Two students from Georgia Regents University’s College of Nursing have been selected to participate in a summer program that will give them clinical experience at the renowned Mayo Clinic.
Ashlyn Fowler, a senior, and Lindsey Waller, a junior, are among only 111 students nationwide selected for the highly competitive, 10-week Summer III Nursing Externship, which offers students opportunities to participate in direct and indirect patient care and work alongside a registered nurse clinical coach.
Fowler and Waller are two of only four College of Nursing students selected for this honor in recent years and are the first representatives of the new GRU undergraduate nursing program, which resulted from the consolidation of Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University.
“I’m thrilled that once again our students have been selected for inclusion in this prestigious program. It’s highly competitive, and to be chosen is an honor,” said Rebecca Rule, GHSU-BSN Program (Teach-out*) Director and the Interim GRU-BSN Program Director. “Lindsey is a strong student in both the academic and clinical areas. She also serves her class as the Director of Public Relations for Breakthrough to Nursing.”
“We remain proud of Ashlyn’s accomplishments and are excited that she has been selected for this prestigious program,” said Dr. Jean Pawl, ASU-BSN Program (Teach-out) Director. “In fact, Ashlyn received an award for clinical excellence this month at Honors Convocation. She shared that she will be working in a general and trauma surgical unit at the Mayo Clinic.”
Fowler, originally from Alpharetta, Ga., started college as an art major, but transferred to Augusta to study nursing after visiting an orphanage in Tanzania during a study abroad trip. The children were under the age of 3 and suffered from malaria, tuberculosis and HIV.
The summer program will provide a unique experience, Fowler said. She hopes to one day pursue a nursing career in women’s health and labor and delivery. Her husband is a second-year medical student at Medical College of Georgia.
“I’m just really excited. The experience and opportunity to work in a place like the Mayo Clinic, I don’t know if I’ll ever have that opportunity again. To work in a place that’s not only prestigious, but I think very well run and very collaborative is an honor,” Fowler said.
Waller, originally from Griffin, Ga., said that she wanted to become a nurse because she has cared for others with health ailments throughout her life and loves to help people. She hopes the program will help her become a better nurse and provide better patient care and make her more competitive for jobs.
“I’m so excited. I’ve never been that far away from home. I want to step out of my comfort zone and do something that I’ve never done before,” Waller said. “I feel this externship will give me more experience and let me do things that I won’t get to do in regular clinical rotations.”
*“Teach-out” refers to faculty members’ campus affiliations prior to their sole GRU status once their students complete the program in which they initially matriculated.