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My experience at Barnes Jewish Hospital in the Emergency Department was one for the books. Choosing to apply to this program was one of the best decisions I could have made prior to my senior year. I had the opportunity to work about 360 total hours alongside a nurse preceptor and catch a glimpse of critical care early on. I think I saw and learned more in one 12 hour shift than in my two years of clinical experiences prior. One thing I love about this program is that you are able to do just about everything with a nurse alongside you and have the opportunity to see what a full 12 hour shift is like in a nurse's role. By the end of the 10 weeks, I felt confident in my IV skills and managing a patient workload. On top of that, you have some of the smartest minds around you all the time. The class component was also very beneficial because the instructors discussed a number of nursing skills that every nurse must know, no matter the specialty. I also looked forward to going to class because I got to see the friends I had made throughout the 10 weeks and hear about their experiences!!

Hannah Dimitry - 2017

Bradley University

I can hardly put into words how grateful I am for this program. Moving to St. Louis by myself, not knowing anyone, was terrifying. At first, I told myself that I would survive because it was only 10 weeks, but I ended up loving every bit of my experience. I was at Barnes Jewish Hospital on 84 ICU. Being at one of the nation’s top hospitals in an acute care setting was such a privilege. I had an amazing preceptor that helped seek out every possible learning opportunity for me and would make sure we had great assignments. Everyone I encountered treated me with respect and I never felt inferior or incapable of performing tasks. When I was unsure of myself, I was always encouraged to try new skills because I was there to learn. The experiences I have had during previous clinical rotations were nothing compared to the opportunities I had during this externship. This summer, my love for nursing became real and as a bonus, I made incredible friends that made leaving so much harder than I imagined. Choosing to be a part of this program was the best decision I could have made.

Alexandria Torres- 2017

Baylor University, Louise Herrington School of Nursing

I was an extern on the Neurology ICU at Barnes Jewish Hospital. Over the summer I had the best experience learning, enhancing my skills, and gaining insight on what it really means to be a nurse. I became more confident in my skills and providing care to patients, which is tremendously helping me with my critical care clinical rotation. I am so thankful for this opportunity UMSL has provided me, especially with the connections and networking this externship I gained from it. I was able to obtain a Student Nurse Technician position on the step down unit I was on over the summer. I highly recommend this program because of the positive experience with not only the hospital and the unit, but the UMSL staff as well. Everyone was very encouraging and cared about my success for the program and my nursing career.

Marissa Montgomery- 2017

Mennonite College of Nursing, Illinois State University

I had the amazing opportunity to participate in BJC's nurse externship program this past summer and it was the best nursing experience that I've had so far! The classes were structured around topics that students need more practice in and were beneficial when I took those lessons to the floor. I worked on an oncology unit at Siteman on a bone marrow transplant floor, which is something I would have never been able to do without this externship. I spent 350 hours on the floor working with my preceptors, learning about management and leadership from my unit manager, and best of all, interacting with patients and solidifying my interest and calling to be a nurse. This externship allowed me the opportunity to feel like a "real nurse" because of the responsibility I was given by the nurses on the floor. I was treated as an equal and as a valued member of the team, and I truly felt that I was contributing to BJC's mission of taking exceptional care of people. One of my favorite parts of the externship was being able to shadow on different units for a few hours, so I chose to visit the PICU and ER. The summer nurse externship coordinators and nurses truly made this experience so valuable because they sought out every opportunity they could to give their students a memorable experience and help ease our transition to life post-graduation.

Hannah Pavlisin -2017

Bradley University '18

The externship at Barnes-Jewish Hospital was the best experience I could have asked for prior to beginning my nursing career. I worked with an extremely wide variety of patients on an Acute Care Medicine unit, which challenged me to learn and apply so many new skills throughout the summer. From the first shift when I was nervous to even get vital signs on someone, to my final shift when I was caring for five patients essentially on my own, I never imagined how much I would gain from this program. In addition to the hands-on experience in the hospital, the classroom portion allowed me to get to know students from across the country and learn from their experiences as well. Without this externship, I would not feel nearly as prepared as I do to graduate and begin working as a nurse.

Emily Field- 2017

Purdue University

I was an UMSL/BJC Nurse Extern on 7E Pulmonary at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. The patient population that I helped care for was more acute than anything I had seen in my clinical rotations at nursing school. At first I was nervous to care for such a group of patients, but every nurse on my unit took the patience and time to teach me how to protect and help these children. I learned more in the ten weeks that I had working at SLCH than I ever could have dreamed. Before working at SLCH, nursing was just my major, a degree that I was working towards. However, the patients that I was able to help care for and the staff that I had the opportunity to work with, helped me see that nursing was more than just classes I was taking, it was my passion in life.

