Education - Page 1 - Staying ahead of the curve

- Page 1
Staying ahead of the curve
Nursing programs develop programs to meet health care demands
By Carol Sorgen, Contributing Writer

Kate Chucko decided to become a nurse  after her fiancĂ© was diagnosed with bone cancer. “I was by his side as he went through treatment, and was able to see firsthand the impact that the nursing staff had on improving his quality of life while treating his critical illness,” she says. Chucko, 22, is now an RN in the pediatric intensive care unit at the  University of Maryland Medical Center, following her graduation this spring from Stevenson University with a bachelor of science degree in nursing.

Chucko says that she chose Stevenson’s nursing program because of its reputation for producing competent and well-prepared nurses. “Their NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) scores are among the highest in the area, and I am confident that I have been well prepared for the boards, and to enter my career in nursing.”

One of the highlights of Stevenson’s nursing program, located within the Sandra R. Berman School of Nursing and Health Professions, is its nursing simulation lab.

“The lab was extremely conducive to my learning over the last two years,” says Chucko, adding that the lab exercises gave her numerous opportunities to practice performing patient assessments, safely administering medications and even effectively responding to emergency situations, such as a hemorrhaging patient.

“I was also able to perform various nursing skills, such as performing wound care, inserting catheters and caring for mechanically ventilated patients, Chucko continues. “Having the opportunity to practice these skills has helped me to gain confidence and competence when I enter patient rooms in the clinical setting.”

Chucko also had the opportunity to perform research in the simulation lab to assess senior nursing students’ abilities to safely administer medications. She conducted two studies over the course of her senior year and had the opportunity to present her findings at a national conference this spring.

“The simulation lab gives nursing students applied clinical skills,” says Ellen Clayton, RN, MS, CNE, Stevenson’s department chair for nursing. “The goal is for the students to practice their nursing skills while at the same time developing their critical thinking.”

While simulation labs can be found in most nursing schools, Clayton notes that Stevenson’s is one of the newest and most complete, with an entire “family” of manikins.

“With ongoing technological advancements, the simulation lab helps the students stay current with standards of practice and be comfortable

Nursing, continued on page 10