Meeting the Future of Nursing Report™ Recommendations

A Successful Practice-Academic Partnership

Cindy Stout, DNP, RN, NEA, BC; Nancy Short, DrPH, MBA, RN; Kelly Aldrich, DNP, RN-BC, CCRN-A; R. Jacob Cintron, MBA, MAcc, BSIE, PE; Elias Provencio-Vasquez, PhD, RN, FAAN


Nurs Econ. 2015;33(3):161-166. 

In This Article

Applicant Selection

Applicants were required to submit an application, a letter of interest indicating their commitment to the nursing profession, unofficial college transcript, and picture identification card. The applicants ranked their area of preference from 1–6 for the following nursing departments: ED, ICU, CVICU, NICU, telemetry, and medical-surgical. Depending on the number of applicants and open positions, selected interns were assigned to one department for the length of the internship.

Each interested candidate had a behavioral-based panel interview, conducted by Del Sol and UTEP team members. Interns signed a promissory note for the monetary stipend they received and committed to work for Del Sol for a minimum of 1 year; the total debt not to be forgiven until 12 months of work time occurred. All payments were to be ceased and the interns were required to make full repayment to the hospital within 30 days of occurrence for any of the following events: withdrawal from the program, failure to complete the program or maintain the minimum requirements of the internship, failure to meet the hospital's employment hiring qualifications, failure to accept an offer for full-time employment as a RN, failure to pass a routine drug screen and criminal background check, or failure to pass the NCLEX-RN® examination. If Del Sol elected to not hire the intern, the intern would be responsible for repayment. The interns were eligible to receive the usual Del Sol RN sign-on recruitment bonus upon hire as a full-time employee.

Del Sol preceptors were selected based upon recommendations from their department directors. They participated in a paid 7-hour training course specific to this program, their role, weekly intern evaluations, and intern competency completion. Preceptors were eligible to receive credit toward promotion within the hospital's professional development program.

The selected nurse interns started the program during a semester intercession. During the first 3 weeks, interns focused on completion of general hospital and nursing orientation, didactic training, and simulation training for the interns' assigned patient populations. They also began clinical orientation in their assigned department, matching the hours of the hospital-selected preceptor. The UTEP nursing student liability coverage was in effect while the interns practiced at Del Sol. The interns wore Del Sol department-specific scrubs rather than UTEP uniforms along with a special Del Sol/UTEP badge.

Throughout the semester, Del Sol and UTEP coordinated schedules. The interns completed their acute care and subsequent community practicums at Del Sol. UTEP students typically complete 180 hours of acute care practicum and 135 hours of community practicum as approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The nurse interns received an additional 260 hours of internship time while at Del Sol. Nurse interns worked closely with their preceptors to complete the Del Sol nursing competencies while also completing their UTEP course work. The weekly schedule for student interns was attendance at two UTEP on-campus didactic class periods on Mondays and, on the remaining days of the week, three precepted 12-hour shifts at Del Sol.