When I was placed in 7E Pulmonary, I was prepared to see cases such as cystic fibrosis and tracheostomies. I was not prepared, however, for all of the patients, families, and people that I would encounter along the way. Many parents of the patients on 7E had to perform every need for their child, including feeding, bathing, and changing their diapers. These parents are the ones who showed me what it meant to be a true caregiver. Similarly, the nurses taught me how to be advocates for the most vulnerable of society, by not only caring for them but also by speaking up for those who could not speak for themselves. Patents such as that two year old who learned to be herself with a new airway, taught me what courage meant in the face of adversity. Sure I learned what it meant to suction a trach, how to perform a straight catheterization, what to do during a code blue, how to program endless feeding pumps, the correct way to turn and change a patient, and so many more nursing interventions - but it was the people who I met that influenced me the most. I believe that after over 300 hours of working on 7E, I may be remembered by one or two patients and families, but I will remember those who I worked with and cared for for years to come.

Mia Zanaboni- 2017

Rockhurst University

I never imagined I would end up in St. Louis, Missouri, for a nurse externship, but I'm so glad I had the opportunity to work on the neuro ICU step-down unit at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. I got to see and do so much on my floor - from practicing NIHSS on stroke patients to straight cath'ing craniotomy patients who were incontinent of urine. I was assigned to the BEST preceptor, and throughout my 10 weeks, I found a second family among my other nursing staff and fellow externs. Looking forward, I would not be the nursing student I am now if it weren't for this experience.

Connie Xu- 2017

University of Pennsylvania

This externship provided me with the opportunity I needed to grow as, not only a nursing student, but as a future nurse. I was assigned to the Gynecology Oncology unit at Barnes Jewish Hospital. In the beginning of the externship, I was very nervous and my confidence level was low, as well as my esteem. By the end of the 10 weeks, I felt as if I was comfortable with the skills I need to perform to fulfill my nursing profession. Now, I feel very comfortable as I am going into my last semester of nursing school. I will be graduating in December and happy to announce that I will be working at Barnes on the Gynecology Oncology floor. This may have not happened if it wasn't for taking a leap this summer and engaging myself in taking this wonderful opportunity. I am thankful for being a part of the 2017 BJC Externship.

Taylor Oberle-2017

Cox College

Spending ten weeks of my summer as a BJC/UMSL summer nurse extern on a one of St. Louis Children's Hospital's General Medicine Units including GI, Renal and Endocrine was truly an experience of a lifetime. St. Louis was a new place for me, coming from a suburb of Chicago, but I was able to form some great new friendships. I really enjoyed being paired with a nurse preceptor for the entire summer because we were able to form a great relationship and work together to setting and meeting goals, education, skills and patient care. As the summer progressed, my preceptor began to trust me more and more and allowed me to take the lead on the plan for the day and communicate with the physician teams.

Not only did I gain valuable clinical experience from being on the floor, but also from our class time at UMSL. We spent class time once a week hearing from a variety of different speakers from the BJC healthcare system. A few of my favorites were; BJC Adult Hospice, Pediatric Wings Hospice and St. Louis Children's Hospital Code Management Simulation. I also had the chance to shadow in the PICU and Pediatric Hematology Oncology floor, as well as work shifts in the Emergency Room with my preceptor who was ER crossed trained. Overall, this experience exceeded my expectations and provided me an abundance of knowledge, confidence and vital clinical experience going into my final year of nursing school! I loved this externship so much that I had the chance to stay on as a PCT, PRN, so I drive to and from Peoria, IL, where I am finishing my nursing school, to work with incredible colleagues and kiddos!

Kelsey McDonnell- 2017

Bradley University

The summer externship was everything I expected and more. The experience taught me more about nursing than all of my school clinicaI rotations combined. In addition to the priceless clinical knowledge I now possess, I also learned so much useful information in the weekly classes: information that will make me a better nurse! My preceptor became one of my best friends, and in addition I found lifelong friends who may become coworkers some day. I feel so fortunate to have found a place that makes me excited to go into work each day. This externship ignited my passion for neonatal nursing, and it also helped land me my first job! This externship is truly the experience of a lifetime!

