College of Nursing students Delaney Weeks of Spencer, Iowa, Alexandra Anderson of Glenview, Illinois, and Elizabeth “Libby” Kennedy of Urbandale, Iowa interned one-on-one with a nurse preceptor at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics through the Summer Internship program. The program was piloted during summer 2022 and funded through the Behrens Fund, which was established by Joan Behrens and her family. This educational partnership offers additional clinical experience for students hoping to be employed at UIHC upon graduating with their Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Partnership opportunities between UIHC and the UI College of Nursing are a top priority. Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs Anita Nicholson, PhD, RN and UIHC’s Chief Nursing Executive and Interim Chief Executive Officer Kim Hunter, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC and Director of Professional Development and Advanced Practice Lou Ann Montgomery, PhD, RN worked to establish this 10-week internship for BSN students the summer before they graduate.
Upon applying for the internship and obtaining acceptance, Delaney, Alexandra, and Libby embarked on a journey that would prepare them to further hone their clinical skills.
Each student interned on a Unit that aligned with their area of interest. Delaney interned on the Preoperative and Post Anesthesia Care Unit, Libby on the Respiratory Specialty and Palliative Care Unit, and Alexandra on the Medical Surgical Oncology Unit. This program was preceptored by a full-time nurse, and each student worked the same scheduled hours as their nurse preceptor for the duration of the internship.
“Being with the same nurse for so long was good because I developed a relationship with her,” said Libby. “This made it easier for me to ask her questions. I saw her so often, it felt like I actually worked there.”
In addition to the internship, students enrolled in a nursing course taught by Nicholson. She witnessed the three interns “grow in their knowledge related to pathophysiology/disease process, pharmacology/medication administration, abnormal laboratory values, assessment, nursing interventions, and more over the eight-week internship” she shared. “They also gained confidence in communicating with patients and families, teamwork, and patient-centered nursing care. The interns attributed their growth to the dedication and nursing expertise of the amazing UIHC nurse preceptors.”
Delaney describes her experience as, “Out of my entire nursing education, nothing has prepared me more for being a nurse than this. It was really helpful to be there five days a week and in a more consistent manner. With my senior internship this semester, I can only go in the times that my preceptor is working. Because of my internship this summer, I was really able to understand the flow after the first week.”
► Read more from the 2022 College of Nursing Magazine