May 2022 Student Huddle Summary

A gathering of Oregon nursing students to share timely updates and share insights from peers and stakeholders.

Topics of Discussion:

Student Placements. For the first time since the pandemic began, a few students reported their cohorts are being placed within their top three preferred units. Throughout much of the pandemic, this was not the case. One student commented that “it looks like things are turning around and people are actually getting the placements that they want.” A recent graduate noted this is encouraging for students because, even though some organizations state specific practicum experience isn’t required, it remains a ‘checkbox’ criterion on job applications.

New Preceptors. Most Student Huddlers reported the preceptors they have been paired with recently are often right out of the transition-to-practice period or have been practicing for less than six months. Some students had to overcome the challenge of being paired with nurses who weren’t given a choice to precept, which brought on some initial discomfort. Student Huddlers agreed these experiences have allowed them to see what a new nurse’s role looks like. They felt a level of comfort by engaging with someone who was recently a student themselves. There also seemed to be more collaborative problem-solving, which helped demonstrate that new grads aren’t expected to know everything.

Expectations and Experiences. Skill demonstrations and faculty expectations have caused stress for students in the past, but students mentioned noticing a shift. As one student put it, there was ‘artificial stress’ put on students in skills demonstrations instilling a fear of failure. Many students agreed it wasn’t healthy. Students have progressed and grown more confident, but at the same time they’ve noticed dialogue with nurse instructors has also changed. Now the learning environment seems more accommodating and less punitive, creating a positive student experience where they can focus on learning, practice, and success versus being concerned about failure.

Clinical Hours and Tuition. In a thought-provoking conversation that took many turns, a student asked Huddlers if they felt they should get a refund for not being able to have the anticipated clinical hours and experiences they expected upon enrolling in their programs. While many students agreed that tuition for nursing school is a huge barrier to entering the field, many felt they are getting prepared just the same, if not better, through simulated experiences. A recent graduate mentioned that schools are spending more money on students to purchase scenarios, technologies, and faculty time in absence of clinical, so there really isn’t a cost-saving that could be transferred to students. Other students commented they wouldn’t expect a reimbursement, but it would be nice to supplement the loss of clinical time with open lab time for them to practice skills and repeat simulations. The conversation then dovetailed to focus on simulation and the many benefits it allows. Though there were mixed opinions about virtual simulation, in-person simulations were praised because they felt more realistic, weren’t as time-consuming, and were not as predictable.


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