Ahead of the Class
“It isn’t uncommon for students with internships to become hired by the company once the internship ends. I was fortunate enough to have this scenario become a reality for me,” says recent graduate Deidre Emerich '14.
After nursing student Deidre Emerich ’14 walked across the stage at graduation this spring, she stepped into her new role as a registered nurse at Overlook Medical Center. Thanks to an externship, she was able to land a job even before her senior year began and win a Career Services Award along the way for demonstrated personal and professional growth, leadership, and academics.
Emerich’s journey to the position started the summer of 2013 while doing a paid externship at Overlook Medical Center. With more than 300 applicants for 12 positions, the opportunity was competitive as well as challenging. She worked three 12-hour shifts on a medical/renal/gastric floor each week throughout the program’s eight-week duration.
Emerich performed finger sticks and physical assessments; developed care plans and reported to RNs and MDs; took vital signs and monitored intake and outtake; and more. “I was paired with a nurse preceptor and…had the opportunity to receive a hands-on, real-world nursing experience that could not compare to my clinical experience,” she says. “My preceptor gradually gave me more responsibility each week to improve my prioritization skills and patient management skills.”
In addition to her rounds, Emerich also participated in research projects. She presented an evidence-based poster, “Pressure Ulcer Prevention at the End Stages of Life,” to her employer at the end of the program, and also contributed to an article, “Summer Education,” that appeared in ADVANCE magazine’s digital edition on new nursing graduates.
Emerich stood out among other students in the program and was offered a position as a patient care technician immediately following her externship. On the maternity unit, she gained more experience working with patients, phlebotomy, and ECG. During this time, Emerich learned she’d been chosen for the hospital’s Professional Development Program, which offered her a $10,000 scholarship for her senior year at Pace and a 21-month employment contract after earning her degree and New Jersey state license.
“It isn’t uncommon for students with internships to become hired by the company once the internship ends. I was fortunate enough to have this scenario become a reality for me,” she says.
With employment secured before her final year at Pace started, she was able to focus on various student organizations that also tied in to her passion for nursing, like Student Nurses at Pace. Emerich is also the president of Nu Zeta Phi sorority, which supports breast cancer awareness as its designated philanthropy through Small Steps Towards a Big Cure, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Relay for Life, and more.
“Without this externship giving me a door into the hospital of my dreams, I would not be where I am today,” she says. “Having this experience allowed me to make hospital contacts, impress managers, and show the staff what I am capable of as a soon-to-be graduate nurse.”
Have a success story you want to share with the Pace Community? Whether it's a great internship experience, research, student club, or fascinating hobby, we want to hear from you. E-mail us!
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