February 17, 2020
Ten-Week Summer Program Allows for Real-World Application
NEENAH, Wis. – When Danielle Dobinski graduated from her nursing program in December, she had already gained experience working on the oncology floor at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Appleton through a special summer externship program.
“This experience helped me feel more comfortable in the transition from student nurse to registered nurse,” Dobinski said. “I would recommend this program to any student looking to further their skill set and increase their confidence.”
Dobinski has since accepted a position in the department where she served her externship.
During summer 2019, ThedaCare’s Nurse Extern Program offered Dobinski and 10 other nursing students the chance to work under the direct supervision of a registered nurse. The 10-week program allows the students to build on the fundamentals of their nursing education and put theoretical knowledge to work. It also builds confidence and understanding of the role of a professional nurse in real-world practice.
“The program is for student nurses who have completed their junior year of nursing school,” said Sara Bell, Director of Clinical Training and Education. “Since 2011, student nurse externs have been placed in many different departments and specialties across the ThedaCare organization.”
The program, developed and supported by ThedaCare’s System Education Team, also offers three developmental days, including an orientation, case studies, clinical and non-clinical instruction, development of hands-on skills, and team-building activities.
Christian Gleiter, a student nurse at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh who will graduate in May, served his externship at ThedaCare Medical Center-Waupaca ICU.
“I loved my externship because all of the nurses have been so receptive and willing to help me grow into the best nurse I can be post-graduation,” he said.
The Nurse Extern Program at ThedaCare is committed to building supportive relationships between the nursing students and professional staff to develop a pipeline of new graduate nurses.