clinical rotations and careers

If you like working with people, have a strong interest in the biological sciences and strong math skills, you should consider a career in nursing, and there is no better time to enter the profession of nursing than right now.

The legal definition of nursing is the diagnosis and treatment of human response to actual and potential health problems. Nurses collaborate with physicians and other health care providers, and also operate independently of them. Nurses' roles include direct patient care, case management, directing programs in health care, research, and development of health care policy.

Demand for baccalaureate-prepared Registered Nurses (RNs) is growing, and a federal advisory panel recommends that at least two-thirds of the nurse workforce hold baccalaureate or higher degrees by 2010. A B.S. in nursing offers entry to a career path in the increasingly complex healthcare environment, one of the fastest-growing job markets in the world.

• There are 2,910,000 licensed RNs in the United States with an average age of 46.8 years. Demand for specialized RNs in hospitals will climb by 36 percent by 2020 even as health care continues to shift to the community.

• With a B.S. in nursing, you can work in hospitals, home care, schools and clinics, case management, health administration, pharmaceutical sales and military service as an officer.

• With a B.S. in nursing, you can pursue graduate work in nursing (nurse-practitioner, nurse-midwife, teaching), health policy, law and public health.

• 56.2 percent of nurses work in hospitals, where they comprise the largest single component of hospital staff. Others work in community-based sites including home health care, HMOs, public health agencies, clinics and schools.

Clinical Rotations

The strength of Colby-Sawyer's Nursing program is that students begin clinical rotations, the clinical component of nursing courses, in their sophomore year. Rotations are taught by nursing faculty, who are responsible for assisting students in the integration of theory and practice in a clinical setting.

Colby-Sawyer College offers its students clinical rotations in a variety of inpatient and community settings. The Department of Nursing is affiliated with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, New London Hospital, Concord Hospital, Elliot Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital in addition to other health and human services organizations.

As sophomores, students spend one day each week in a clinical setting. During junior year and fall of the senior year, nursing students spend two days a week in a clinical setting. Hospital-based clinical rotations include rotations in pediatrics, obstetrics, medical/surgical, and mental health.

In spring of senior year, students do a semester-long preceptorship, working one-on-one with a nurse-preceptor in a clinical setting under the guidance of nursing faculty. Preceptorship settings have included: hematology special care, post-anesthesia care, emergency department, cardiac untervention and pediatrics, among others. This experience facilitates students' transition from the role of student to graduate nurse.

Careers in Nursing

Several recent graduates have stayed in the New London area and work at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in surgical specialties, hematology/oncology, inpatient surgery and pediatrics.

Recent graduates are also working at Frisbie Memorial Hospital in medical/surgical specialties; Concord Hospital in orthopedics; Fletcher Allen Health Care in general medicine; and University of California - Davis Medical Center in the Burn ICU.

Other graduates continue their education to become registered nurse practitioners.

Career Paths with a B.S. in Nursing

Provider of care in hospitals and in community-based settings and hospices; positions as a care coordinator, case manager, research assistant, developer of health promotion and health teaching programs; school nursing; pharmaceutical sales representative; health care administration; and military service as an officer.

Career Paths with an M.S. in Nursing

Advanced registered nurse practitioner in adult health, pediatrics, women's health, psychiatric/mental health and critical care specialties; certified nurse midwife; nurse-anesthetist; nursing education; developer of health care policy and legislation; management of health care organizations and programs; research.

Related career paths

An undergraduate degree in nursing is also excellent preparation for graduate work in other health related fields: counseling, health care administration, business, health care policy, health law, public health, research methods.

Harrington Career Development Center

Students are encouraged to use the resources of the Harrington Career Development Center, where they can meet with a counselor to explore career options, and graduate schools.