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Pilot program has nursing students working one-on-one with RNs two years ahead of schedule

September 17, 2018

A pilot Clinical Immersion experience recently launched with University Hospitals has Ursuline College nursing students workingimage of students at UH one-on-one with hospital nurses a full two years ahead of schedule.

Six sophomores enrolled in the Medical-Surgical I course in Ursuline’s Breen School of Nursing have been paired with registered nurses in the Neurology Unit at University Hospitals. “This is a hands-on clinical experience; the students are directly involved with providing patient care under the guidance of a registered nurse from the unit and Leigh Ann Graham, an advanced clinical nurse,” said Assistant Professor Laura Goliat, DNP. “They have double oversight and one-on-one immersion with a nurse from the unit.”

Goliat explained that typically groups of six to eight students work with a clinical faculty member who assigns them to patients, but they do not typically work one-on-one with nurses on a unit until their last semester of senior year 

“This new program enables students, early in their nursing education, to have first-hand nursing knowledge and experience with critical thinking skills through the lens of the nurse at the bedside,” Goliat said. The nursing students randomly-selected for this pilot effort are spending seven hours a week in the Neurology Unit.

Patricia Sharpnack, DNP, dean of the Breen School of Nursing, said that early clinical immersion helps students to better comprehend the concepts and skills they learn in the bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program. “Course content is made more relevant for students who have experienced the life of a floor nurse. The theoretical and the practical come together for them in meaningful ways.”

Nursing student Elaha Bayat is all in. "Orienting to the world of nursing in this way has been such a positive and engaging learning experience. The neurology unit is fast paced with great learning opportunities and to have an experienced nurse that I get to work next to makes it the process even better."

Goliat hopes the program will grow. “This is a pilot, so if it is successful, we would hope to broaden this to all sophomore-level students,” she said.

Above: From left, students Alexandria Maxwell, Camarie Brown, Anna Holdway, Autumn Welz, Elaha Bayat, and Alexandra Irizarry with clinical faculty member Leigh Ann Graham, RN, in the atrium of University Hospitals. 

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