We’ve talked to many of our accelerated nursing students and they all agree – clinical rotations are their favorite part. What are clinicals? Clinicals are a series of supervised interactions with patients in local healthcare facilities. Students work in different specialty areas during the 588 hours of clinical practice that they complete during their program. Clinicals make sure that nursing students are ready to deal with real healthcare situations on real patients. What exactly do students do in clinicals? The short answer is that they shadow a nurse. The long answer is that they put into practice everything they’ve learned online and in the nursing simulation lab. You see, our accelerated online BSN program is not 100% online, and for many of our accelerated nursing students, clinical rotations are where it all comes together.
The Importance of Clinicals
With Utica College’s ABSN program, our students start interacting with patients in their first semester and for many of our students that is a huge benefit. They know early on in the program if nursing is truly the right career for them. For Chandni P., Utica College ABSN student, the fact that Utica College students start interacting with patients early was a huge bonus.
“A lot of schools do your clinicals during the last semester, or the last year,” Chandni says. “This way, you’re learning along the way so you can better your skills. You’re exposed to real people.”
In our accelerated nursing program, students are in a hospital, observing other nurses at work as early as six weeks into the program. They’re not delivering babies or stitching people up, but they’re talking to real people and interacting with real patients.
Where Are Clinicals?
What if, before accepting a job, you got to work with your potential colleagues and see what life is really like at your potential employer? Our nursing students get to do just that! Our accelerated nursing students complete more than 580 clinical hours at some of the best healthcare facilities in the area. During clinical rotations, students get to experience many different areas of nursing, allowing them to “find their fit” in the nursing world. Our students complete clinical rotations in the following specialty areas:
- Acute Care
- Adult Health
- Intensive Care
- Long-Term Care
- Mental Health
- Public and Community Health
Clinical Rotations in Syracuse, NY
In Syracuse, our students complete clinical rotations at many diverse healthcare facilities including: Crouse Hospital, SUNY Upstate Medical University, and Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare. Our list of clinical partnerships in central New York continues to grow.
Clinical Rotations in St. Petersburg, FL
In Florida, students complete clinical rotations primarily within the Tampa Bay area. ABSN students gain diverse experiences in inpatient and outpatient services, such as acute care, behavioral health, primary care and wellness.
What are Nursing Clinicals Really Like?
Before seeing real patients, our students practice their skills in Utica College’s skills and simulation labs. They learn the basics of nursing and how to work with patients using manikins that function like real patients. In the skills lab is where Kristin K., Utica College ABSN student, was able to get her technique down.
“It’s not like you do the work in a book and then go to clinicals,” Kristin says. “You get your technique down on a manikin before working on an actual person.”
All the medical manikins in the world can’t prepare you for your first day of clinical rotations, which many of our students describe as terrifying, nerve-racking, and stressful.
“My first day of clinical was intimidating because it was a real person that you had to go in and communicate with,” Kristin says. “You can’t believe that they’re actually looking to you for answers.”
In the first couple clinical rotations, students learn the basics – how to make a bed, how to do bed baths, how to speak to patients, how to chart. As their education progresses, so do the clinical tasks and by the end of clinical rotations, those first day jitters are gone. Kristin says, “I love clinicals; it’s my favorite part.”
Why Utica College?
Students choose Utica College’s Accelerated nursing program for many reasons, but a common one is: relationships. Our faculty and staff care – a lot – about our students. Our admissions representatives are there to answer any and all of your questions right from the start. Plus, if you need to relocate to New York for nursing school, our dedicated relocation specialists in Syracuse can help you find the perfect place to call home for the next 16 months.
Our ABSN program students aren’t just a number; they are able to form personal and lasting relationships with our lab and clinical instructors. All of this personal attention means that our nursing students graduate with a solid nursing education and 94% of our graduates pass the NCLEX on their first try in 2015 – a number we are very proud of.
If you are interested in becoming a nursing student in Utica College’s Accelerated BSN program, contact our admissions team today!