Samantha Jakubeck - 2017

University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing

I spent over 300 hours in the Thoracic Unit at Barnes-Jewish Hospital during the summer externship. That is double the time that capstone provides as this experience far exceeds any capstone placement. I feel that the externship was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I found my niche in nursing via working in a high acuity setting; subsequently, have even more passion for critical care. The program did pair me with an expert nurse; he is the greatest preceptor from all my clinical experiences. I will never forget the experience he provided because I had the chance to seek all the opportunities I desired. Contribution as a team member allows for increasing critical thinking in the professional role of nursing. My love for nursing became real during the externship. Confidence builds throughout the experience due to being part of a team atmosphere. There is a stark difference between clinical rotation during school and the experience at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. During nursing school in clinical rotation, I had explicitly been told I was there to perform tasks. I think a lot of people feel inadequate during nursing school, but I rarely felt that way during this externship. A dream come true! With great pleasure, I can announce that I have an ICU job in a hospital that serves the highest acuity patients in the Kansas City area because of Barnes-Jewish Hospital summer externship.

Robert Smallwood -2016

Saint Luke's College of Nursing

The summer externship was the best choice I could have made prior to senior year. My mentor became a mentor for me for the rest of my nursing career, and someone who will be my reference when I apply for jobs. I learned so much working at one of the top 10 hospitals in America. When I made simple mistakes, I alway felt comfortable with my nurse mentor and learned so much about what it means to truly be a nurse. I fell in love with my patients and the floor and I learned so much from every nurse on the floor."

Andrea Heinemann- 2016

Rockwood University

Getting to experience the UMSL- BJC externship at Missouri Baptist Medical Center was the best thing I have ever done for my nursing career! My mentor was very nice and encouraging along with the rest of the floor making sure I got to learn and see as much as I could. Working right beside an experienced nurse for 360 hours taught me more than any text book or clinical could ever. By the end of the summer I was taking 5 of the patients and completing total care with the assistance of my nurse, making me feel like a real nurse.

Not only did I truly enjoy going into every 12 hour shift, but I also enjoyed the classes. Getting to go to the different BJC campuses and learning new information was a unique experience.

I recommend this program to any nursing student entering their senior year, there is nothing better. The instructors from UMSL did a great job at putting the program together making sure we all got the best experience.

Megan Slattery

UMSL

I was able to participate in the UMSL Externship during the summer of 2015 between my Junior and Senior year. I went to a school on the east coast, but lived in the St. Louis area, and had heard that this kind of program would be an extremely beneficial experience. I was very honored to be chosen to participate, and was paired with an RN in a specialty float pool who worked mainly in the ICU. Critical Care was not something I was interested in (it kind of scared me, honestly!), but over the ten weeks I worked with my nurse, I began to really enjoy my time in the ICU. I learned so much, and became so comfortable in that environment, that in the following semester of my program I did very well in Critical Care and requested my practicum in an ICU. This has lead to me being hired this past fall to work in an ICU in the St. Louis area; without the experience I'd already had in this area, I was assured this wouldn't have been a possibility for a new grad. I probably never would have considered the ICU if I hadn't had the opportunity to work in that area as a student.

The training and exposure of the Externship was helpful in ways I can't even quantify. The classes we took throughout, and the intentional help of the faculty in the classroom and on the floor, were very helpful and made it a great experience. I was so impressed by the UMSL School of Nursing, that I'm currently considering them for my Doctorate in Nurse Practitioner. Ten weeks of real RN exposure, along with helpful classes and a knowledgeable, supportive faculty, which you are also getting paid for? One of the wisest decisions I've ever made!

Katie Warix

Bob Jones University

Christian Hospital

The UMSL/BJC summer externship was the best thing I have done in nursing school. While I agree that classroom learning and knowledge are required to become a nurse, real, hands-on experience with patients and other nurses, in order to put into practice those things that have been learned in the classroom, is the best way to truly learn and understand a concept. Going through my final year of nursing school with the experience and confidence I gained during the externship has made a notable difference in my grades and clinical performance. The externship helped me to see what working as nurse in my career will be like, and I am more excited than ever to be in this field.

Ashley Christman

Maryville University

BJSP - 2016

The BJC-UMSL nurse externship program was by far the BEST experience I have had throughout nursing school. Being a nursing student from Wisconsin, this program allowed me to learn in a whole new environment and push me out of my comfort zone. I was initially a little nervous about being in new city for 10 weeks, but the experience I had was beyond amazing. I was an extern on the Neurosciences Unit at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and loved every second of my ten weeks working there. I had a great preceptor who taught more than I thought I could possibly learn in such a short time frame. My preceptor and all the nurses on the unit made me feel like I was a real nurse and a part of the team. What I found most helpful about this program, was it allowed me to experience what it is like to actually be a nurse. It allowed me the repetition I needed to master and grow more confident in my skills. I also got to work on a specialized unit with kids who had seizure disorders, trachs and vents, G-tubes, EVDs, spinal surgeries and much more than I got to experience during school clinical. Not only that, but I learned what it’s like to prioritize and manage taking care of multiple patients at the same time, I was also able to apply what I’ve learned in school to real life scenarios. By the end of the program, I was basically doing all the duties of a nurse, just under the supervision of my preceptor. Going into senior year, I felt 100 times more confident in my nursing abilities. If I could go back and repeat this program, I would in a heartbeat. I recommend this program to anyone who wants to gain GREAT experience in amazing hospitals.

