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Keywords

clinical rotation, ICU, student nurse

 

Authors

  1. Swinny, Betsy MSN, RN, CCRN
  2. Brady, Melanie MSN, RN

Abstract

The goal of providing a clinical rotation in a basic nursing program is to integrate skills and knowledge from the classroom setting into the clinical practice setting. In the intensive care unit (ICU), nursing students have the ability to learn about the complex health issues of critically ill patients, practice selected technical skills, and develop communication skills. There are both benefits and challenges to having nursing students in the intensive care setting. With preparation, the student is able to immerse in the ICU environment, acquire new knowledge and skills, and participate alongside the nurse caring for critically ill patients. The staff nurse must balance patient care with the added responsibilities of helping the student meet the clinical goals. It is optimal to have faculty that are also intensive care clinically competent and can facilitate the clinical experience. The school, the hospital, and the ICU need to collaborate to provide a positive clinical experience that is safe for the patient. In return, the hospital can recruit student nurses and clinical faculty. Planned with thought and intention, rotations in the ICU can be an ideal clinical setting for upper-level student nurses to learn the role of the registered nurse.