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Supporting nursing students’ transition to practitioners


Clinical Nurse Educators (l to r): Nicole Namiranian, Eunice Lim, Mikaela Lachance, Kendra Machin.

For nursing students, transitioning from an academic setting to become an independent practitioner can be a challenge. Our Employed Student Nurse (ESN) Program supports and mentors nursing students to ease this transition.

Our ESN program gives students the opportunity to apply their academic training to a real-life environment and gain experience working with different members of the care team. With the knowledge and confidence gained on the job, student nurses are better prepared for success in their careers and future opportunities.

“We've been there ourselves and understand how challenging it can be to transition from student to practitioner," says Kendra Machin, Clinical Nurse Educator with the ESN program. “We use our experiences to support their transition by providing at-the-elbow support at the acute care centres."

In addition to providing at-the-elbow support, the team offers workshops and forums that cover a variety of topics, such as skills review/practice, transition to employment, clinical decision-making and career pathways. The team draws on their years of experience in such specialty areas as the intensive care unit, emergency room and Perinatal, as well as their commitment to lifelong learning to provide a positive learning environment for student nurses.

Feedback from students

Two of the clinical educators, Mikaela Lachance and Nicole Namiranian, started their careers as student nurses in the program. Mikaela has been a registered nurse for nine years. She started as an ESN in Sub Acute Medicine. She has been working in the Emergency Department at Vancouver General Hospital for the past six years where she has helped many new staff through their nursing journey.

Nicole has worked through the organization for the past 15 years. She is passionate about helping ESNs grow and build on their knowledge and skills as well as their confidence.

The feedback from students going through the program has been very positive, with students sharing that they felt supported, and that the program gave them the experience and confidence they needed to succeed in their careers.

“This program was fantastic and immensely helpful in assisting me in securing a job and learning the flow of the department," said one student nurse in the program. “I learned a ton and I think it expedited my development as a new grad. This program should almost be mandatory for all students in some capacity."

Another student nurse shared, “The ESN program truly helped me consolidate my practice, get a better understanding of the demands of floor nursing, and provided incredible experiences working with various patients. I would do it all over again if I could!"

SOURCE: Supporting nursing students’ transition to practitioners ( )
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