Christina Heckman

St. Louis Children’s Hospital Extern – Neurosciences Unit (2016)

Viterbo University – La Crosse, WI

I think this Externship was truly a wonderful experience that helped me gain skills and knowledge that I wouldn't have gotten otherwise. It helped me line up a job at Children’s that I cannot wait to start, and I definitely would not be as prepared to graduate as I am without this Externship.

Emily Bollinger

University of South Carolina

The externship program was easily the highlight of my nursing experience thus far. As an extern in the PICU at Children's, I was able to build confidence in my assessments and nursing skills. I learned how to prioritize, delegate and organize every situation that I encountered. The ten weeks that I spent in the PICU were far more beneficial than all of the clinical experiences I have had during nursing school. Not only did I expand on my own nursing skills, but I also learned how to communicate with physicians, pharmacists, and nurse practitioners in order to provide interdisciplinary care for my patients. It was truly the opportunity of a lifetime and such a blessing to work with my preferred patient population and an awesome staff! I am immensely blessed by the entire St. Louis Children's Hospital family and could not thank them enough for everything they've done for me. I HIGHLY recommend this program to every nursing student!

Bethany Triplett, University of Florida

I absolutely enjoyed being an UMSL extern at St. Louis Children’s Hospital working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Coming from the Washington, D.C. area, I was extremely nervous about participating in the ten week program and being away from family and friends. Now, I am sure that choosing to take part in the program was the BEST choice I could have ever made. I had the opportunity to work with several excellent nurses who helped me with my critical thinking and taught me nursing skills. The clinical and classroom experiences were incredible and the knowledge I acquired is invaluable! Everyone involved in the externship was wonderful, including the BJC recruiters, professors, and nurse mentors. I recommend others to participate in this externship without reservation.

Shadiya Satterfield, Howard University Division of Nursing

The UMSL/BJC Student Nurse Externship program was a great experience! I worked in the float pool at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. I had the opportunity to see every part of the hospital- ER, PICU, CICU, NICU, and all the floors. Those 10 weeks were filled with the most valuable learning experiences I have had throughout my nursing school career. Working one-on-one with a very experienced mentor, in such a fabulous hospital, gave me the opportunity to see the nursing world from a different perspective than that of a student in clinicals. I believe I gained an abundance of experience, knowledge, and confidence over the summer. It was a great transition into my senior year and an opportunity of a lifetime.

Beth Kreke, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

During my externship experience at St. Louis Children's Hospital Hematology and Oncology unit, I learned so much more than I ever expected. Walking onto the floor that first day was really overwhelming and I had no clue how I was going to be able to understand what all happened on the floor. Soon enough, though, I was learning and doing more than I could have imagined. Looking back now, this externship was the absolute best summer program I could have asked for in working toward my goal as a nurse. In these ten weeks my clinical and critically thinking skills were greatly refined and I felt so much more confident in my choice to be a nurse. The children I worked with brought smiles to my faces every day and the nurses were incredible teachers and mentors throughout the whole program. My personal mentor pushed me to open my comfort zone, broadening my horizons in nursing practice. This program packed in everything I wanted to learn this summer and more through class and clinical. I really couldn't have asked for a better experience opportunity!

Renee Buettner, 2012 Externship St. Louis Children's Hospital

This externship program was the best experience I have had while in nursing school. The program was well organized and I learned a great deal from my fellow externs during the class component. It gave me the opportunity to build confidence in myself and gain hands on experience. The skills I learned over the summer will be useful all throughout my nursing career. It was definitely a worth while experience!!

Kelly Hermann, Senior Nursing Student, Maryville University

Seriously, it was the best possible experience I could have gotten in nursing school. The skills I learned and perfected were above and beyond anything I could have ever learned in clinical, and I am grateful I was able to have that opportunity. I also believe that it helped me figure out exactly what I want to do with my nursing degree (O.R.) when I get out of school. Having the opportunity to pick fields you're interested in allows you to experience what a real RN does in that specialty, so it really gives you an idea if that's something you want to do or not. Those three months were better than any clinical rotation I have ever had, bar none.

