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St. Bonaventure University

Master’s nursing students at St. Bonaventure get invaluable experience at Trauma I center

Jul 09, 2024

Mike Rappa (from left), Esoshani Barton, Addison Gremli, Adam Russ, Austin Ring, Amanjit Rai and Antonia Richmond  Students in the Master’s Entry to Practice (MEP) nursing program at St. Bonaventure University had an experience this summer they won’t soon forget.

Seven MEP students completed a 55-hour clinical immersion at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, Pennsylvania, a Trauma I center and part of the Guthrie Healthcare System. The clinical experience was a component of two MEP summer courses: Critical Client Nursing Care and Obstetrical Nursing Care.

The students were accompanied by Dr. Connie Perkins, founding director of the nursing programs at SBU, and Dr. Suzanne Soltysik, clinical assistant professor. The students and faculty lived in a residence hall attached to the hospital, located two hours east of the university.

The students completed rotations in the Intensive Care Unit, Operating Room, Emergency Department, and Labor and Delivery Unit.

“My experience at Robert Packer Hospital was amazing. Being able to see a Trauma I facility was extremely helpful to developing my skills as a nurse,” said Adam Russ, who received his undergraduate degree in Health Science from St. Bonaventure in 2022. “It was filled with new experiences and opportunities to explore all that nursing has to offer. The staff gave great insight about how I can reach my full potential as a nurse.”

Perkins said she planned the immersion because Robert Packer “was instrumental to my development as a nurse” when she attended clinicals there as a student 14 years ago.

“My time at Robert Packer allowed me a better understanding of the levels of care and allowed me to help other nurses, students, patients and their families understand the road ahead if they required transport to a larger facility,” Perkins said. “It was truly a nostalgic and full-circle moment for me to bring my students to the place that I grew so much as a student nurse."

The experience was vital in helping the students understand the full spectrum of health care for seriously injured or sick patients, Perkins said.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for them to work with very sick patients and bridge the gap between rural and urban patient care,” Perkins said. “When patients are too critical to remain in our local healthcare agencies, they are taken to a higher level of care, leaving the students to question what happens next for them. By taking our students on this experience, they can better understand the critical care those patients receive outside our local community.”


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. Out of 167 regional universities in the North, St. Bonaventure was ranked #6 for value and #14 for innovation by U.S. News and World Report (2024).