CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – A hospital is often known as a place for when you are injured, ill, or need help. But WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital is also the setting where many students are being inspired, gaining valuable experience and finding a sense of confidence as they work towards a career in nursing.
Recent graduates of the program say it prepared them for their careers, helped them get jobs, and helped them know they were pursuing a career they would love.
Nicole Mine, who now works at WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital's Emergency Department, sought out a spot in the nurse intern program for the typical reasons most college students would.
"I wanted additional experience, and I thought it would look good on my resume," she admits.
However, what she gained through the paid, semester long, hands-on program was much more than she expected.
"I had plans to work at INOVA and was hired on, but after getting to work with the nurses here I knew this was the place for me," she explained. "The most influential experience I had was experiencing working in the Emergency Department for the first time. Prior to that experience I was feeling uncertain where I belonged and would be happy, but as soon as I started my rotation in the ED I knew I wanted to be an ED nurse and that I wanted to stay with Chambersburg Hospital."
Mine's story is not uncommon of graduates of the program; many tout the doors the program opens for their careers, often helping them find a full-time position at the hospital once they finish college.
Stacie Freedman, who is now a Registered Nurse working within the hospital's Critical Care Unit said the program showed her the realities of a career in nursing.
"I saw first-hand the good, the bad, the ugly, and the most amazing moments happen," she explained. "The program allowed me time to discover my interests within the realm of nursing."
Michelle Peloquin, who is about to complete her first year as a Registered Nurse in WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital's Emergency Department encourages local students to apply for the program.
"The program is great for anyone. Lacking confidence? Intimidated by starting IV's? Not sure if nursing is the right choice? Nervous about the medical field? Need help with pharmacology? I was all five, but I gained confidence, improved my skills, and the experience cemented the fact that nursing is for me," she said.
Students interested in applying for the program must be enrolled in a collegiate nursing program.