Basic Training: Nursing Recruits Prepare to Fight Disease and Injury

Second Degree BSN students participate in an intense seven-week clinical boot camp.

Second Degree BSN students participate in an intense seven-week clinical boot camp.

A group of nursing recruits is now prepared to fight disease and injury after completing the School of Nursing’s Second Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program Clinical Boot Camp.

The boot camp is the first class Second Degree students take after being admitted to nursing school and taking a certified nursing assistant course.

"I really enjoyed boot camp," said Lubbock Second Degree student Marie Eberhardt. "I wasn't expecting everyone, including the teachers, to be so helpful, polite and informative. It was a great way to get to know fellow students and teachers. I cannot say enough about how great my experience at boot camp was."

During the fall 2011-2012 semester, 68 students in Abilene, Lubbock and Odessa completed the clinical experience, which provides an introduction to foundational skills and an overview of the standards for nursing practice.

“It is amazing how much knowledge the students are able to attain in a very short time,” said Laura Opton, R.N., MSN, CNE, coordinator for the Second Degree BSN Program. “Not only does boot camp prepare the students for the clinical setting, it also provides an avenue to develop a strong support group among peers as they work together so closely in this course. Peer support is one key component to student success due to the accelerated nature of the program.”

The boot camp focuses on client safety and comfort, nutrition, medication administration, beginning physical assessment skills and foundational nursing interventions, such as urinary catheterization, wound care and dressing changes, intravenous catheter insertion and nasogastric tube insertion.

Students at each campus work in small groups using the discovery learning approach with faculty guidance to explore concepts and patient situations. Upon completion of boot camp, students are prepared to begin the rigorous, accelerated one-year curriculum to earn a BSN degree.

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