said Dr. Engolio. “We are very grateful to have this type of support from the community and from one of our students. The timing of the donation is perfect. It is also very meaningful to future registered nurses and will help them have a positive clinical experience.”

For more information on Nicholls Nursing, visit nicholls.edu/nursing.