Nursing students from the University of Rhode Island (URI) Nurse Practitioner programs are gaining experience with young patients thanks to a new volunteer opportunity. Taking what they’ve learned in the classroom into the exam room, the students have spent a few recent Saturday mornings at the Rhode Island Nursing Education Center performing full physicals on volunteer children.

These students are enrolled in the Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner programs. The children have been recruited from among friends and family to take part in the exercise where the nursing students interviewed the patients and their parents to gather a full medical and family history, then conducted a comprehensive physical exam.

Twenty URI students took part in the program, which allowed them to apply lessons learned in the classroom to real-life scenarios. Denise Coppa, associate professor and director of Advanced Practice for the College, monitored the exams by video in an adjoining room, allowing her to provide immediate feedback on the students’ performance.

Coppa tells today.uri.edu, “This gives the students great practice on compiling a patient’s history, conducting a physical exam and developing a full assessment of that patient. They benefit from practicing the physical exam as well as working on their communication skills with a patient. It gives the students real-world experience they can take with them.”

To learn more about how University of Rhode Island nurse practitioner students are gaining real-world experience with young patients, visit here.

Christina Morgan
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