What sets Frontier Nursing University (FNU) apart from other online advanced nursing programs? The answer: many things, but one thing at the top of the list is our on-campus Clinical Bound experience for Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Post-Graduate Certificate (PGC) students!
Clinical Bound is a five-day skills intensive experience in which students return to our Versailles, Ky. campus before they begin their clinical practicum. This unique, hands-on active learning experience allows students to feel validated as having acquired the skills necessary to begin their community-based clinical practicum. Clinical Bound also allows students to have face to face communication with their faculty members and peers. It is one of the signature events in every student’s time at FNU. Clinical Bound is the second time students come to campus. The first time is for Frontier Bound, which is a three-day orientation-style experience.
FNU held its first Clinical Bound on our Versailles, Ky. campus in August of 2021. Our new campus features labs, simulation rooms and classrooms with state-of-the-art technology that allows for innovative ways of teaching and learning.
“What we have done is enhance the experience for the student on campus to make it the most lifelike possible, prior to a real patient exam,” Innovation Coach and Simulation Coordinator Tia Andrighetti, DNP, APRN, CNM, CHSE-A, CNE said. Dr. Andrighetti. “We are training people who need to be very versed in primary care and interaction with the patient.”
Clinical Bound is an exciting time for students as it is essentially the first time, for many, that they are practicing under the specialty they are studying. It may be nerve racking, but our clinical faculty host discussions, peer-learning and practice sessions to fully prepare students before they begin working with standardized patients (SP) and mannequins in simulations.
Speaking of standardized patients, SPs allow students to have real-life experience working with a real person as a patient, but in a controlled and predictable environment. SPs use a script, which provides consistency in each clinical scenario while allowing the student to still interact and work on their skills with a real person. Students are able to practice physical examinations, history taking skills, communication, and patient counseling with these individuals. This innovative way of clinical practice benefits both the student practicing and their peers, who often have the opportunity to observe sessions, either in the exam room or virtually. Students are given immediate feedback on their performance from their faculty member and the SP after the simulation is over.
As for the mannequins, students use those in a variety of ways during Clinical Bound. For example, nurse-midwifery students will practice birth techniques with an actress trained to portray a woman in labor and a mannequin torso in between her legs. This allows the student to practice birth techniques while also interacting with the patient, similar to a real birth experience.
It is important that the simulations are realistic to help students gain confidence in their skills and knowledge before working with actual patients. These practice sessions during Clinical Bound are invaluable to students. They allow for hands-on interaction with immediate feedback from faculty members. It allows them to ask questions and refine their skills before entering into clinical practicums. It also gives faculty members the opportunity to reiterate information learned during the didactic portion of their studies.
Clinical Bound is an experience the students can’t get at most other distance-learning institutions. When our students leave Clinical Bound, they are well-prepared to begin their clinical experience and have made lifelong friendships and connections. FNU faculty, staff and leadership are confident that the students leave as competent, entrepreneurial, ethical, and compassionate leaders ready to begin clinical practicums in their home communities.
Are you interested in learning more about Clinical Bound and our Versailles, Ky. campus? Check out our website or request to learn more about our programs. FNU offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree and post-graduate certificates leading to education as a certified nurse-midwife (CNM), family nurse practitioner (FNP), women’s health care nurse practitioner (WHNP) and psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP).