My name is Amy Hawk, and I earned my Masters of Nursing in 2015 to become a Nurse Practitioner. I was drawn to nursing because I am a people person. I have always been a “giver.” I love to interact with people, and since I was I child, I always tried to help people as much as I could. Nursing was the obvious choice for me.
I participated in Lake Regional’s externship program because I had very little exposure to nursing and did not feel like my clinical rotations were going to be enough. I wanted and needed that additional bedside experience with patients. I credit the extern program with my foundation in nursing. I was exposed to a wealth of nursing practice. I was able to develop professional relationships with other nurses, hospital management and doctors. The extern program helped me build confidence in my nursing abilities.
Following a patient from initial presentation to admittance was a memorable experience for me. It gave me a more complete picture of nursing. The program was more comprehensive than what I had previously experienced through school.
The advice I would like to pass on to nursing students is to take every advantage to learn more. Volunteer to practice every skill. Answer every call light. Ask questions, and do not stop at an answer until you really understand why. Nurses are the backbone of medicine. We are in a perfect role to advocate, help, guide and comfort patients, as well as their families. It is a position, career, life choice that should make you proud to clock in every day.
My name is Vicki Preble. I was 10 when I knew I wanted to be a nurse. I often would go to the nursing home to volunteer as a child. I became an employee at that nursing home in 2001, at the age of 18. I started working at Lake Regional in September of 2014, working both jobs until I became a full-time employee of Lake Regional in July of 2016. I always wanted to go on to school, but life happened, and my dream had to be put on hold. In 2017, I decided enough was enough and where there was a will there was a way. I got back on track and started taking prerequisites for the nursing program. I chose Columbia College because they have the fast-track program, eight week sessions, instead of 16. The fast track can be challenging, while trying to keep up with the demands of life, but it is possible if you are devoted.
In furthering my education, the extern program offered an excellent opportunity to get hands-on training that you don’t get in clinicals. With clinicals you pre-plan the day, so you know exactly what you are walking into the next day, with little variation. You have one patient for a seven-hour day and do not really get to experience real-life nursing. With the extern program, you work with a nurse and their whole team. This allows a more realistic approach to what you will be doing as a licensed nurse. This also allows you to strengthen your weaknesses, as well as work on important time-management skills that you do not get just doing clinicals.
The extern program is an excellent opportunity that really opens doors for students. Not only do you get more hands-on experience, you also get the chance to explore your options. The extern program allows both the employer and the extern to see where they belong. The extern program can be beneficial to the extern because they can show interest in a particular department and be seen by hiring managers. The managers, in turn, have the benefit of seeing if the extern is a good fit for their department.
Learn more and download an application for the Lake Regional Nurse Externship Program.