Student Nurse Guidelines
Recommended Guidelines for Student Nurses Using Local Public Health Agney for Clinical Experience
Responsibilities of the Local Public Health Agencies
1. Determine if the request to provide student experience is reasonable and appropriate. The educational objectives, focus of the nursing program, type of experience, and resources of the LPHA should be considered when making the decision.
Educational Objectives and Purpose
An appropriate learning experience should meet the objectives and purpose of the program and occur at an appropriate place in the curriculum. The LPHA and the faculty of the nursing program should work together to determine the most appropriate type of experience for the level of students and curriculum objectives. For instance, if the objective is to acquaint the student with the functions of the LPHA, an hour presentation and tour of the agency may be a better choice than an observational experience.
Type of nursing program
There are various types of nursing education programs. Each type of program has specific focus for the preparation of students.
- Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN): focus is on commonly occurring health problems with predictable outcomes.
- Diploma: focus in on illness-related care.
- Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN): focus is on care of well-defined health problems of an individual.
- Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BSN): focus on the wellness-illness continuum of an individual, family, and community. Curriculum includes information about concepts of public health, epidemiology, community assessment, and health promotion.
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN): focus on critical thinking, research, and expanded role of nurse. Students in these programs may be studying to be nurse practitioners.
Type of experience requested
There are several types of experiences the LPHA may provide for a nursing education program:
- Clinical Experience: The student has client contact and assumes nursing care responsibilities. A clinical experience requires a memorandum of agreement between the nursing program and the LPHA. This type of experience is most appropriate for students in BSN or MSN programs.
- Observation Experience: The student observes a particular function of the LPHA. This experience usually does not last more than 3 days. The student observes while the nurse or other staff performs specific activities. A written cooperative agreement is not necessary. In general, students should not be permitted into sensitive situations, or have access to the client’s record. A statement of confidentiality should be signed before the observation and the clients should be asked if they object to being observed.
- Classes and consultation: The LPHA provides information about public health and public health nursing or services provided by the agency.
Resources such as willingness of LPHA staff to work with students, skills and competencies of staff, services being provided in the LPHA, and ability of health department to participate in education while continuing to provide quality services to community should be considered.
2. Provide orientation about polices and programs of the LPHA to the nursing program faculty.
3. Provide competent and qualified supervisory and professional nursing personnel to assist with agreed upon guidance, supervision and evaluation of students.
4. Have written policies and procedures in place. Students are required to follow the policies of the LPHA.
5. Assure students have been informed about HIPAA confidentiality requirements and have signed confidentiality statements.
6. Collaborate with the faculty member in selection of specific educational experiences.
7. Provide agreed upon physical space for the faculty member and students to have conferences and workspace.
Responsibilities of the Nursing Program
- Provide the LPHA with information about the nursing program and educational objectives of the student experience.
- Provide adequate supervision, guidance and evaluation of students by faculty member who is oriented to the LPHA, and collaborate with LPHA staff to select experiences for students.
- Meet with LPHA staff before, during, and following the educational experience to evaluate the learning experience and plan for the future. Agreement should be reached regarding the number of students and assigned schedule.
- Provide documentation that the students and faculty have professional liability insurance coverage.
- Advise the LPHA as to the plan for student’s emergency medical care while assigned to the LPHA.
Memorandums of Agreement Between LPHA and Nursing Programs
The purpose of a memorandum of agreement with a nursing program is to define lines of authority and the professional responsibilities of the involved parties. The agreement is written and signed and should be reviewed annually. The agreement should include:
- Parties involved in the agreement;
- Responsibilities of the educational institution;
- Responsibilities of the local agency;
- Responsibilities of the students;
- Joint responsibilities;
- Liability coverage of faculty and students independent of the health agency;
- Confidentiality Guidelines;
- Notice necessary to terminate the agreement; and
- Any other items needed for the protection of the client/family, students, local agency, and nursing program.
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