Professional Nursing Role and Student Learning

A nurse pointing something out on a computer to a student

Faculty must evaluate whether students can experience and learn about the role of the RN at the selected nursing home. A nursing home that has only a few RNs and does not differentiate between RN and LPN roles, is not the best place for student learning.

Taking into consideration the professional nursing needs of residents as well the guidelines for professional nursing practice in a nursing home, many learning activities can be crafted for students to develop experience in the RN role. Click the tabs below to review three example activities that you can use with your students.

Assign students to work with the MDS assessment coordinator to complete an MDS assessment (minimum data set) for a newly admitted resident. Require students to use the information from the MDS assessment to develop a plan of care, and conduct a care planning conference with assisting nursing staff for the newly admitted resident.

Assign several students to manage a group of 8-10 residents. Require students to:

  • Make resident care assignments for assisting staff
  • Gather the shift report and any directions from the off-going nurses and give this report and these directions to assisting staff when giving them their assignments
  • Administer medications and treatments
  • Communicate with interdisciplinary staff, including physicians and nurse practitioners
  • Monitor care throughout the shift
  • Identify and address ongoing needs and those that are identified by assisting staff
  • Document nursing actions
  • Follow up with assisting staff at the end of the shift and give the report to oncoming nurses.

Assign students to engage in a quality improvement activity that is focused on a nurse-sensitive indicator. Require students to:

  • Gather data about a specified indicator
  • Determine the root cause(s) of the factors that are contributing to performance problems
  • Develop a quality improvement plan to address the problems
  • Communicate and implement the plan
  • Evaluate the results.

Question for reflection...

Given what you have learned about the professional nursing needs of residents and the professional practice environment for nursing, identify a discussion question you would use with students at post-clinical conference related to the role of the RN in nursing homes.

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