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Houston J. and Florence A. Doswell College of Nursing Grant

A fortuitous conversation between Tricia Scott, Director of Workforce Development for HCA North Texas and Stephanie Woods, Associate Dean, Houston J. and Florence A. Doswell College of Nursing, Texas Woman’s University began a relationship that resulted in the perioperative nursing externship.  Ms. Scott, was greatly concerned about the shortage of perioperative nurses, the difficulty in recruiting and retaining these nurses, and the growing dependence on travelers.  Dr. Woods was concerned that with the downturn in the economy, graduating nurses would have growing difficulty in obtaining jobs.  These concerns drove the future partners to collaborate and multiple conversations later, a model was developed, designed to:

1.  Provide undergraduate nursing students the opportunity to immerse themselves in perioperative nursing, during the summer prior to their last semester in nursing school.

2.  Pair a nursing course giving academic credit with an externship focused on clinical experience in the perioperative setting.

3.  Facilitate student participation through a financial scholarship package that funded the taking of the elective and paid a stipend for hours spent in the clinical setting.

It is a competitive process to become an extern.  Students must have a GPA of 3.25, performed well on examinations in their med-surg courses and complete a short essay on why they wish to be a perioperative or emergency department nurse.  Those who make the cut interview with HCA interviewers.  The interviewers are always impressed by the TWU students.

Students who are chosen take a two hour elective at TWU, and have a preceptor at one of the HCA hospitals in North Texas.  They spend approximately 120 hours in either the OR or the ED.  Students are given a $3000 scholarship from HCA.  HCA also supports the cost of the TWU faculty for the elective.

At the end of the externship, HCA often offers jobs to externs upon completion of their final semester in the nursing program.  The program has been highly successful and this year was expanded to include Emergency Dpt opportunities as well.





page last updated 8/12/2014 3:07 PM