Nursing students learn about outpatient primary care at University Medical Center

October 31, 2023

Nursing students at Shelton State Community College now have the opportunity to learn about outpatient primary care and complete some of their clinical education at the College of Community Health Sciences as part of a new program launched by the two institutions.

In October, five students in Shelton State’s LPN to RN program began their clinicals at University Medical Center in Tuscaloosa and at the UA Student Health Center and Pharmacy, both of which are operated by CCHS.

The students will learn alongside health-care professionals who practice in UMC’s family medicine and pediatric clinics and at the Student Health Center.

“The ability to expose nursing students to our organization is more critical than ever since roughly 1 in 5 registered nursing positions in Alabama are vacant,” said Dr. Louanne Friend, UMC’s interim chief nursing officer and associate professor of community medicine and population health with CCHS.

She said as part of the program, the students will explore the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to transition into the RN role as a member of an inter-professional health-care team.

Friend, who worked with Shelton State to develop the program, said exposing nursing students to outpatient primary care at UMC and the Student Health Center will also create a nursing pipeline opportunity for CCHS.

Shelton State nursing students will be at CCHS every Wednesday through Dec. 6.

From left: Ashley Bell, Razina Peoples, Dr. Louanne Friend, Kassandra Cornelius, LaTonya Simpson, and Jasmine Wilson.