Senior UMSL nursing students (from left) Nenniccia Horton, Tim Forney and Ashley Aubuchon recently completed a 10-week Summer Nurse Externship Program, a collaboration between UMSL’s College of Nursing and five BJC HealthCare hospitals, including Barnes Jewish Hospital, as well as SSM DePaul Health Center. (Photo by Myra Lopez)

For Nenniccia Horton, the program sharpened her skills. Tim Forney said it reaffirmed his decision to go into nursing. Ashley Aubuchon said it boosted her confidence level.

The three senior nursing students at the University of Missouri–St. Louis recently completed a 10-week Summer Nurse Externship Program, a collaboration between UMSL’s College of Nursing and five BJC HealthCare hospitals, including Barnes Jewish Hospital, as well as SSM DePaul Health Center. During the program the students are coached by seasoned nurses, working side-by-side by with them in hospitals providing direct patient care.

“It’s a great experience,” said Horton who did her externship in the emergency room at Christian Hospital in north St. Louis County. “It’s different than being in the classroom and working on mannequins. These are real human beings and it was just really great.”

Prior to her ER experience, Horton thought she wanted to be an emergency room nurse and the program confirmed her feeling that she was on the right career path.

“It definitely builds your confidence,” Horton said. “This will definitely let you know whether you’re cut out for the job or not.”

The best part of Tom Forntey’s externship in the emergency department at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis was the fast paced environment and never knowing what to expect.

“You see everything from gunshot wounds to toothaches,” Forntey said. “It reaffirmed my decision to go into the healthcare field. I definitely know now that I’m in the right area.”

Ashley Aubuchon was initially overwhelmed when she reported for duty on the telemetry floor at SSM DePaul Health Center in Bridgeton, Mo. She had very little experience reading the monitor strips and had never put in IV’s or taken blood. By the end of the program she’d quickly learned all those things and had gained a whole new confidence level.

Now when drawing blood she said, “I don’t even have to turn on all the lights. If that can happen in a matter of weeks, it’s amazing to see what else you can learn.”

This was the 13th year of operation for the popular program. For the 50 available slots this past summer, more than 200 people applied from 72 schools across the country.

“I’m very proud to be part of the program and have this association with some of the best hospitals in the country,“ said Lisa Sinacore, coordinator of the nurse externship program at UMSL.

The program brings students from all over the country together with UMSL students to share what it’s like to be a nurse and to get a lot of hours in a field that they’re interested in.

Casey Franklin traveled all the way from Northern California, where she attends San Diego State University, for her externship on the leukemia and lymphoma unit at Barnes Jewish Hospital. She said the program was top-notch and well worth her journey half way across the country.

“It was worth the 1800 miles,” she said. “I loved the program. I don’t think I could have gotten this experience anywhere else.”

Click here to find out more about the UMSL/BJC Summer Nurse Externship Program.

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Myra Lopez

Myra Lopez

Eye on UMSL: A day in the life
Eye on UMSL: A day in the life

Students from UMSL’s College of Optometry and College of Nursing participated in a simulation designed to expose them to the complexities of poverty.

Eye on UMSL: A day in the life

Students from UMSL’s College of Optometry and College of Nursing participated in a simulation designed to expose them to the complexities of poverty.

Eye on UMSL: A day in the life

Students from UMSL’s College of Optometry and College of Nursing participated in a simulation designed to expose them to the complexities of poverty.