One of the largest areas of concern for students getting ready to commit to a major involves job opportunities and experience.
We sat down with IPFW junior nursing student Wilisha Graham about her experiences looking at schools and her goal for the future—working in pediatrics.
1. Clinical Experiences
At IPFW, students get the opportunity to go to a facility and work side-by-side with other nurses and healthcare professionals—they also get to participate in patient care as if they were already licensed nurses. Wilisha’s hands-on experience took place at Parkview Health hospital.
“We have a nurse working with us who is supervising. In getting that hands-on care, we're actually getting experience. We have the opportunity to get an actual job following our first semester in the program,” Wilisha says. “Parkview allows us the opportunity to work as techs on various units or even float and gain more experience on all the hospital units.”
2. Tech Job Opportunities
Once nursing students complete one semester chock-full of hands-on experience, most of them have the opportunity to get a job as a tech in local clinics and hospitals. Wilisha started working as a tech in the long-term care unit of a hospital.
“As a student, it was fun and interesting to be able to finally put on my nursing hat and take the role as a nurse,” Wilisha says. “Nursing is both an art and a science. Being able to have that clinical experience contributes to both of those—art and science—outside the classroom.”
3. Different Specialty Rotations
The program offers a variety of rotations, which help nursing students get a feel for the different areas of nursing and the job opportunities that come with them.
“We have a pediatric rotation as a student nurse,” Wilisha says. “That will allow for more experience and opportunity to seek out exactly which profession I would like—or which agency, I should say. That’s what I want to do.”
4. Supportive Career Services
“The nursing program does very well with job placement,” Wilisha says. “We also have the career services department, which helps write résumés, provides internships and externships, and does a data analysis on students post-graduation to see how they like their job, if they'd like a new job, and if they'd like IPFW to assist them in finding a new job. I definitely feel that IPFW would best fit assistance into the professional world.”
Overall, Wilisha is thrilled with the clinical and tech experiences she’s gotten so far and she’s confident that, in two more semesters, she’ll be able to get her dream job in pediatrics—and she has some advice for freshmen who want to follow in her footsteps.
“Just participate in everything inside of your program and student life, as well,” Wilisha says.