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Emphasis courses: preparing baccalaureate students for transition to the workforce.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of professional nursing : official journal of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
Publication Date
Volume
16
Issue
5
Pages
300–306
Identifiers
PMID: 11033940
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

In response to identified needs for stronger preparation of baccalaureate graduates to enter the workforce, the University of Maryland School of Nursing created, implemented, and evaluated the use of Clinical Emphasis Seminars and Practicum. A sequence of 3 courses was ultimately developed for students to take during the final year of their upper-division nursing curriculum. The courses, totaling 5 credits, allow students to develop their knowledge and experience in a focus area within 1 specific type of clinical nursing. These courses follow up completion of required foundational clinical courses. Emphasis areas include all clinical areas offered within the nursing curriculum such as cardiovascular, critical care, and community health. Courses begin and end with 1-credit seminars and include one 3-credit clinical Practicum. In the latter course, students work with a clinical preceptor, following the preceptor's work hours for a minimum of 9 hours a week over the 15-week semester. Advantages of the Emphasis Courses are many: students develop an in-depth knowledge and clinical skills in a selected area of clinical practice. Potential employers have an opportunity to observe students in a preemployment setting and to evaluate the fit of skills and personal attributes to the specific setting. Students are provided with "value-added" knowledge and experience. The emphasis course model offers advantages to students transitioning into the workforce, to employers, and, ultimately, to clients served.

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