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NYU’s College of Nursing is a small, tight-knit community with about 600 students in each class, known for churning out graduates prepared to work in the real world. Juniors and seniors are given the opportunity to test their skills outside the classroom in surrounding NYC hospitals.
Nursing senior Nicole Hayashi had the opportunity to intern at the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases this past summer, and was kept on this semester. According to Hayashi, this experience gave her the confidence and excitement she needed to confirm her career choice. She enjoyed being active and think on her feet.
“I honestly was questioning if I really wanted to be a nurse last year,” Hayashi said. “I was really doubting myself and whether I wanted to do this job, but this summer really helped me. I have a much brighter outlook on the future.”
Hayashi loved practicing everything she learned in class. She was able to learn new skills and gain awareness of what it is to like to work in an actual hospital setting.
“I feel like nursing is one of those things where [professors] can only teach you so much in school,” Hayashi said. “They can give you the basics and the foundation that you need, but every patient is different. You really have to be present in that situation to know what to do, know what’s happening and provide them with the proper care.”
Senior Felita Salim, also in the College of Nursing, is interning as a nursing attendant at New York Presbyterian Hospital at the Columbia University Medical Center.
Salim enjoys the full time training more than her class’s clinical sequences, in which she and her classmates observe different sections of hospitals each semester. However, since these sequences only happen bi-weekly, Salim says, the nurses aren’t as receptive to the students working with them.
“Seeing how the job is, you get that hands-on experience and become a lot more comfortable,” Salim said. “I learn better in class when I think about my experience at work, then everything makes more sense. I learned that your clinical skills are not what makes you a good nurse. It’s your personality and the way you treat patients.”
Amy Folsom, another nursing senior, agreed that hands-on experience at her NYU externship with the Hospital of Special Surgery helped to reinforce the knowledge she learned in class. Taking care of patients properly is especially important because as Folsom notes, nurses are rated based on customer satisfaction.
Hayashi, Salim and Folsom each mentioned the importance of the connections they made through their experiences. They also agreed that the NYU nursing program not only trained and equipped them for these opportunities, it pushed them to apply for higher positions in the hospital administration.
“At the end of the day, it’s about customer service, just really caring about the person and seeing them as a human and not just another patient you deal with that day,” Hayashi said. “You really have to love people and love taking care of people to do the job.”
Email Faith Gates at [email protected]