Filling the experience gap

NYSNA’s Anne Bové, RN, surrounded by graduates of the Margaret Whitehorne Student Nurse Service Program on August 17.

Nursing school graduates frequently cite a lack of hands-on experience as the primary obstacle to landing their first hospital jobs. The Margaret Whitehorne Student Nurse Service Program at NYC’s Health + Hospital’s Bellevue Hospital coordinated by Anne Bové, NYSNA’s Board Secretary and President of our union’s NYC H + H/Mayorals Executive Council, aims to fill this clinical training gap. For the past few summers, the program has paired more than 100 nursing students with a senior RN preceptor. The nursing students volunteer 100 hours and at the end of the program come away with real world nursing practice experience on their resumes.

At the August 17 recognition ceremony, Ms. Bové explained the program’s history and purpose: “Margaret Whitehorne trained thousands of nurses, augmenting the clinical experience taught in nursing schools with hands-on practice. She passed away in 2014 but her principles of quality and development of practice live on through this program.”

High praise

Following Ms. Bové’s presentation, students were invited to share thoughts on their experiences in the program. Robert Morris was the first to the microphone and said, “I want to thank Anne Bové because without her there would probably be no student nurse program. It’s been a great experience, and I feel privileged to have been part of it.” Many of his colleagues also had high praise for Ms. Bové and other Bellevue staff and administrators who dedicate so much time into the program.

George Good, who spent ten weeks volunteering in Bellevue’s Emergency Department, said, “I pay tuition to go to nursing school but this program is free. I feel like I should have had to pay for the tremendous experience I gained. I learned more in 100 hours here than in a semester of school.”

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