Collaborating with Educational Partners for CNEs

Instructor: Tara Schickel

Tara has taught staff nursing courses and has a master's degree in public health.

This lesson will describe how nurse educators can work with clinical and community partners to enhance student learning. We will discuss the types of organizations to partner with, and how to appropriately select clinical areas for students.

It Takes a Village

There is a lot that goes into developing students into nurses who are ready to practice. Educating nursing students is a comprehensive endeavor that goes far beyond the classroom. Incorporating community agencies and other clinical partners is essential in providing a well-rounded education.

Engaging Community Partners

Jane is a nurse educator who is trying to plan activities and experiences for her students that will allow them to gain a variety of exposures to the nursing profession and develop their skills. She is trying to figure out how to reach out to her community partners to utilize the services they can offer to her students.

Many community organizations can provide ways for nursing students to apply their nursing knowledge outside of the hospital setting. Some of these areas include:

  • Long-term care or rehabilitation facilities
  • Early child development programs
  • Home health agencies
  • School clinics
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Drug treatment facilities
  • Insurance companies

Jane has recently placed a student with an insurance company. The student will be able to learn about health care reform in the United States and begin to view how documentation of patient care is an invaluable part of nursing work.

Exploring these non-traditional environments while in school can help students develop a broader understanding of how they can use nursing science in their careers.

Reaching out to the Community for Scholarship Help

Jane is concerned about the declining number of nurses. She is trying to seek more ways to attract people to enter the profession. Reaching out to her community partners for scholarship funding is one way she can provide support for those individuals interested in pursing a healthcare career, but may be unable to financially enroll.

Partners such as service organizations, civic clubs, and community improvement leagues may be willing to utilize a portion of their accounts to establish nursing scholarships for those who are in need. As an educator, Jane needs to consider working together with these partners.

Making Every Clinical Opportunity Count

Jane is in a position that requires her to arrange clinical opportunities for her nursing students. It is important that when she selects these clinical settings, she keeps the ultimate educational goals of the students in mind.

This requires more than just going to the local hospital and determining what nursing unit is willing to take students. She must actively communicate with her clinical partners to provide comprehensive learning experiences that enhance and re-enforce what her students are learning in the classroom.

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