As an intern for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Indiana University (IU) Health Methodist Hospital, Jennifer Matters, a junior nursing major at Anderson University, is gaining valuable and practical nursing experience.
Matters completes a variety of tasks at the IU Health NICU and will continue to work in various areas throughout the internship. “She will learn how to give routine baby care to infants, attend high-risk deliveries, and observe procedures to determine if this is an area of nursing that she would like to work in when she graduates,” said Debra Ward, clinical manager at the NICU at IU Health.
During the beginning stages of the application process, Matters was selective when applying for positions. “I later decided that I really could not continue to be picky and needed to just put my foot in the door with a hospital, even if it was not my first choice,” said Matters.
Matters had the opportunity to interview with both the Renal and Metabolic Unit and NICU for internships. “She had very good references and presented herself well in the interview,” said Ward. “She seemed truly excited about the opportunity to work with babies in a NICU.”
Matters started her position in July 2013 and will continue her internship through graduation. “This internship will give her the opportunity to learn how to communicate appropriately with physicians, registered nurses, and other NICU team members,” said Ward. “It also gives her the chance to become familiar with navigating a patient chart and documenting information correctly in the electronic record.”
The AU School of Nursing has taught Matters the nursing essentials needed to strengthen her future medial career. "They have taught me the basic fundamentals a nurse needs to have as a foundation to be able to grow and be a better nurse," said Matters. "I have learned therapeutic communication skills when interacting with patients, critical thinking strategies, and how to do proper assessments on every patient you have."
The experience that Matters gained through AU set her apart from other applicants. “Because we offer students the opportunity to take advantage of clinical hours and lots of time in the simulation lab, students can gain a lot of great hands-on experience,” said Jason Pierce, assistant professor of nursing at AU. “We are really focused on graduating good nurses, rather than just graduating people. If we are going to graduate someone, I want to be able to be proud and say I know that they are going to be a good nurse.”
Between Matters’ internship and her experience in the AU nursing program, her hard work and dedication shows through. “We are very proud of Jennifer,” Pierce said. “Anytime IU Health offers an internship they are going to gets hundreds, if not thousands, of applications from students who want to fill those roles. She should be very proud of herself by getting selected to have this opportunity.”
— Allison Boyle is a sophomore from Sykesville, Md., majoring in communication arts. Boyle is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.), Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.