Description: Perioperative nursing requires specialized training and skills that are not routinely offered as part of the curricula in most nursing programs. As a result, most nursing students are not aware of the full scope of the perioperative specialty and do not pursue such positions after graduation. Through an existing collaborative partnership between Mount Saint Mary’s University Los Angeles and the Ronald Reagan University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center Department of Operative Services, two undergraduate nursing students underwent a 6-week perioperative nursing summer internship in 2019. The goals of the internship were to provide greater exposure and insight as well as enhance the recruitment of nurses into the perioperative environment. Fundamental didactic perioperative knowledge and skills were provided in a collaborative group learning environment in order to foster the students’ understanding of group processes, communication skills, and teamwork. Clinical experiences focused on the role of the scrub nurse, as the circulating nurse’s scope of practice and professional role were too complex for students to learn and implement based on past experience. At the conclusion of the internship, both students reported increased confidence in their plans to pursue careers in perioperative nursing after graduation. This summer internship model has demonstrated effectiveness in exposing nursing students to the perioperative environment and can potentially function as a recruitment tool to attract students into new graduate perioperative nursing positions.
Co-Authors: William Guinhawa, Lauren Fujihara, Maria Benedicto, Matthew Sanchez, Angelica Rios