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Heartland nursing student recognized by OSF Saint Francis

August 28, 2018

A Heartland Community College student nurse has been recognized by OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center for outstanding performance during his clinical internship.   

Nursing student Benjamin Tucker was selected to receive the Student Nurse Intern Excellence Award by OSF Saint Francis in Peoria. Tucker completed a ten week student nurse internship in the critical care neurosurgical unit at the hospital this summer.

OSF’s internship program is highly competitive. To be eligible for the program nursing students must have completed their first year in a nursing program with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Tucker was one of 218 applicants seeking to intern with OSF Saint Francis during the most recent rotation. Only 51 students were selected for the OSF internship.

“The internship is immersive. The program is designed to take all we’ve learned in nursing school and put it into hands-on practice,” said Tucker. “I maintained a full patient load. There were educational sessions, but really hands-on teaching all day. The program really was vetting us to become nurses.” 

All interns are reviewed by OSF staff during the course of the 10-week program. Staff are then asked to nominate interns for the Student Nurse Intern Excellence Award. Tucker was one of only three students from his cohort to receive the award. 

“Internships provide nursing students a vital opportunity to apply their nursing skills in the clinical setting. As they experience 36 to 40 hour work weeks, the interns can practice what they’ve been learning in class and lab,” said Jennifer O’Connor, Director of Nursing Education at Heartland. “For Ben to rise to the top of that group is an impressive accomplishment and it’s a reflection of the hard work he has put into becoming a nurse.”

This fall Tucker will be taking classes both at Heartland and at Illinois State University thanks to a dual enrollment arrangement for nursing students seeking a BSN.

Tucker says after graduation his goal is to work in critical care, either in a cardiothoracic ICU or in a surgical trauma ward.

Written by: Steve Fast