The Hands-on Experience for Nursing School Students

Discussion Questions

According to Feldman and Alexander (2012), writing an effective summary can be very because one has to provide detailed information about the entire work using as a limited number of words as possible. The executive summary must provide a mirror about the contents of a report to help the ready to know what a given report is all about. My biggest challenge when writing an executive summary is how to effectively condense the entire work within a limited amount of words. It always challenging to select facts from the report that should be included in the summary and what should be avoided. Sometimes I end up writing an executive summary that is longer than the preferred length. An executive summary should be short and precise, and the moment it is longer than expected, then it may fail to achieve its purpose. As Dunham (2011) says, if care is not taken, one may easily fail to capture the most important aspects of a report within the executive summary. Sometimes I experience such problems. To guide me in this paper, the following questions will act as a guide when presenting the project.

  • What is the aim of the research?
  • Who is the targeted audience?
  • What are some of the important findings of the research?



According to research by Black and Chitty (2014), the role of nurses in modern society is rapidly changing as they find themselves in positions where they have to make critical decisions about how to handle their patients to spare their lives. In the past, nurses were considered assistants to medical doctors and were not expected to make critical decisions unless it is authorized by a medical doctor. However, this is changing systematically. Nurses are always present in the wards, casualty rooms, in theatres, and all other areas where patients are taken care of within the hospitals. Within the wards, nurses are expected to monitor patients to ensure that they are making positive progress. However, sometimes they are forced to decide on how to rescue a patient during emergencies in absence of doctors. That is why it is necessary to have a more hands-on experience for nursing school students to ensure that they can make such critical decisions when such occasions arise.

After successful completion of the MSN program, a nurse should be able to collaborate with other nurses and doctors in the delivery of their service. They should know what is expected of them when handling patients and how they should make necessary consultations with other nurses or doctors in cases where they have to make a critical decision that may spare the life of their patients. Implementing a more hands-on experience for nursing school students is very important in this era where nurses have become part of the decision-making teams when it comes to helping patients who are in critical conditions. According to Feldman and Alexander (2012), traditionally, nursing courses have always emphasized the theoretical aspects of explaining the tasks of nurses. This has made it difficult for them to make critical decisions when they are in a practical setting of a hospital. However, this has can be changed when a more hands-on experience is emphasized for these nursing students. They get to understand the practical aspects of their jobs and how they can collaborate with their fellow nurses and doctors to deliver the best of the services possible to their clients. In this project, the aim is to implement a more hands-on experience for nursing school students to promote more collaboration with other nurses and doctors.

Significance of the Project

According to Black and Chitty (2014), the emerging trends in nursing have brought massive changes in the specific roles of nurses in the modern-day hospital setting. Gone are the days when nurses were seen as assistants to doctors who had to be passive when it came to decision-making processes within healthcare centers. In modern society, nurses find themselves in situations where they have to make critical decisions about how to spare the lives of their patients almost daily. However, the problem has been that most nurses lack the expertise and skills that can help them when making such decisions. This is so because most of the traditional BSN and MSN curriculums are designed to make nurses perfect assistants to doctors. A time has come when this has to change. After successful completion of BSN and MSN programs, graduate nurses should be in a position to make critical decisions on how to handle a patient. This can only be possible if they had a hands-on experience when they were in school to enable them to know how to collaborate with other nurses and doctors when handling cases of emergency that require critical decisions to be made. This project is, therefore, very important because it seeks to find effective ways of making graduate nurses more oriented to the practical nature of their work. It will also empower such graduates by enabling them to know how to work as a team with other nurses and doctors.

Theoretical Plans

When developing strategies that will promote a more hands-on experience for nursing school students, it is important to come up with theoretical plans that will help in transforming these learners into effective leaders who can make critical decisions when a situation arises. Several leadership theories may be necessary at this stage. The first concept that would be important at this stage is Situational Leadership Theory (Bigler & Hanegan, 2011). This theory holds that leaders should be able to make decisions based on the situation that faces. This requires them to be creative and flexible as to approach each situation as unique as possible and come up with a practical solution to such problems. Nurses work in an environment where they have to deal with different situations. Today they may handle a patient who is having a cardiac arrest. The following day may be a completely different problem that they have to deal with. As situational leaders, they are expected to come up with different strategies of handling different problems as uniquely as possible. They should avoid being rigid in their thinking and the way of responding to different issues that affect their patients.

