Clinical Placement Office Highlights

Photo of Clinical Placement Office staff

Highlights from the Clinical Placement Office

Marissa G Ramirez, MSN, RN, Zoe Ann Fitzhugh, MSN, RN & Magda Keriakos

The Patricia A. Chin School of Nursing Clinical Placement Office, located in Simpson Tower 403, continues to be a hive of activity as we near the end of the Spring 2017 semester. We are finishing the second semester, post-conversion from quarters to semesters. Thanks to our agency partners and willing colleagues, we were able to find 785 preceptor placements for our senior undergraduate and graduate students. (387 for BSN, ADN-BSN, and RN-BSN programs, as well as 398 for Acute, Family and Gerontology –Psychiatric NPs). It has been quite a challenge; however, because of these strong academic ties with our partners and our continuing outreach, our students had some remarkable clinical experiences. 

With the focus of health care moving from acute to ambulatory care centers, we are placing more students outside hospital walls. Our first ambulatory care placements were with two Community Health Centers. In the fall we started a pilot placing senior students completing N4610 Leadership/Care Management with nurse leaders and case/care managers in Ambulatory Care Clinics at Kaiser Panorama City and at St. Joseph’s Heritage Healthcare. In addition, Zoe Anne Fitzhugh, RN, MSN and Dr. Donna Scemons, PhD, RNP teamed up with Kaiser Panorama City Ambulatory Care Clinics and St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare to develop a preceptor orientation for staff willing to precept students completing the Leadership/Case Management clinical course. Other blossoming relationships were started with LA Care, other Kaiser Ambulatory Care Clinics, Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, East Valley Community Health Center, CareMore, CVS Minute Clinics, Centinela Hospital, and Torrance Memorial Medical Center. We are in the process of seeking possibilities in local school districts, local parishes, community clinics, and big companies/corporations who employ wellness nurses.

Finding student experiences is an ongoing struggle amid the growing competition with other nursing schools seeking the same scarce clinical resources. We continue to reach out to alumni and the nursing community, as well as to think outside the box to help solve some of these challenges. Our students also aid us in this effort: they are resilient and flexible; some even suggest potential preceptors, nurses they have met during the program or at work. It’s when they pop into the office to say hello and give us a thumbs up, however, that we realize why we do what we do. This May, approximately 150 nurses will be awarded their BSN degree and 70 nurses will be awarded their MSN degree. This is what we, the faculty and staff at the Patricia A. Chin School of Nursing, look forward to and celebrate. This is the reason why we are teachers and mentors. It’s the students who make it worthwhile.