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New nursing program said more 'real life'

Jan. 3, 2012 at 12:59 AM

HOUSTON, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Students get more real-world training in the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston's redesigned, four-semester nursing program, officials say.

The Pacesetters track gives students their in-classroom course work, plus an opportunity to work a full-time clinical rotation schedule for 16 weeks during the final semester of their bachelor of science program.

The concept was developed by a task force chaired by Cathy Rozmus, associate dean of the School of Nursing -- who said, thanks to clinical partners such as the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, the nursing students experience 12-hour work shifts, continuity of care with patients and become acquainted with the hospital's system of care.

In addition, students have had the opportunity to work in a variety of nursing settings, such as in local schools and community sites, and obstetric, acute and pediatric nursing units, Rozmus said.

In a typical nursing school curriculum, the student might not get continuity-of-care experience and usually have only brief, limited contact with each hospital's system of care, location of supplies and charting methods, Rozmus said.

"I've been able to connect with patients and follow them throughout the course of their treatment because we work three rotation shifts in a week," one of the students said.