Garret Gutting, University of Missouri-St. Louis, College of Nursing

This externship experience has open different doors of opportunities for me. This experience provided opportunities to advance my clinical skills. The program was well structured; we had clinical practice at the hospital with a preceptor and classroom discussion incorporated together.. The hospital (St. Louis Children̓s Hospital) atmosphere provides different learning experience and the staffs are always willing to teach. Through this externship, I was able to determine my career path. It was definitely one of the best summers of my college career!!

Opi Kemiki, Penn State

I truly loved this externship experience. It taught me so much about myself as a person and as a nurse. I feel much more confident in my nursing skills and capable in my abilities. I am so looking forward graduating and beginning my practice. When I compare my experience with my classmates, I can certainly see that I got the best experience available for students.

Thanks

Kathleen Quinlan, St. Mary’s University

I was an extern on the Neurology ICU at Barnes Jewish Hospital. Over the summer I had the best experience learning, enhancing my skills, and gaining insight on what it really means to be a nurse. I became more confident in my skills and providing care to patients, which is tremendously helping me with my critical care clinical rotation. I am so thankful for this opportunity UMSL has provided me, especially with the connections and networking this externship I gained from it. I was able to obtain a Student Nurse Technician position on the step down unit I was on over the summer. I highly recommend this program because of the positive experience with not only the hospital and the unit, but the UMSL staff as well. Everyone was very encouraging and cared about my success for the program and my nursing career.  

Marissa Montgomery- 2017

Mennonite College of Nursing, Illinois State University

 I had the amazing opportunity to participate in BJC's nurse externship program this past summer and it was the best nursing experience that I've had so far! The classes were structured around topics that students need more practice in and were beneficial when I took those lessons to the floor.  I worked on an oncology unit at Siteman on a bone marrow transplant floor, which is something I would have never been able to do without this externship.  I spent 350 hours on the floor working with my preceptors, learning about management and leadership from my unit manager, and best of all, interacting with patients and solidifying my interest and calling to be a nurse.  This externship allowed me the opportunity to feel like a "real nurse" because of the responsibility I was given by the nurses on the floor.  I was treated as an equal and as a valued member of the team, and I truly felt that I was contributing to BJC's mission of taking exceptional care of people.  One of my favorite parts of the externship was being able to shadow on different units for a few hours, so I chose to visit the PICU and ER.  The summer nurse externship coordinators and nurses truly made this experience so valuable because they sought out every opportunity they could to give their students a memorable experience and help ease our transition to life post-graduation.   

Hannah Pavlisin -2017

Bradley University '18

The externship at Barnes-Jewish Hospital was the best experience I could have asked for prior to beginning my nursing career. I worked with an extremely wide variety of patients on an Acute Care Medicine unit, which challenged me to learn and apply so many new skills throughout the summer. From the first shift when I was nervous to even get vital signs on someone, to my final shift when I was caring for five patients essentially on my own, I never imagined how much I would gain from this program. In addition to the hands-on experience in the hospital, the classroom portion allowed me to get to know students from across the country and learn from their experiences as well. Without this externship, I would not feel nearly as prepared as I do to graduate and begin working as a nurse. 

Emily Field- 2017

Purdue University

I was an UMSL/BJC Nurse Extern on 7E Pulmonary at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. The patient population that I helped care for was more acute than anything I had seen in my clinical rotations at nursing school. At first I was nervous to care for such a group of patients, but every nurse on my unit took the patience and time to teach me how to protect and help these children. I learned more in the ten weeks that I had working at SLCH than I ever could have dreamed. Before working at SLCH, nursing was just my major, a degree that I was working towards. However, the patients that I was able to help care for and the staff that I had the opportunity to work with, helped me see that nursing was more than just classes I was taking, it was my passion in life.

When I was placed in 7E Pulmonary, I was prepared to see cases such as cystic fibrosis and tracheostomies. I was not prepared, however, for all of the patients, families, and people that I would encounter along the way. Many parents of the patients on 7E had to perform every need for their child, including feeding, bathing, and changing their diapers. These parents are the ones who showed me what it meant to be a true caregiver. Similarly, the nurses taught me how to be advocates for the most vulnerable of society, by not only caring for them but also by speaking up for those who could not speak for themselves. Patents such as that two year old who learned to be herself with a new airway, taught me what courage meant in the face of adversity. Sure I learned what it meant to suction a trach, how to perform a straight catheterization, what to do during a code blue, how to program endless feeding pumps, the correct way to turn and change a patient, and so many more nursing interventions - but it was the people who I met that influenced me the most. I believe that after over 300 hours of working on 7E, I may be remembered by one or two patients and families, but I will remember those who I worked with and cared for for years to come.  

