The following essay is a presentation on ways the experiential learning program at Middle Tennessee State University has helped me to be successful in college and prepared me for my future in the field of nursing.
Experiential Learning Program
Throughout my years in college, Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) has provided me with relevant real-world learning opportunities through their experiential learning program, EXL. I have gained a tremendous amount of experience with hands on learning that has given me an advantage when it comes to job seeking and gaining acceptance into graduate programs. The six learning outcomes set out by EXL, has led and allowed me to excel in college and have prepared me for my future as a nurse. Now I am not only confident that I will succeed in college, but in the real world of nursing also.
Each clinical experience has helped me to develop an experience-based knowledge of nursing in a variety of different settings. I have done clinical rotations in each of the following departments: geriatrics, obstetrics, medical-surgical, pediatrics, oncology, mental health, critical care, and leadership in obstetrics. These clinical experiences have provided me with the ability to apply theories and concepts to practical problems, e.g., each client that was given care had a problem that needed to be solved in order to nurse back to health. These opportunities gave me the chance to use skills learned in the classroom through lecture, and practice them in a true hospital setting. These real-world experiences have prepared me greatly for when I enter nursing.
I have not only learned critical thinking skill though, I have come to deeply appreciate nursing as a career, and love my career choice. It is such a positive experience to care for patients and their families and make a change in peoples’ lives. My most memorable learning experience is working in labor and delivery. It is such a joyful atmosphere to work in because the patients are so genuinely happy about their newborn baby. Since my passion is obstetric nursing, this opportunity provided me with more knowledge that could ever be gained in the classroom setting.
I have also learned about the value of making a contribution to the community. Throughout nursing school I have participated in a number of community service activities. What I enjoy most about community service is the fact that something so easy to do can provide tremendous benefits for someone else. It is so easy to raise money or participate in a walk, and the payoff to the community is so great. I have participated in the Susan G. Coman Walk for the Cure for the past two years, and it is very inspiring to watch these surviving women come together and raise money for such a wonderful cause. They have battled a horrible disease and still fight for other women. It is extremely rewarding to know that you made a difference in someone’s life.
I have also done a great deal of research while in nursing school. I have completed two case studies, three complex research papers, and learned a great deal about conducting research. My research skills will prove to be vital to be successful in graduate school and in my field of medicine. Research is crucial in the medical filed, since nurses and practitioners rely on research with daily practice. It is so very important for nurses to be able to conduct and read research to provide patients with the best possible outcome of care.
Finally, I have learned how to be an exceptional leader. I have grown immensely since when I first began college, and have blossomed into a leader with many skills including: teamwork, ability to direct others, and interpersonal skills. As well as, managerial skills including: planning, organizing, problem solving, and communicating. All these skills and experiences would no be available without EXL. I would not have become the successful, experienced graduate nurse that I am today if it were not for the experiential learning program at MTSU.