Undergraduate and Graduate Clinical Experiences
Undergraduate students have the opportunity to participate in additional innovative clinical models. The School of Nursing’s strong partnership with two local hospitals (Methodist Hospital System and Audie L. Murphy Memorial VA Hospital) has resulted in the creation of dedicated educational units (DEU) within the facilities. This model engages the students and staff to optimize learning through collaborative efforts. Staff nurses work directly with students and are designated as “lead teachers”. School of Nursing faculty are identified as clinical faculty coordinators and guide the staff nurses in their role as clinical lead teachers. The DEU climate foster mutual respect, enhanced communication, and close collaboration resulting in a positive learning environment for students. Patient, staff, and student satisfaction rates are high on these units.
In the Center for Simulation Innovation (CSI), varied low, medium and high fidelity mannequins programmed to mimic human reactions to health care interventions, task trainers, and healthcare equipment are used by students to begin the learn how nurses care for patients and to develop confidence that will facilitate learning in the authentic clinical environment. This center is an extension of the lecture classroom and provides an area where students can put into practice principles and techniques essential for good nursing care. The students participating in CSI activities are expected to come fully prepared to participate in each experience. They are expected to have completed assigned readings, viewed assigned tapes and answered all study guide questions. Students are expected to participate in the laboratory through practice and attendance of demonstration sessions. The School of Nursing anticipates that students will leave the CSI with an understanding of principles underlying any given procedure and with a greater understanding of how to perform various techniques. Students will not, however, be expected to have perfected the techniques. Perfection may be achieved by repetitive practice, which students will perform on their own.
The School of Nursing offers an evidence-based internship model with Methodist Healthcare System. Students in the 8th semester of the Traditional and Accelerated tracks are offered an opportunity to complete their academic work in conjunction with internship hours through a highly selective interview process, thus facilitating the transition to practice. Student complete 260 hours of internship on the same unit and with the same preceptor as their academic clinicals, thus creating a seamless learning environment and streamlining orientation when they are employed by Methodist after graduation.
Clinical or research distinction
Students in the Undergraduate program may earn clinical or research distinction through extracurricular activities. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing with Clinical Volunteer Distinction (BSN-CVD) acknowledges nursing students who demonstrate a dedicated commitment to enriching their nursing education with voluntary, faculty mentored clinical activities while maintaining high academic standards. The goal of this experiential learning is to identify scholarly areas of interest that apply interprofessional clinical practice and may lead to future research endeavors. Students are strongly encouraged to consider applying for the distinction early in their UT Health SON career as the distinction may support a competitive application for graduate school and nurse residency programs. Requirements for achieving the distinction are outlined to ensure objective evaluation of merit for the distinction. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing Research Distinction recognizes the significant work undergraduate nursing students are contributing to their academic and professional careers by advancing nursing science. Spearheaded by the Dept. of Education funded Summer Undergraduate Nursing Research Immersion Experience (SUNRISE) program, the BSN with Research Distinction provides an added advantage to graduating BSN students in the job market and application to graduate programs. The distinction acknowledges nursing students who demonstrate a dedicated commitment to enriching their nursing education with independent research while maintaining high academic standards during nursing school.
The School of Nursing has strong partnerships with community and hospital preceptors who work with graduate students in a variety of settings. All precepted experiences are arranged by the School of Nursing. Clinical experiences are track specific and tailored for individual student learning experiences. Faculty and staff in the Office for Academic Affairs, work with the student to determine the most appropriate clinical placements.