Nursing Student Gains Neuroscience Experience at Mayo Clinic
A senior in the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing spent 10 weeks last summer providing patient care in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Meredith Brown, center, worked at the Mayo Clinic last summer with Charis Jones, left, of Seattle Pacific University and Mona Shirazi of College of St. Benedict.
University of Arkansas Honors College student Meredith Brown of Fayetteville was one of 106 students chosen from around the United States to participate in the summer employment program for baccalaureate nursing students in their junior year. The Mayo program was established 44 years ago, making it the most well-established program of its kind in the country.
Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world, according to its website.
"During the 10-week externship, I provided direct nursing care while under the supervision of a clinical nurse preceptor," said Brown, a 2007 graduate of Shiloh Christian School in Springdale. "A few of the highlights from the summer include assisting during two code blue situations, providing care during a tornado touchdown in Rochester, and observing a craniectomy and tumor resection in the operating room.
"My confidence grew tremendously during this experience, as did my knowledge base, technical skills, communication skills and overall critical-thinking ability," Brown continued. "I felt well-prepared to be in that environment, which I attribute to the quality of the nursing program offered at the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing."
Brown also attended presentations on various topics in nursing, shadowed a clinical nurse specialist, attended nursing forums and had numerous observational experiences on different intensive care units around the clinic.
"It was an invaluable experience which affirmed my desire to be a professional nurse," she said. "I love the unique role that nurses play in patient care and cannot wait to enter the work force after graduation with 'RN' after my name."
Brown plans to graduate in May and would like to work in an intensive care unit because of her interest in critical care.
"I feel a calling to nursing, and I love the unique role nurses play in patient care," she said. "Nursing is not a stagnant profession, but one that is actively growing and evolving. It requires pioneering, innovation and a commitment to lifelong learning."
Her mother and both grandmothers were nurses, and their lives have inspired her, Brown said.
Brown is also one of the eight students in the College of Education and Health Professions who won State Undergraduate Research Fellowship awards given to honors students last year by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. She is conducting research on the prediction of adverse outcomes in patients with congestive heart failure with her mentor, Nan Smith-Blair, associate professor of nursing and director of the nursing school.
"I chose the honors program because I wanted to get the most out of my education, and I appreciated the opportunity it gave me to do undergraduate research," Brown said. "I believe honors gives students a unique opportunity to learn, to build relationships with faculty and to grow academically and professionally."
She has finished data collection on her honors thesis research project and is now looking at the first of the results from the statistical analysis. She hopes to have the rest of the results by the end of this semester and plans to present her findings at research a conference in the spring.