Nieveen is a professional volunteer for UNMC's SHARING Clinics, helping up-and-coming medical, nursing and allied health students provide care - at the same clinics where she once volunteered as a nurse practitioner student.
"As a student, I also worked as a registered nurse at the UNMC Community Health Center, so I was exposed to the uninsured and underinsured, and I saw that there was a huge need for volunteers to help these patients," she said.
"But I also had a great experience as a student" through working with the clinics."
The SHARING Clinics - celebrating their 16th year - allow students to provide low cost, high quality health care to the underserved patient population in Omaha. SHARING's interdisciplinary approach to care is unique, making the program a national leader among student-run clinics.
SHARING's four Omaha-based clinics each provide a different type of service:
- GOODLIFE serves those living with type II diabetes
- RESPECT provides sexually transmitted infection (STI) treatment and testing
- VISION provides ophthalmological services, and
- SHARING is a general family practice clinic.
In addition, SHARING is partnered with the Dental SHARING Clinic at the UNMC College of Dentistry in Lincoln.
Nieveen was on the student SHARING board from 2008 to 2009, serving as the clinic logistics person while also volunteering at the RESPECT and SHARING clinics.
"When you work with the uninsured, it can remind you why you went into health care in the first place," she said. "You help patients who don't have anywhere else to go for help. And for a lot of students, this is their first experience talking to a patient.
"What I learned in SHARING and RESPECT is that every patient deserves respect, no matter what walk of life they come from," she said. "The quality of care should not be affected by income or insurance."
Today, Nieveen continues to volunteer at the RESPECT clinic once each month, serving as a faculty provider for the medical students, physician assistant students and nurse practitioner students.
"Students need the mentor, obviously, when they're taking care of the patient," she said, "but I also help students get to know about how to communicate with their patients."
Mentorship gives the volunteer work an added appeal, Nieveen said. "Just seeing the students' progress as they go through school, seeing the students work with an underserved population - it's really fulfilling.
"It's great that UNMC has such a great population of volunteers."