LOWVILLE — For the first time in “many, many years,” Jefferson Community College senior nursing students are doing clinical rotations once again at Lewis County General Hospital.
Beginning this week, 16 students are doing clinical rotations at the facility on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
According to the hospital’s Chief Operating Officer Michele Prince, both the hospital and the college have been working toward making the program possible for years, but the biggest challenge has been finding a clinical coordinator. JCC has been able to fill that role with Jamie Gibson.
The first round of rotations will be completed after six weeks, on Oct. 3.
“It’s wonderful not only for the students, but also for the hospital,” Ms. Prince said, “Having people around who are in college, working on their careers brings in new energy and that can be good for the staff, too.”
In the past, JCC did have rotations at the hospital, but now that the college’s nursing program has expanded over the past few years, the need for more clinical sites has grown, according to spokeswoman Pamela Dixon.
With this program, the college is giving its students an expanded clinical experience with “critical access rural hospitals.”
“As our relationship continues to grow with Lewis County, we are delighted to offer students a clinical there,” says Marie A. Hess, Ed.D. RN Interim Nursing Department Chair at JCC. “We plan to offer more clinical rotations at Lewis County General Hospital in the future.”
The hospital already has clinical rotation programs for physicians assistants with LeMoyne College and SUNY Upstate in Syracuse and Clarkson University, Potsdam.
Level one licensed practical nursing students from Jefferson-Lewis BOCES will also do a six-week rotation and the school’s nurses aide students will do their clinicals in the fall, Ms. Prince said.
“Hopefully once they graduate, they’ll want to stay,” Ms. Prince said of the students, to meet the staffing challenges faced by health care facilities in the north country.