The College of Nursing at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and BJC HealthCare are cooperating to offer a Summer Nurse Externship Program (NEP) for qualified nursing students. This is one of the oldest student nurse externships in the country and is the program’s sixteenth year of operation. Nurse externs selected for this program will work 32 - 36 hours per week with a nurse mentor in a BJC HealthCare hospital from May 16 through July 22, 2016. Accepted Nurse Externs will receive a stipend of $4400 over the 10 week period for participating in this experience. In addition, externs must register for a three-credit hour seminar course facilitated by a UMSL College of Nursing faculty. The seminar will be held on Mondays, from 8:00 – 12 noon beginning May 16 through July 18, 2016. Course activities for the seminar may involve student journal writing, case studies, and topic presentations and content related to professional nursing. Students will be responsible for the tuition costs of the course.

Under the guidance of a College faculty member and a BJC registered nurse mentor, Nurse Externs will have the opportunity to:

  1. Provide direct patient care and perform clinical nursing skills;
  2. Increase level of clinical competence and clinical judgment by integrating nursing theory and practice;
  3. Refine communication skills with patients, families and other health care providers;
  4. Enhance skills in the areas of critical reasoning, decision-making, delegation, priority setting, organization, and teamwork through dialogue with mentors, faculty, other members of the health care team, and educational experiences jointly planned by the educational and clinical partners;
  5. Develop professional relationships with unit staff;
  6. Demonstrate increased professional accountability;
  7. Assume responsibility to seek potential learning experiences;
  8. Explore, as a pre-professional, the scope of professional nursing practice.

The BJC HealthCare hospitals participating again this year are some of the country's best facilities, including Barnes Jewish Hospital, an ANCC Magnet hospital and ranked among the best hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report, including a top ranking in the 2015 Best Hospitals issue. The U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll of Best Children's Hospitals for 2014-2015 include St. Louis Children's Hospital, which ranked in all ten specialties covered by the annual report as well as an ANCC magnet Hospital. Barnes Jewish St. Peters, Progress West and Christian Hospitals are stellar community hospitals that deliver excellent nursing care to a broad-based patient population.

Externs will be coached by seasoned nurses, working side-by-side in hospitals where the newest medical advances are coupled with excellence in nursing care. The weekly seminar includes clinical experts from these facilities presenting current therapies, discussion on professional issues relevant to students preparing to enter practice, and time for students to debrief and share their week's experiences.

To be eligible for consideration for the NEP, the student must meet the following criteria:

  1. Enrolled in an approved BSN nursing education program leading to RN licensure (not required to be UMSL students)
  2. Completion of two semesters of clinical experience prior to the externship experience; senior status
  3. Verification of good academic standing from the student's nursing education program;
  4. Attainment of a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale, verified by unofficial transcript;
  5. Plan to graduate from a nursing education program leading to R.N. licensure by May 2017;
  6. Completion of "Application for Nurse Externship Program" received by February 15, 2016

If you meet the above criteria, I invite you to complete the application. You will need to have two (2) recommendation forms submitted to my office. You may give the recommendation form to a faculty member and/or a clinical supervisor if you are currently employed in a clinical setting. The completed application, transcript and recommendations and resume should be mailed together in one package to:

Katie Johnson
College of Nursing at University of Missouri-St. Louis
Nursing Administration Building (MC 529)
One University Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63121-4400.

If accepted, Nurse Externs will be required to submit verification of current CPR training, TB testing, and immunizations, a criminal background check and drug screening. These will be at the student's expense. If you have completed this process for your college of nursing, you will just need to provide verification for the Externship.

Externs must arrange their own housing. For those who do not have housing arrangements made in the St. Louis area, housing is available in Oak Hall, a dormitory on the UMSL campus. The cost is approximately $1250 for the summer session. More information is available at Extern Housing Section.

I thank you for expressing interest in this career-enhancing opportunity. The Externship has been very successful over the past few years and we anticipate another exciting summer. Previous Externs comment that they learn so much about "real nursing" in the ten weeks and are thrilled to have had the opportunity to work in hospitals that lead the nation in health care ( see testimonials). All decisions will be made by mid March 2016. All applicants will be notified by email. If you have any questions or need additional information, I can be reached at (314) 324-8725 or

Lisa Sinacore
Nurse Externship Coordinator
College of Nursing
UM-St. Louis