Nursing is a profession of lifelong learning and dynamic practice. Rooted at its core is the clinical rotation, where skills and knowledge gained in the classroom is applied to hands-on clinical practice.
Nursing students begin an immersive clinical experience in the simulation lab and classroom. After demonstrating proficiency in the fundamentals of nursing, students move into the clinical practice setting and continue to take courses that build upon previously learned concepts and skills. In Thomas Edison State University's Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN program, every clinical experience is based upon an in-class curriculum, so a lesson in maternity nursing or mental health is mapped to a clinical experience scheduled in that area. Eventually, nursing students are exposed to a variety of experiences and can then decide to which specialty area they are best suited. Through this involvement, many find a specific nursing path is enjoyable and intend to explore it further.
In the University’s accelerated BSN program, your clinical rotations will feature changing environments and a diverse patient-base that will facilitate an understanding of the importance of providing unbiased, equitable and quality nursing care to all. Your performance during clinicals are a big part of your nursing education success, and knowing what to expect can help you excel.
Before the day’s clinical rotation begins, you will be assigned one new patient each week and review their medical needs. Using your nursing knowledge and research skills, you will outline a patient-specific care plan indicating which tests or observations are necessary to confirm a patient’s diagnosis, medications and required care. You will then present your patient’s documented plan of care to your class cohort and nurse educator during a preconference session.
Over the course of that day’s clinical, you will complete a morning assessment, provide quality patient care and dispense medications under the supervision of the nurse educator, who will be evaluating your skills. During this time you may also provide the patient hygiene assistance, monitor intravenous flows and care for wounds, as well as other tasks.
Location, Location, Location
The program includes clinical experiences at Capital Health, a state-of-the-art, technologically advanced, Magnet-designed health system with campuses in Trenton and Hopewell, N.J. During these experiences, you will put your critical thinking skills and current nursing knowledge into direct, hands-on clinical practice to provide quality care to all.
Capital Health Regional Medical Center - Trenton
Capital Health Regional Medical Center (RMC) is a metropolitan facility that serves a diverse patient-base with a variety of needs, many of which may be underserved or underrepresented. Its central, urban location will give you invaluable nursing experience in one of the country’s first dedicated neurological emergency departments, as well as numerous other medical services including inpatient and outpatient radiology, complex emergency and trauma cases, dialysis, mental health and more.
Capital Health Medical Center - Hopewell
Capital Health’s Hopewell campus sits on 165-acres of suburban property and houses additional physician offices. The hospital also offers the region’s premiere pediatric emergency facility and a renowned maternity unit, including several more specialized medical services. All the rooms at this medical center are private so patients can enjoy greater comfort and improved care.
Outside of Capital Health’s extensive medical facilities, one course in the University’s accelerated nursing program requires a community care component. Completed in conjunction with NUR-410: Nursing Care of Vulnerable Populations, you will work alongside the Mercer County Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) to provide home health care to patients after surgery, or those suffering chronic or life-altering illnesses. There is an additional community health care experience with the Rescue Mission of Trenton and the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) that will build upon your holistic understanding of the nursing profession.
The End-of-Day Post-Conference
At the end of each day’s clinical rotation, you will reconvene with your cohort and nurse educator to conduct an evaluation of your performance and discuss your experience. This time is spent exploring what worked, what didn't work and if anything could have been done differently. These engaging and lively discussions with your classmates are invaluable as you expand upon your learning by listening to each other’s research and feedback.
The Final Clinical
One of the final clinical courses in the program is unique to nursing education, NUR-420: Integrating Advanced Nursing Concepts. This final clinical transition experience is designed to help you assimilate into the professional nursing role. Throughout the program, you will experience a variety of clinical assignments, and you may discover a passion for a specific specialty. For the final 3-week, 60-hour rotation, you can select that speciality for your clinical immersion experience. Every effort is made to accommodate your preference for the clinical immersion. You will be assigned a nurse preceptor and work the same shift, during which time your regular clinical hours may vary. Here, you will enhance your leadership, independence and accountability skills through guidance and collaboration to forge a successful nursing career in today’s complex and changing healthcare environment.
Written by Thomas Edison State University