Warner Robins, Ga. – Students in the clinical portion of the Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program at Central Georgia Technical College have completed the inaugural semester of a first-of-its-kind program at the Houston Medical Center.
The Dedicated Education Nurses (DEN) program combines the clinical work of students with the supervision and mentoring of professionals in the hospital environment. Through the program, students will complete 180 hours of clinical time over two-semester period.
It’s a program designed to see professional nurses volunteer to take students under their wing as described by Mindy Hartley, vice president and chief nursing officer at Houston Healthcare, Jessica Wilcox, director of Nursing at CGTC, and Jeannine Bernhard, CGTC Nursing instructor, who each shared their thoughts on the first semester to the nursing group during Houston Healthcare’s luncheon at the end of the semester.
As such, the program relied on the volunteerism of the hospital’s nurses. One nurse wanted to volunteer so much so that she changed her shift, not something likely to be done by most of her peers.
“I had to switch to day shift to participate, and (it’s tough) even though I was working on the same floor there are different priorities and responsibilities,” said, Carol Oswald, staff nurse, who has been with the hospital for a little over two years.
“When they told me about this program, I was excited. It sounded like exactly what I would have wanted if I were in nursing school at the point they are in. Education is my passion and a goal of mine is to get involved in nursing education,” she said.
Under her wing, watching her navigate day-shift priorities was Christina Lamb, who looks to finish the College’s nursing program in May.
Lamb said learning this way really made the clinical day go by fast, and that from the beginning she established a good working connection with Oswald.
“I was learning things on the fly, but I wasn’t nervous. She would show me, then I would do it,” Lamb said. “It is more hands-on knowledge and experience of a fast (working) reality.”
During the end-of-semester luncheon for the nurses right before the holiday break, students and College faculty involved in the program had a moment to reflect on its success and areas for improvement. In it, Oswald and other nurses noted that seeing the progress of students go from tentative and anxious to confident and collected was one of the more rewarding facets.
Students will return to the hospital in the spring to work with those same nurses and others. Employment opportunities may also come from the program.
For more information, contact Jeannine Bernhard at firstname.lastname@example.org
Just before the holiday break, nursing program students at CGTC and staff at Houston Medical Center celebrated their inaugural semester of the Dedicated Education Nurses (DEN) program. The program, the first-of-its-kind for either institution, combines 180 hours of clinical work by students with the supervision and mentoring of professionals in the hospital environment.