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Clinical experiences are often challenging and demanding coupled with large student/faculty ratios. More specifically, providing experiences in clinical environments that are highly populated with complex patients requires "Real Management and Leadership in Clinical." Faculty may feel overwhelmed with large clinical groups and feel limited in creating clinical experiences that are clinically challenging and maintain quality care. Furthermore, because students are novices, arranging opportunities to practice in leadership roles is often difficult. Clinical leadership and management activities can be strategically integrated into clinical experiences. One activity is for each student to have the opportunity to be the student charge nurse (SCN) for the entire clinical group. This role provides the SCN the opportunity to collaborate with the faculty member and experience nursing from a broader perspective. The SCN assists students in the clinical group to problem solve and implement a quality plan of care. The SCN is equipped with the essential information to prioritize acuity of patients, prioritize care management, and provide guidance to their peers. "Real Management and Leadership in Clinical" is a useful strategy to manage a large group of students in a clinical practicum and provide leadership experiences with senior nursing students. "Real Management and Leadership in Clinical" assists faculty to provide application-based and challenging clinical experiences for students that enable them to try out the concepts related to leadership and management they are learning about in class. "Real Management and Leadership in Clinical" encourages clinical reasoning, delegation, and team building with nursing students and enables students to develop a foundation for their future leadership roles.


By Susan Prather, EdD, RN, CNE, Assistant Clinical Professor, University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies, Coral Gables, FL (