MARIETTA, OHIO (May 29, 2018) — Experience is one of the most powerful and effective tools employed by instructors in the Practical Nursing program at Washington State Community College (WSCC). And thanks to a decade-long partnership between WSCC and Harmar Place, Practical Nursing students are able to bring their lessons to life.
For more than 10 years, the WSCC Practical Nursing (PN) program has partnered with Harmar Place, a rehabilitation and extended care facility in Marietta, Ohio, to offer mentoring and hands-on learning opportunities to nursing students.
“During the practical nursing student’s first clinical semester the students rotate through Harmar Place with an instructor,” said Alicia Warren, Director and Associate Professor of PN education at WSCC. “Being that this is their first clinical experience, it allows the students a monitored learning environment where they learn basic nursing skills, communication skills, as well as the opportunity to practice their soft skills of punctuality, responsibility, and professionalism.”
Over the course of their clinicals, students get the opportunity to administer multiple flu shots to both the staff and the residents, as well as learn about medication procedures, room care, charting, vital signs, proper documentation, following procedures, and how to work cohesively as a team.
“Harmar Place has a mutually rewarding partnership with WSCC students that allows them to take classroom experience and turn it into practical nursing experience,” said Karen Metz, Staff Development/ Clinical Educator for Harmar Place. “Our preceptorship allows students to learn how to navigate in a professional environment and they have a wide range of opportunities to practice and demonstrate the knowledge of their classroom studies.”
The partnership also gives Harmar Place nurses a more robust experience as nurse preceptors. Since 2013, its nurses serve in the dual role of practitioner and educator to teach and mentor students.
During the practical nursing students’ last semester, they work one-on-one with a nurse preceptor to better facilitate the transition from student nurse to practicing LPN.
“Our well-seasoned nurses know what they are doing and they enjoy the teaching aspect of it, they seem to thrive on that,” said Metz. “I think it [the preceptorship] all goes really well on both ends. Our nurses feel good about mentoring students and seeing them do new things and grow throughout the partnership.”
The preceptorship opportunity helps student nurses transition from caring for just one or two patients to being responsible for an entire group. It also serves as an orientation to that facility and has many times opened the door for a job opportunity once they are licensed. In fact, Harmar Place currently has 13 WSCC graduates who went through the program and are now on staff.
“Harmar Place is an exceptional extended care and rehabilitation facility in Marietta and we are so pleased to be given the opportunity to help the staff provide care to their residents,” said Warren. “With such exemplary management, nurses and staff, the students get to see first-hand how people should be cared for. The preceptorship increases our students’ confidence and competence in the clinical setting.”
WSCC’s partnership with local and regional organizations provides students with hands-on learning opportunities and additional program support. Washington State’s industry-specific partnerships benefit its students through real-world applications and help the College fuel the community’s future by providing workforce development in more than 50 certificate and associate degree programs.
For more than 45 years, Washington State Community College has provided residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley the opportunity to realize dreams, to enhance skills, and to broaden understanding. Whether you are a recent high school graduate or an adult student looking to move your life in a new direction, Washington State has the classes to suit your needs. For more information about Washington State Community College, visit www.wscc.edu or call 740.374.8716.