Mia Zanaboni- 2017

Rockhurst University

I never imagined I would end up in St. Louis, Missouri, for a nurse externship, but I'm so glad I had the opportunity to work on the neuro ICU step-down unit at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. I got to see and do so much on my floor - from practicing NIHSS on stroke patients to straight cath'ing craniotomy patients who were incontinent of urine. I was assigned to the BEST preceptor, and throughout my 10 weeks, I found a second family among my other nursing staff and fellow externs. Looking forward, I would not be the nursing student I am now if it weren't for this experience. 

-Connie Xu- 2017

University of Pennsylvania

This externship provided me with the opportunity I needed to grow as, not only a nursing student, but as a future nurse. I was assigned to the Gynecology Oncology unit at Barnes Jewish Hospital. In the beginning of the externship, I was very nervous and my confidence level was low, as well as my esteem. By the end of the 10 weeks, I felt as if I was comfortable with the skills I need to perform to fulfill my nursing profession. Now, I feel very comfortable as I am going into my last semester of nursing school. I will be graduating in December and happy to announce that I will be working at Barnes on the Gynecology Oncology floor. This may have not happened if it wasn't for taking a leap this summer and engaging myself in taking this wonderful opportunity. I am thankful for being a part of the 2017 BJC Externship. 

Taylor Oberle-2017

Cox College

Spending ten weeks of my summer as a BJC/UMSL summer nurse extern on a one of St. Louis Children's Hospital's General Medicine Units including GI, Renal and Endocrine was truly an experience of a lifetime. St. Louis was a new place for me, coming from a suburb of Chicago, but I was able to form some great new friendships. I really enjoyed being paired with a nurse preceptor for the entire summer because we were able to form a great relationship and work together to setting and meeting goals, education, skills and patient care. As the summer progressed, my preceptor began to trust me more and more and allowed me to take the lead on the plan for the day and communicate with the physician teams. 

 

Not only did I gain valuable clinical experience from being on the floor, but also from our class time at UMSL. We spent class time once a week hearing from a variety of different speakers from the BJC healthcare system. A few of my favorites were; BJC Adult Hospice, Pediatric Wings Hospice and St. Louis Children's Hospital Code Management Simulation. I also had the chance to shadow in the PICU and Pediatric Hematology Oncology floor, as well as work shifts in the Emergency Room with my preceptor who was ER crossed trained. Overall, this experience exceeded my expectations and provided me an abundance of knowledge, confidence and vital clinical experience going into my final year of nursing school! I loved this externship so much that I had the chance to stay on as a PCT, PRN, so I drive to and from Peoria, IL, where I am finishing my nursing school, to work with incredible colleagues and kiddos! 

Kelsey McDonnell- 2017

Bradley University

The summer externship was everything I expected and more. The experience taught me more about nursing than all of my school clinicaI rotations combined. In addition to the priceless clinical knowledge I now possess, I also learned so much useful information in the weekly classes: information that will make me a better nurse! My preceptor became one of my best friends, and in addition I found lifelong friends who may become coworkers some day. I feel so fortunate to have found a place that makes me excited to go into work each day.  This externship ignited my passion for neonatal nursing, and it also helped land me my first job! This externship is truly the experience of a lifetime!  

Samantha Jakubeck  2017

University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing 

I spent over 300 hours in the Thoracic Unit at Barnes-Jewish Hospital during the summer externship. That is double the time that capstone provides as this experience far exceeds any capstone placement. I feel that the externship was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I found my niche in nursing via working in a high acuity setting; subsequently, have even more passion for critical care. The program did pair me with an expert nurse; he is the greatest preceptor from all my clinical experiences. I will never forget the experience he provided because I had the chance to seek all the opportunities I desired. Contribution as a team member allows for increasing critical thinking in the professional role of nursing. My love for nursing became real during the externship. Confidence builds throughout the experience due to being part of a team atmosphere. There is a stark difference between clinical rotation during school and the experience at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. During nursing school in clinical rotation, I had explicitly been told I was there to perform tasks. I think a lot of people feel inadequate during nursing school, but I rarely felt that way during this externship. A dream come true! With great pleasure, I can announce that I have an ICU job in a hospital that serves the highest acuity patients in the Kansas City area because of Barnes-Jewish Hospital summer externship.

