A statewide consortium initiative to establish an undergraduate clinical internship program

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Date of Original Version



The amount of time and the type of experience needed by undergraduate students in the clinical setting to actually practice nursing has been the subject of many debates between nurses in academe and service. Rather than blaming each other for the culture shock and transition problems of neophyte nurses, members of the academic and practice community in Rhode island decided to address the problem together. The development of the collaborative program described in this article grew out of a research study and was coordinated through the efforts of nurses from service and academe. The central outcome of this statewide consortium's project was to increase the students' level of nursing competencies. "Turf" issues that related to the colleges and the hospitals involved became secondary. Everyone involved believed that students from different collegiate programs working together presented exciting opportunities to share and learn from one another. In addition, other outcomes included increased recruitment and retention of these baccalaureate-prepared nurses in the hospitals, and greater ease in their orientation and transition. In addition, a cluster of three research studies were conducted by members of the consortium. This ongoing program, in which nurses in education and service are working together in a statewide consortium to break down the turf issues that separated them, is achieving outcomes that could not have been accomplished had it been undertaken independently. This article describes the process used to develop, implement, and evaluate such a program. It focuses on the barriers encountered and the strategies used to deal with these problems during each phase of development, as well as recommendations for those who dare to try this type of program. © 1992.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Professional Nursing