I enjoyed the Editor's Note about student extern programs such as the one Cheryl Mee's son participated in ("A Win-Win Program for Students and You," November 2004). The hospital where I work also offers this opportunity to students. I've seen students who've used this time wisely and learned so much. I've also seen some students who didn't learn much except the gossip. A lot depends on the extern's preceptor and on what skills the extern wants to bring with him as a new graduate. As a new graduate 23 years ago, I got "baptism by fire," so I think an extern program is an excellent idea.
MAUREEN KENZAKOWSKI, RN, BSN
West Chester, Pa.