For the past five weeks 22 Belmont undergraduate nursing students participated in the Vanderbilt Experience: Student Nurse Internship Program (VESNIP) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) along with students from three other regional nursing programs. VESNIP provides an opportunity for clinical rotations during a credited independent course through each school and participants work one-on-one with a VUMC preceptor.
Six Belmont nursing students were awarded the highest honors at the culminating awards ceremony held July 8 in the Teaching and Learning Center at VUMC. Of the 12 total awards given, six went to Belmont students. Chelsea Stevens and Kathryn Russ received Credo awards, Christopher Russell received a People Pillar award, Emily Tice received the Evidence-Based Practice Award (which came with one-year access to the VUMC biomedical library), Chelsea Shirley received an award for fulfilling all five of VUMC’s pillars, and Katherine McFarland received the Nightingale award for overall professional leadership.
Shirley was also singled out for her quick thinking in a crisis situation. According to her preceptor, she “stopped us from giving Amidate because she remembered [the patient] had an allergy… It was quick thinking and she said it loudly enough for the team to hear. Her preceptor, other nurses and I want to reward her for an action that prevented an allergic reaction that causes seizures.”
This is the seventh year of the VESNIP program, which began as a partnership between Belmont’s School of Nursing and VUMC and is an outgrowth of the dissertation work done by Belmont Associate Professor of Nursing Dr. Leslie Fold. Dr. Folds leads Belmont’s efforts in the program and noted that “the caliber of students who are participating has increased each year.” The program has now expanded to a total of 62 students from four area nursing schools: Belmont, Austin Peay, Cumberland and Western Kentucky. The VESNIP positions are very competitive and are considered elite opportunities for students from around the region.