DNP students learn on the job, in simulations

July 18, 2023 (Volume 46, Number 19)
Article by Michele Coffill

Henry Peña is a nurse with eight years of experience at two Grand Rapids hospitals.

Still, he said, going through a day of simulations with others in the Doctor of Nursing Practice cohort will set him up for success on the job.

DNP students completed a suturing lab and practiced communication and physical assessment skills on standardized patients June 9 at the Simulation Center in the DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health.

Peña said the exercise of walking into a hospital simulation exam room, greeting a standardized patient and beginning an evaluation helps him when he's at his clinical assignment at Exalta Health, a Grand Rapids integrated medical clinic with a mission to provide care for the uninsured and underserved.

"These simulations help me think more scientifically and I take that with me back to the clinic," Peña said.

Christina Quick, assistant professor of nursing, said the DNP curriculum was modified to allow time for simulation courses before students begin the heart of their clinical assignments.

"After a full semester of simulation courses, students start at their clinical assignments and then come to the Simulation Center to practice and assess their skills," Quick said. "Previously, students start their clinicals in the winter feeling unprepared with no simulation courses. This is unique to KCON to have standalone graduate simulation and procedure courses."

DNP student Tara Young has started an assignment at a clinic for youth ages 10-21 in Lakeview operated by Spectrum Health United and Kelsey Hospitals. Young, who worked as an obstetrics nurse for Corewell Health before beginning the DNP program, agreed with Peña that simulations were valuable learning experiences.

"I'm learning more about working with pediatric patients and thinking how I can be a leader," Young said.


Across Campus

This article was last edited on July 14, 2023 at 8:51 a.m.

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