The Critical Care & Trauma Nurse Internship at Parkland Health & Hospital System is a 32 week specialty program conducted once a year for a select group of new baccalaureate nursing graduates. It is a highly structured, comprehensive program with both a strong clinical component and an extensive academic curriculum. Central goals of the internship include:
- Recruit outstanding new baccalaureate graduates for critical care practice at Parkland.
- Ensure both clinical expertise and extensive cognitive knowledge in internship participants, who transition into staff nurse roles in the adult ICUs or Emergency Department upon program completion.
- Promote nursing excellence in critical care at Parkland through interaction and collaboration between nurse interns, critical care staff nurses, and nurse internship instructors.
- Support evidence-based practice through participation in patient care, clinical teaching, and role modeling by nurse internship instructors.
- Prepare internship participants for successful completion of the CCRN examination.
- Develop clinical leaders, nurse managers, and nurse educators for clinical practice at
The internship curriculum is designed using a core systems approach. Initial classes address technical skills fundamental to critical care practice. Once clinical rotations start, the core systems begin with a comprehensive review of anatomy and physiology. Subsequent lectures address the diseases and injuries that are commonly responsible for the admission of the adult patient to the critical care unit in a large, urban, teaching hospital. Lecture content includes pathophysiology, diagnostic procedures, assessment techniques, medical and surgical management, and nursing care. Discussions regarding psychosocial, spiritual, and ethical aspects of critical care are also included. Learning opportunities consist of lectures, group discussions, demonstrations, skills labs, and interactive sessions. Practice sessions in arrhythmia interpretation, 12-lead ECG interpretation, troubleshooting ventilators, calculating intravenous infusion dosages, interpreting arterial blood gases, and similar activities are included.
Clinical rotations during the internship are selected to provide experiences consistent with the course objectives. Rotations include the Burn ICU, Cardiovascular ICU, Medical ICU, Neuroscience ICU, Surgical-Trauma ICU, Emergency Department, and the Trauma Service. Participating units do not count nurse interns in the staffing patterns and the nurse intern shares responsibility for patients with another registered nurse.
The internship faculty is composed of the manager, program coordinator, and five clinical instructors. Additionally involved in teaching are Parkland nurse educators, Parkland critical care nurses, faculty members of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, members of the resident staff, and allied health professionals. Library resources include the Nurse Internship Library and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Health Sciences Digital Library and Learning Center.
Advanced Life Support (ALS) certification, the Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course (ENPC), and the Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC) are included in the internship.
To be eligible for the internship beginning August 1, 2022, applicants must have graduated from an accredited baccalaureate degree nursing program between June 15, 2021 and June 15, 2022. A grade point average of 3.4 (4.0 scale) for the last 60 hours completed through December of 2021 is required, and each applicant must participate in a personal interview with the internship manager and program coordinator. Each nurse intern applicant must pass the state board examination (NCLEX) and have a Texas RN license in order to participate in the internship.
Nurse interns are classified as full-time employees. They are paid a salary and receive full-time benefits.
Satisfactory performance in both academic and clinical practice must be demonstrated in order to remain in the program. Oral and written examinations and clinical performance evaluations are given at frequent intervals.
Graduates of the internship are required by contract to work at Parkland full-time for at least 36 months, including the 32 weeks spent in the internship. Upon completion of the contract, a certificate of accomplishment is awarded by the Dallas County Hospital District. A pin designed specifically for the internship may be purchased if desired. Graduates are encouraged to take the certification examination given by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, as past nurse intern performance on the examination has been highly successful.
Please email email@example.com for an application or with questions about the program.