Transformational Leadership Theory is another theoretical concept that is very important at this stage. According to Shalala (2011), in many cases people have hidden potential that they do not even understand exists in them. Such talents and special capabilities may lie untapped within a person if someone does not recognize them as soon as possible. A nurse educator must be a transformational leader. He or she must study the students carefully and identify some of the special skills and core competencies they have that can help them in their nursing practice. Such talents should be developed using hands-on experience while they are still in nursing schools to ensure that when they graduate, they have improved capacity of using them for the betterment of the quality of their services.

Project’s Plan with Planned Intervention Strategies

The primary aim of this project is to come up with an effective plan and intervention strategies that will promote a more hands-on experience for nursing school students. This plan will require major changes in the current curriculum used in educating BSN and MSN students in nursing school. Instead of the emphasis on the theoretical aspects of nursing that have been witnessed in the past, a new approach will be taken where the emphasis will be placed on the practical context, especially for learners in their final years of education. Instead of the traditional internships meant to last for a few months, final year BSN and MSN students will spend most of their time in hospitals working alongside nurses and doctors in presence of their instructors. This way, they get to understand the practical aspects of their work. They get to know the challenges that nurses always face and how these challenges can be managed to ensure that the expected success is achieved. The project aims to promote QSEN (Quality and Safety Education for Nurses) as discussed below.

QSEN standards

The research by Dunham (2011) talks about the need to improve the curricula for nurses to ensure that BSN and MSN graduates have the necessary skills needed in the modern hospital setting to offer quality care to their patients. QSEN standards have been considered a standard guide that can be used to improve these curricula to meet the current nursing needs. These standards focus on six core competencies that should be emphasized by nursing educators in the current nursing schools. They include the following:

  • Patient-centered care practices
  • Teamwork and collaboration among caregivers
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Continuous quality improvement
  • Safety
  • Informatics

This project was informed by the concepts of evidence-based practice. According to Vincent (2012), it is always common to find cases of resistance when introducing change within a given system. People often fear change, not because they are unable to adapt to the changes, but simply for the fear of the unknown. Nursing educators, nursing students, and other stakeholders may find the proposed system of education very different from the systems they are always used to in their practice. Intervention plans on how to deal with such cases of resistance may be necessary. In this project, the plan will be to prepare all the stakeholders before initiating the project. They will be informed about the importance of this project, how every stakeholder will benefit, and the mechanisms they can use to adapt to the new system.

Evaluation Plan for Assessing the Project’s Outcome

It is very important to come up with an evaluation plan for assessing the project’s outcome. The plan will help to determine whether or not nursing students have grasped the concepts taught to them during the hands-on training process. The above core competencies are meant to provide nursing students with the skills and knowledge they need when they are handling patients or addressing their nursing roles in different contexts. The planned intervention strategies based on the above core competencies will focus on ensuring that learners grasp the concepts by subjecting them through tests. In case they fail to pass such tests, they may be forced to go through the entire course to ensure that by the time they graduate from college, they have the skills and core competencies that are expected of them as practicing nurses in various fields.

Conclusion and Recommendations

It is clear from the above discussion that it is important to implement a more hands-on experience for nursing school students to promote more collaboration with other nurses and doctors. Nurses in modern society find themselves in situations where they have to make very important decisions that may help spare the lives of their patients. To ensure that they can effectively execute their new mandate, they need to get the necessary training that will empower them in their areas of work. Based on the discussions, the following are some of the recommendations that should be observed to ensure that there is personal growth and innovation in nursing practice.

  • The current nursing curricula should be redefined to focus more on the new role of nurses in modern hospitals.
  • The curricula should emphasize hands-on experience for nursing school students to ensure that they are equipped with relevant practical skills they need in their workplace.
  • Continuous learning and development for the nurses should be promoted among the nurses to ensure that they understand the emerging trends in their field.


Bigler, A. M., & Hanegan, N. L. (2011). Student Content Knowledge Increases After Participation in a Hands-on Biotechnology Intervention. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 20(3), 246-257.

Black, B. P., & Chitty, K. K. (2014). Professional nursing: Concepts & challenges. St. Louis: Elsevier.

Dunham, K. (2011). How to Survive and Maybe Even Love Nursing School. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Co.

Feldman, H. R., & Alexander, G. R. (2012). Nursing leadership: A concise encyclopedia. New York: Springer.

Shalala, D. (2011). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Washington: National Academies Press.

Vincent, C. (2012). Patient Safety. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

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1. NursingBird. "The Hands-on Experience for Nursing School Students." May 3, 2022.


NursingBird. "The Hands-on Experience for Nursing School Students." May 3, 2022.