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Nurse Externship Program Information

The application cycle for the 2024 Summer Nurse Externship Program is open through January 25, 2024!

Program Overview

We invite you to apply to our summer Nurse Externship Program (NEP), a collaboration between the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Nursing (CON) and BJC HealthCare System. This ten-week program provides senior-level nursing students with an outstanding clinical experience at some of the nation's top hospitals! Nurse externs selected for this program will work 32-36 hours per week with an assigned nurse mentor at one of seven participating BJC HealthCare hospitals from May 20 through July 27, 2024.

Accepted nurse externs will receive a stipend of $5,600 over the 10-week period. Externs must register for the three-credit hour corresponding seminar course facilitated by UMSL CON. The seminar will be held each week of the externship on Mondays from 0900–1200 beginning Monday, May 20, 2024.  Course activities include narrative reflection of experiential learning, case studies and presentations on professional nursing topics. Students are responsible for the tuition cost of the course. Students who reside out-of-state may incur non-resident tuition fees. Students may contact UMSL Student Financial Services at 314-516-5526 for additional details. UMSL tuition and fee information can be found on their website.

Under the guidance of UMSL CON faculty members and BJC HealthCare registered nurse mentors, 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

Externs will be mentored by experienced nurses and work in hospitals where the newest medical advances are coupled with excellent nursing care. The weekly seminar sessions are facilitated by UMSL CON faculty and clinical experts from the participating hospitals and include topics relevant to current practice. Time is also allotted for externs to debrief and share weekly experiences.

The participating BJC HealthCare hospitals are leaders in healthcare delivery and have received numerous recognitions. The participating hospitals include Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital, Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, Christian Hospital and Northwest Healthcare, Missouri Baptist Medical Center, Progress West Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. A detailed overview of each clinical site is provided under the Clinical Partners tab.

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

  1. Enrolled in an approved BSN program (not required to be an UMSL student)
  2. Completion of two semesters of clinical experience prior to the start of the externship experience (May 2024)
  3. Senior status in current nursing program
  4. Verification of good academic standing in current nursing program
  5. Attainment of a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale (verified by unofficial transcript)
  6. Expected graduation from approved BSN program by May 2025
  7. Completion of "Application for Nurse Externship Program" received by January 25, 2024

If you meet the above criteria, we invite you to complete the application and submit the required documents! Two (2) letters of recommendation are required (see specific form). Recommendations may be submitted by faculty and/or clinical supervisors (if you are employed in the clinical setting). An essay of interest is also required (note specific essay guidelines).

If accepted into the UMSL/BJC NEP, you will be required to submit verification of current CPR training, TB testing, COVID-19 vaccination (or exemption), specific immunizations, a criminal background check and drug screening. Submission of these verification documents will be at the student’s expense.

Note that international students (on F-1 visa) are welcome to apply if all the application criteria are met. However, the experience must be done under a work authorization status through F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Students should ask their home school coordinator for more information.

Externs must arrange their own housing. Housing is available in Oak Hall, a dormitory on the UMSL campus. Additional information is available in the Extern Housing section.  

Thank you for expressing interest in this career-enhancing opportunity. The nurse externship program has been very successful since implementation and we anticipate another exciting summer! Previous externs express repeatedly that so much is learned and discovered about “real nursing” during the ten-week externship and are thrilled to have had the opportunity to work in hospitals that lead the nation in healthcare (see testimonials). All decisions for extern selection will be made by late February 2023.  Applicants will be notified by email of acceptance into the program.

NOTE: Given the unprecedented circumstance of COVID-19, the NEP structure is subject to change. This website will be updated accordingly to reflect modifications to the program.

Kind regards,

Tonya Haynes, DNP, RN
Assistant Teaching Professor
Director of Clinical Operations
Coordinator, UMSL/BJC Summer Nurse Externship Program
University of Missouri–St. Louis College of Nursing
314-516-4842 (office)

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