SPOKANE, Wash. — They’ve got the basics, now they’re learning the finer points of the nursing profession. Through unique summer course offerings, students at the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing receive expert instruction in areas complementary to the traditional nursing curriculum throughout May and June.

A Therapeutic Touch course, a nursing modality of caring and healing, provides information about the use of intentional, focused touch as a primary mechanism to convey caring, support, empathy, trust and reassurance to others.

The Dysrhythmias/Advanced Cardiac Life Support course provides an overview of basic electrocardiogram interpretation and a review of skills and content necessary to achieve ACLS certification.

In a course titled Advanced Health Assessment and Differential Diagnosis, students use patients’ health histories and physicals to make diagnoses. At the end of the course, under the supervision of their professor or instructor, students practice their newly learned skills on 25 local children who are part of a volunteer program.

“These extra credentials are not necessarily part of most nursing programs,” said Anne Hirsch, associate dean for academic affairs at the College of Nursing. “The purpose is to make our graduates more marketable than they already are.”

Enrollment has grown to 38 graduate students and 25 undergraduate students since the college first offered a summer course curriculum more than a decade ago. Additionally, 19 students are enrolled in a Therapeutic Touch course at the Yakima site.

Established in 1968, the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing is the nation’s first, oldest and most comprehensive nursing education consortium. The College of Nursing offers baccalaureate, graduate and professional development course work to nursing students enrolled through its four consortium partners: Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, WSU and Whitworth College. Each year, the college educates more than 550 graduate and upper-division undergraduate students and prepares more entry-level nurses than any other educational institution in the state.