5 Ways Our Nursing School Clinical Partnerships Set You Up for Success

5 Ways Our Nursing School Clinical Partnerships Set You Up for Success

You’ll spend more than 700 hours wearing your Marian University scrubs during your nursing clinicals. That’s more than 700 hours you’ll have to apply the vital nursing skills and concepts learned in your online courses and simulation labs in a real-world setting under the guidance of experienced nurses.

Putting those skills into practice and applying nursing concepts is a critical component of your nursing education, but a lot more happens when you wear that dark blue uniform. That’s due in large part to where you wear it.

Marian University ABSN students complete their clinical rotations at one of our clinical partner hospital networks: St. Vincent in Indianapolis and Saint Thomas Health in Nashville. Within the walls of those top-notch healthcare facilities, your scrubs donning the Marian University logo grant you access to, among other things, diverse real-world clinical experiences, supportive clinical instructors, and invaluable networking opportunities with top healthcare providers.

Karla Rausch, manager of patient care for medical ICU at St. Vincent, is one of those providers. She has hired dozens of Marian University ABSN students and worked with several as part of our unique leadership clinical experience over the years, and can speak to the power of the clinical partnership for both ABSN students and one of Indianapolis’s top healthcare employers.

Along with a couple accelerated nursing program alumni, she helps us outline how our clinical partnerships set up Marian University ABSN students for success below.

1. Networking (and job) opportunities

During your more than 700 hours of nursing clinicals, you’ll work side by side with some of the top nurses in the region. It’s up to you to make those hours — and connections — count.

Some of our former students have even likened their clinical experience to a 16-month interview.

“When I precept on the floors, I’m always asking myself, ‘Which students do I want working next to me as a nurse?’” says Lindsay Degnan, ABSN Class of August 2015, who now works as an emergency room nurse at Saint Thomas West.

 
“It’s important to understand that clinicals are like an internship and an interview. You have to make good relationships with the nurses, administrative personnel, and managers.”

Karla agrees. In fact, she says she has hired several Marian University ABSN nursing students into St. Vincent’s patient care technician (PCAT) program.

“Not only are they meeting with me to get hired as a PCAT, but they’re working with my bedside staff every day to make sure they’re interested in the job. It’s also for me to make sure they’re working out with my staff,” she says. “Ten times out of 10 my staff say, ‘They’re such hard workers. Please hire them to be a nurse.’”

Besides the professional network you can build within the walls of our clinical partners’ healthcare facilities, completing your nursing clinicals at either St. Vincent or Saint Thomas allows you to dream big when it comes to your nursing career. Both are part of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic healthcare system, thus expanding your potential career connections across the country.

“As long as you do things the right way, having this experience here will make me set for life if I ever want to go back to something that’s associated with Ascension,” Lindsay says.

2. Leadership clinical

Marian ABSN students in clinicalWe strive to prepare you to be the very best nurse you can be once you graduate from our ABSN program, one who’s ready to meet the highest standards of patient care and play a leadership role in the profession.

We do that partly through our leadership clinical all Marian University ABSN students take their final semester in the program. We designed this course, unique to our ABSN program, to show students how hospital management operates.

During this course, you’ll shadow a member of the hospital’s management staff. Anything they do as part of their day-to-day job, you get to experience — everything from sitting in on interviews, learning how a department budget works, and working on projects that directly affect a real unit in the hospital.

“It’s interesting how it’s all interconnected. I don’t think we get a lot of that in nursing school,” Karla says. “I enjoy being able to teach that side of it — get them out of the bedside for clinical and show them the inter-workings of the hospital, too.”

While we can’t guarantee job placement, for some ABSN students, the leadership clinical ends with an employment offer, so it’s important to take this course seriously.

 
“My leadership clinical instructor ended up being my manager. She hired me right on after school,” Lindsay says. “I don’t think I would’ve had that had there not been a partnership with the school and the hospital.”

3. Supportive clinical instructors

We partner with both St. Vincent and Saint Thomas because they’re Catholic institutions that believe in the power of a holistic nursing education and the importance of learning to work as part of a team in a complex healthcare environment.

Saint Thomas Health clinical rotation“Saint Thomas has been a great learning facility; everybody here is eager to teach students. They’re excited to have it as a teaching hospital, and that shows in many of the things that we do,” says Dan Francis, ABSN Class of December 2017.

Some of those things include learning how to exhibit genuine caring behavior, perform safe therapeutic interventions, and engage in appropriate communication.

We know that sounds like a lot — especially if you’ve never worked in a hospital before. Don’t worry, though — nurses at our clinical partner facilities will be there to help lift you up.

“[Clinicals are] intimidating, but the great thing about it is, standing right there next to you is your clinical instructor. That makes it a lot easier knowing that if you didn’t know something you can ask for help,” Dan says.

4. Real-world patient care experience

As a Marian University ABSN student, you’ll complete your nursing clinicals at some of the best healthcare facilities in Indianapolis and Nashville and get an up-close look at the diverse patient settings you could one day find yourself in throughout your nursing career.

Under the guidance of experienced nurses, you’ll work with patients in specialty areas such as:

  • Adult Health
  • Obstetrics and Pediatrics
  • Acute and Long-Term Care
  • Mental and Behavioral Health
 
“Almost every field that you can get into, you can at least learn about,” Dan says. “We get to go through all kinds of things so you get used to everything.”

5. Accelerated curriculum

As a second-degree student in our ABSN program, you can expect to start your clinical rotations during your first semester, with eight- to 12-hour shifts occurring each week thereafter. The nurses, nurse managers, physicians, and other hospital personnel working for our clinical partners know you’re juggling that experience with your demanding online-based theory coursework and labs on an abbreviated timeline.

For that reason — and Marian University’s stellar reputation as a quality, faith-based nursing program —  they know nursing students wearing Marian University scrubs have to have dedication, Karla says.

“They have to have follow-through to meet their deadlines. It’s a mini-job for them in a way. They’re there because they have chosen to go back to school. They’re there because they want to be successful,” she says.

If you’re ready to join fellow ABSN students in a partnership committed to your successful future as a nurse, reach out to one of our dedicated admissions advisors today. He or she can tell you more about our nursing clinical partnerships in Indianapolis and Nashville.

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