SPOKANE – Juniors in the nursing program at the WSU College of Nursing anticipate the opportunity to gain hands-on experience at Washington’s only Level I adult and pediatric trauma center.
Beginning in spring 2009, Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and the WSU College of Nursing will extend the opportunity for 10 juniors to participate in practical clinical study at Harborview with the potential to return the following year to complete their required senior practicum. This represents an expansion of the existing arrangement between Harborview and the WSU College of Nursing that currently provides senior practicum opportunities to approximately 20 students each year.
“Due to the quality of these seniors and their level of preparation from the program at WSU, we saw value in strengthening the partnership and extending the offer of clinical experience to juniors,” said Kathy Hare, nurse manager of neurology at medical center.
Harborview initiated and will fund the newly extended partnership by providing instructors, paving a direct path between the medical center and the future graduates they may someday hope to hire.
“Students are excited at the prospect of training at this remarkable hospital,” said Freddi Van Gemert, clinical placement coordinator and instructor at the WSU College of Nursing. “Washington has so many outstanding hospitals throughout the state. By expanding the Harborview partnership we will be providing our students with access to the broadest array of clinical opportunities available.”
Hoping to apply their expertise at Harborview’s new medical-surgical unit, more than 40 attended an informational forum and 18 students applied for the first 10 spots. Those selected will begin intensive, five-week clinical work that will fulfill their junior medical-surgical requirements.
“This will absolutely make these students stronger nursing candidates with competitive skills,” said Darla Fagan, nursing recruitment and retention specialist at Harborview. 
Since 2002, WSU has sent approximately 70 senior nursing students to complete practicum work at Harborview, and many receive offers to work for Harborview upon graduation.