Share Tweet Share Email

NIU Nursing students enjoy summer learning experience

July 5, 2021

Students from left to right: Razel Manlubatan, Katie Cochran, Parker Porter-Mareth. Marla Schlifke, Fonda Zhang, and Stacy Owaja.

Fonda Zhang got a jump start on her nursing career during a summer internship at Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital.

“I was able to have many hands-on experiences, and I learned more than what the books taught me over the past semester,” said Zhang, who is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Razel Manlubatan shared the sentiment.

“The opportunity to be a nurse intern is important since it gives us the opportunity to put into practice the concepts and skills we learned in our classes,” said Manlubatan, who plans to graduate in December.  “I was able to gain (general) knowledge about the nursing and healthcare field, and I was able to witness and experience different aspects of the nursing profession that I wasn’t aware of before.”

Zhang and Manlubatan were among seven NIU students from the School of Nursing who participated in the summer internship.

“What I enjoyed the most was just having the opportunity to practice nursing skills,” said Manlubatan.

“Being able to do things such as patient assessments really made me more confident and comfortable in my clinical and critical thinking skills.”

Corinne Haviley, vice president and chief nurse executive at Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Valley West Hospital, said nursing students gain valuable experience any time they care for patients at the bedside.

“The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted this important part of these students’ education,” Haviley said. “By participating in the internship experience, we hope students enhance their understanding of the autonomy, compassion, critical thinking and inter-professional collaboration that are the hallmarks of an excellent professional nurse.”

Haviley said she was impressed by the Huskie students, and that their enthusiasm and quality education stood out.

“One student volunteered to participate in an evidence-based literature review the nursing team was conducting,” Haviley said. “Her contribution was pertinent and of good quality, and helped the nurses on the unit make progress on their patient care improvement work.”

Kari Hickey, associate professor and director of NIU’s undergraduate nursing program, said the university values the partnership with Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital.

“We appreciate the opportunities the hospital and staff provide as we prepare our graduates to be leaders in providing patient-centered care, fostering research, integrating knowledge and improving health outcomes for all,” Hickey said.

Zhang enjoyed the internship so much, she will continue on this summer as a patient care technician (PCT).

“I really enjoyed being able to work with so many nurses and gain knowledge from them,” Zhang said.

Learn more about NIU’s School of Nursing.