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The healthcare industry is experiencing staffing shortages and nursing programs have finite clinical resources to support and train healthcare professionals. One solution is the implementation of a Nurse Internship program. The University of New Mexico College of Nursing and the University of New Mexico Hospital partnered to develop an innovative program designed to support student learning and hospital staffing through a paid internship. The program has been successful for over 10 years, and the model has been expanded to other local hospitals. Both students and participating hospitals benefit from the program. Students experience clinical practice, develop leadership and communication skills, and have a source of income. Participating hospitals reduce recruitment costs, increase retention rates, and decrease new graduate orientation time. Clinical partners immediately offset critical nursing shortage needs by employing nursing students who assist with patient care, and up to 85.6% of Nurse Interns are hired after graduation. Future inquiry opportunities for program improvement include tracking student competency through surveys and expanding collection of hiring, retention and satisfaction data to determine program success outside of the initial partnership.

A significant number of senior nursing students participate in the Nurse Intern program, an indication that nursing students are fully invested in expanding their nursing knowledge. As healthcare continues to experience unprecedented changes and shortages in all fields, there is an opportunity for other healthcare professions to consider innovative opportunities for student employment in a similar model. Other schools of nursing and other healthcare facilities could consider creation of a Nurse Intern partnership to expand nursing experiences across the state.


Presented at HSC Education Day 2024



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