Seizing Every Opportunity: How to Thrive During Clinicals with Lauren Chapnick

Jan 23, 2024

Clinical rotations are a cornerstone of nursing education, offering students a unique opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge in a practical setting. However, it's not uncommon for students to watch the clock, eagerly waiting for their shifts to end. Lauren Chapnick, a registered nurse,, challenges this mindset in an episode of Nursing Student Coach. She emphasizes that clinical hours should be viewed not as an obligation but as a precious chance to hone one's skills in a real-world environment.

Chapnick speaks from experience, having transitioned from another career into nursing. She stresses the importance of being proactive during clinical rotations and suggests practical strategies for maximizing this time. For instance, she advocates for learning both the generic and brand names of medications—a crucial skill for real-world nursing. Chapnick explains that providers and patients often use names interchangeably, and understanding both can give students a significant advantage.

Furthermore, Chapnick encourages nursing students to volunteer for every task during clinicals, no matter how daunting it may seem. This approach ensures that students are not only prepared for exams but also for the unpredictable nature of healthcare. Volunteering for tasks like medication administration, inserting Foley catheters, or setting up NG tubes under supervision provides a safe space to learn and can significantly boost confidence.

The podcast episode offers invaluable lessons for nursing students eager to transition smoothly into their future roles as healthcare professionals. Chapnick's tips for success include arriving early, avoiding unnecessary absences, and taking advantage of every learning opportunity that presents itself. She highlights the benefit of teaming up with classmates to create comprehensive medication lists, which can serve as an excellent study tool and reference.

By engaging with each clinical experience wholeheartedly, students can transform their education and emerge as competent, proactive nurses. Chapnick's insights are not only helpful for passing clinicals but also for building a strong foundation for a nursing career. Her message is clear: every hour spent in clinical rotations is an investment in the future, and with the right approach, these hours can be incredibly rewarding.

In conclusion, Chapnick's episode serves as a motivational guide for nursing students to approach clinical rotations with enthusiasm and dedication. It's an invitation to embrace every opportunity to practice and learn, to shift from passively counting minutes to actively counting successes. With her practical advice, students can navigate the clinical maze and unlock the full potential of their hands-on nursing experience.