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Student nurse externship/ LNA grant funded.

The Vermont Department of Labor has awarded the Office of Nursing Workforce an Internship grant that will be launched in January 2009. "Phase II--Preparing Nursing Students for Employment in Vermont" is a response to the pressing imperative for Vermont health care organizations to assist in the education of our "Next Generation" of nurses and encourage them to stay in Vermont. The on-line delivery of 50 hours of didactic content of the Licensed Nursing Assistant course is now being developed. Eligible students will be enrolled in their spring semester in Vermont nursing schools (University of Vermont, and Norwich University--sophomore BSN students and Castleton State College and Southern Vermont College--freshman ADN students). Note--Vermont Tech students are eligible for Licensed Practical Nurse employment after their first year and are therefore not in the target student audience. Vermont students who are studying nursing in other states may be eligible to participate.

After successful completion of the didactic content of the LNA course, students will start the clinical requirements. The clinical portion (16 hours lab practice and 30 hours of supervised clinical experience) of the LNA course will be delivered in late May 2009 by the approved LNA course providers at the Barre Technical Center. Students will complete the requirements for LNA licensure by passing a written and skills examination administered by D & S Diversified Technologies at Barre Technical Center by June 1, 2009. Upon successful completion of the LNA licensure, the nursing students will be coached in applying for positions in Vermont's long term care facilities, home health agencies, and hospitals. The emphasis will be on long term care and home health agencies with an expectation that these students are eligible for Nurse Extern positions in acute care settings in the following summer while they complete their education.

By exposing these future nurses to geriatric patients and long term care settings, the likelihood of them returning there for employment as a registered nurse may be greater (Chen SL, Melcher P et al. 2002). At minimum, the nursing students will experience the continuum of care for the very old. In addition, they will get an opportunity to care for a "resident" rather than a "patient" and gain a sense of continuity and relationship building that is hard to experience in an acute care clinical rotation. In order make this a successful experience, the nursing home and project staff will help the student to "frame the experience" and bring their learning about geriatric care forward throughout their education. In 1992, a similar program was described as a "win-win" situation by a New Jersey nursing home (Berleth M and Shemanksy C 1992). Since obtaining LNA licensure has become expensive ($900) and time consuming, traditional-aged college students are less likely to pursue this option and no current examples of organized nursing student/LNA programs were found in the Vermont. Nursing students and organizations who would like more information about this project should call Mary Val Palumbo @ 802 656-0023 or email

Berleth M and Shemanksy C (1992). "We're training nurses for the 21st century." Nursing Homes 41: 28-30.

Chen SL, Melcher P, et al. (2002). "Nursing home use for clinical rotations: taking a second look. "Nurs Health Sci. 4(3): 131-7.
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Title Annotation:Student News
Publication:Vermont Nurse Connection
Geographic Code:1U1VT
Date:Nov 1, 2008
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