George Mason University Practicum Experience at American Nurses Association
Completing a practicum is required for advanced nursing education. A practicum involves taking the skills and knowledge learned in the classroom and applying it to real work situations with the guidance of a preceptor. Preceptors are required to have a masters or doctorate degree in nursing. There are 3.1 million nurses in the United States and twelve percent of these nurses hold a masters degree and approximately one percent a doctorate degree. The paucity of nurses with requisite advanced degrees narrows the opportunity for graduate level students to find practicum sites to experience didactic education at work.
The American Nurses Association has partnered with nursing schools as a site for graduate level nursing students to complete their practicum experience. As a George Mason University (GMU) student in the nursing administration program, I had the opportunity to work with Rose Gonzalez PhD, RN, ANA Director of Government Affairs and her team over the past school year. I met nurses from all over the U.S. working to advance the future of nursing, ensure safe working conditions and promote nurses’ ability to work to the fullest extent of their educational level while minimizing scope of practice barriers.
I had the opportunity to see how the ANA works to support nurses and to learn how our leaders work to be a part of the legislative decision making on Capitol Hill. My practicum with Dr. Gonzalez at the ANA has shown me yet another aspect of nursing that is vital to our future. In addition to me, Dr. Gonzalez was the preceptor for two students from other universities. She truly believes in giving back to the profession.
Rosemary Oshinsky, GMU Nurse Intern