Robert Smallwood -2016

Saint Luke's College of Nursing

 The summer externship was the best choice I could have made prior to senior year. My mentor became a mentor for me for the rest of my nursing career, and someone who will be my reference when I apply for jobs. I learned so much working at one of the top 10 hospitals in America. When I made simple mistakes, I alway felt comfortable with my nurse mentor and learned so much about what it means to truly be a nurse. I fell in love with my patients and the floor and I learned so much from every nurse on the floor."

Andrea Heinemann- 2016

Rockwood University

Getting to experience the UMSL- BJC externship at Missouri Baptist Medical Center was the best thing I have ever done for my nursing career! My mentor was very nice and encouraging along with the rest of the floor making sure I got to learn and see as much as I could. Working right beside an experienced nurse for 360 hours taught me more than any text book or clinical could ever. By the end of the summer I was taking 5 of the patients and completing total care with the assistance of my nurse, making me feel like a real nurse.

Not only did I truly enjoy going into every 12 hour shift, but I also enjoyed the classes. Getting to go to the different BJC campuses and learning new information was a unique experience.

I recommend this program to any nursing student entering their senior year, there is nothing better. The instructors from UMSL did a great job at putting the program together making sure we all got the best experience.

Megan Slattery

UMSL 

I was able to participate in the UMSL Externship during the summer of 2015 between my Junior and Senior year. I went to a school on the east coast, but lived in the St. Louis area, and had heard that this kind of program would be  an extremely beneficial experience. I was very honored to be chosen to participate, and was paired with an RN in a specialty float pool who worked mainly in the ICU. Critical Care was not something I was interested in (it kind of scared me, honestly!), but over the ten weeks I worked with my nurse, I began to really enjoy my time in the ICU. I learned so much, and became so comfortable in that environment, that in the following semester of my program I did very well in Critical Care and requested my practicum in an ICU. This has lead to me being hired this past fall to work in an ICU in the St. Louis area; without the experience I'd already had in this area, I was assured this wouldn't have been a possibility for a new grad. I probably never would have considered the ICU if I hadn't had the opportunity to work in that area as a student.   

The training and exposure of the Externship was helpful in ways I can't even quantify. The classes we took throughout, and the intentional help of the faculty in the classroom and on the floor, were very helpful and made it a great experience. I was so impressed by the UMSL School of Nursing, that I'm currently considering them for my Doctorate in Nurse Practitioner.  

Ten weeks of real RN exposure, along with helpful classes and a knowledgeable, supportive faculty, which you are also getting paid for? One of the wisest decisions I've ever made! 

Katie Warix

Bob Jones University

Christian Hospital

The UMSL/BJC summer externship was the best thing I have done in nursing school. While I agree that classroom learning and knowledge are required to become a nurse, real, hands-on experience with patients and other nurses, in order to put into practice those things that have been learned in the classroom, is the best way to truly learn and understand a concept. Going through my final year of nursing school with the experience and confidence I gained during the externship has made a notable difference in my grades and clinical performance. The externship helped me to see what working as nurse in my career will be like, and I am more excited than ever to be in this field.

Ashley Christman

Maryville University

BJSP - 2016

The BJC-UMSL nurse externship program was by far the BEST experience I have had throughout nursing school. Being a nursing student from Wisconsin, this program allowed me to learn in a whole new environment and push me out of my comfort zone. I was initially a little nervous about being in new city for 10 weeks, but the experience I had was beyond amazing. I was an extern on the Neurosciences Unit at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and loved every second of my ten weeks working there. I had a great preceptor who taught more than I thought I could possibly learn in such a short time frame. My preceptor and all the nurses on the unit made me feel like I was a real nurse and a part of the team. What I found most helpful about this program, was it allowed me to experience what it is like to actually be a nurse. It allowed me the repetition I needed to master and grow more confident in my skills.  I also got to work on a specialized unit with kids who had seizure disorders, trachs and vents, G-tubes, EVDs, spinal surgeries and much more than I got to experience during school clinical. Not only that, but I learned what it’s like to prioritize and manage taking care of multiple patients at the same time, I was also able to apply what I’ve learned in school to real life scenarios. By the end of the program, I was basically doing all the duties of a nurse, just under the supervision of my preceptor. Going into senior year, I felt 100 times more confident in my nursing abilities. If I could go back and repeat this program, I would in a heartbeat. I recommend this program to anyone who wants to gain GREAT experience in amazing hospitals. 

Christina Heckman

St. Louis Children’s Hospital Extern – Neurosciences Unit (2016)

Viterbo University – La Crosse, WI 

I think this Externship was truly a wonderful experience that helped me gain skills and knowledge that I wouldn't have gotten otherwise.  It helped me line up a job at Children’s that I cannot wait to start, and I definitely would not be as prepared to graduate as I am without this Externship. 

