On Friday, Palm Beach Atlantic University's School of Nursing hosted 35 students from Inlet Grove High School for its third annual A Day in the Life of a Nurse event.
Inlet Grove students took turns rotating through skills stations, where professors showed the high school juniors and seniors how PBA students learn applied techniques in the lab.
We want to give our students exposure to the college every year, said Carol Clark, a registered nurse and director of Inlet Grove's Practical Nursing Program.
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PBA professors were joined in the lab by several School of Nursing students, who assisted in demonstrations and explained the school's benefits to the high schoolers.
The lab allows you to get the practical experience you need to work, Christine Brooks, assistant professor of nursing, told one group of Inlet Grove students.
The Inlet Grove program is designed to provide its students with the skills they need to graduate high school as licensed practical nurses. Students take the certification in their senior year and graduate ready to work.
However, many aspiring nurses choose baccalaureate and higher degree nursing programs because they teach students to think critically. Professional nurses must be proficient in critical thinking skills to succeed in this demanding, ever changing profession, experts say.
The PBA School of Nursing offers students the opportunity to obtain four-year nursing degrees and become registered nurses, along with the many doors this title opens. For instance, the BSN degree is considered a jumping off point to graduate school and a wide range of leading-edge and lucrative nursing specialties such as nurse practitioner.
In addition, a BSN degree is recognized in any state and internationally.
It's a great opportunity to share with them what the program is all about, said Sarah Butterfield, a junior at PBA who showed the Inlet Grove students how to use a blood pressure machine.
The Inlet Grove students giggled as they listened to a pediatric heartbeat with Dr. Judith Drumm, associate professor of nursing, and practiced wrapping each other's ankles with elastic bandages under the supervision of Susan Sworski, PBA's nursing skills lab and testing coordinator.
There also was a station where students flushed an intravenous catheter inserted into a fake arm. PBA nursing students Liz Brubaker and Michelle Schwenk demonstrated proper technique for intravenously administering a dose of medication.
Army Maj. Ken Harris attended to explain the benefits of joining the University's ROTC program, including scholarship and employment opportunities. PBA currently has six nursing cadets in the ROTC program. The collaboration between ROTC and the School of Nursing seeks to address the need for Army nurses.
More than 1,000 students in South Florida participated in similar activities at local hospitals and nursing schools. The event, sponsored by the Nursing Consortium of South Florida, is aimed at increasing interest in nursing careers in an effort to relieve the nursing shortage.