Emily Bollinger

University of South Carolina

 The externship program was easily the highlight of my nursing experience thus far. As an extern in the PICU at Children's, I was able to build confidence in my assessments and nursing skills. I learned how to prioritize, delegate and organize every situation that I encountered. The ten weeks that I spent in the PICU were far more beneficial than all of the clinical experiences I have had during nursing school. Not only did I expand on my own nursing skills, but I also learned how to communicate with physicians, pharmacists, and nurse practitioners in order to provide interdisciplinary care for my patients. It was truly the opportunity of a lifetime and such a blessing to work with my preferred patient population and an awesome staff! I am immensely blessed by the entire St. Louis Children's Hospital family and could not thank them enough for everything they've done for me. I HIGHLY recommend this program to every nursing student! 

-Bethany Triplett, University of Florida

I absolutely enjoyed being an UMSL extern at St. Louis Children’s Hospital working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Coming from the Washington, D.C. area, I was extremely nervous about participating in the ten week program and being away from family and friends. Now, I am sure that choosing to take part in the program was the BEST choice I could have ever made. I had the opportunity to work with several excellent nurses who helped me with my critical thinking and taught me nursing skills. The clinical and classroom experiences were incredible and the knowledge I acquired is invaluable! Everyone involved in the externship was wonderful, including the BJC recruiters, professors, and nurse mentors. I recommend others to participate in this externship without reservation. 

Shadiya Satterfield – Howard University Division of Nursing

The UMSL/BJC Student Nurse Externship program was a great experience! I worked in the float pool at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. I had the opportunity to see every part of the hospital- ER, PICU, CICU, NICU, and all the floors. Those 10 weeks were filled with the most valuable learning experiences I have had throughout my nursing school career. Working one-on-one with a very experienced mentor, in such a fabulous hospital, gave me the opportunity to see the nursing world from a different perspective than that of a student in clinicals. I believe I gained an abundance of experience, knowledge, and confidence over the summer. It was a great transition into my senior year and an opportunity of alifetime. 

Beth Kreke, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

During my externship experience at St. Louis Children's Hospital Hematology and Oncology unit, I learned so much more than I ever expected.  Walking onto the floor that first day was really overwhelming and I had no clue how I was going to be able to understand what all happened on the floor.  Soon enough, though, I was learning and doing more than I could have imagined.  Looking back now, this externship was the absolute best summer program I could have asked for in working toward my goal as a nurse.  In these ten weeks my clinical and critically thinking skills were greatly refined and I felt so much more confident in my choice to be a nurse.   The children I worked with brought smiles to my faces every day and the nurses were incredible teachers and mentors throughout the whole program.  My personal mentor pushed me to open my comfort zone, broadening my horizons in nursing practice.  This program packed in everything I wanted to learn this summer and more through class and clinical.  I really couldn't have asked for a better experience opportunity! 

- Renee Buettner, 2012 Externship St. Louis Children's Hospital

This externship program was the best experience I have had while in nursing school. The program was well organized and I learned a great deal from my fellow externs during the class component. It gave me the opportunity to build confidence in myself and gain hands on experience. The skills I learned over the summer will be useful all throughout my nursing career. It was definitely a worth while experience!! 

Kelly Hermann

Senior Nursing Student

Maryville University

khermann@live.maryville.edu

Seriously, it was the best possible experience I could have gotten in nursing school. The skills I learned and perfected were above and beyond anything I could have ever learned in clinical, and I am grateful I was able to have that opportunity. I also believe that it helped me figure out exactly what I want to do with my nursing degree (O.R.) when I get out of school. Having the opportunity to pick fields you're interested in allows you to experience what a real RN does in that specialty, so it really gives you an idea if that's something you want to do or not. Those three months were better than any clinical rotation I have ever had, bar none. 

Garret Gutting

University of Missouri-St. Louis

College of Nursing

This externship experience has open different doors of opportunities for me. This experience provided opportunities to advance my clinical skills. The program was well structured; we had clinical practice at the hospital with a preceptor and classroom discussion incorporated together.. The hospital (St. Louis Children̓s Hospital) atmosphere provides different learning experience and the staffs are always willing to teach. Through this externship, I was able to determine my career path. It was definitely one of the best summers of my college career!! 

Opi Kemiki

Penn State

I truly loved this externship experience. It taught me so much about myself as a person and as a nurse. I feel much more confident in my nursing skills and capable in my abilities. I am so looking forward graduating and beginning my practice. When I compare my experience with my classmates, I can certainly see that I got the best experience available for students. 

Thanks!

Kathleen Quinlan

St. Mary’s University