FNP students serve Aurora community at DAWN ClinicAsia Groves | College of Nursing Mar 20, 2017
Over the past six months, Krista Estes, DNP, FNP-C, Assistant Professor and Specialty Director of the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program at the CU College of Nursing, has partnered with the CU School of Medicine to provide nurse practitioner students with clinical experience at the DAWN Clinic. The DAWN Clinic is a free clinic serving adult uninsured patients in Aurora. Under the supervision of licensed providers, students from both CU Anschutz Medical Campus and CU Denver operate the clinic on a voluntary basis.
Jessi Pinnock, BSN, RN, FNP-S, a student completing her final semester of the FNP master’s degree program, recently volunteered at the clinic for the first time. Her shift fulfills a newly enacted requirement that all FNP students work a shift at the DAWN Clinic during their final semester of advanced clinical practicum. Despite initially feeling unsure of what to expect, Pinnock describes the experience as fun and impressive.
“I was impressed by the level of support within the clinic and found the experience to be very collaborative and challenging,” she says. As a graduate-level nurse, Pinnock was paired with two undergraduate nursing students for the night. “I felt well supported and prepared for the interview and physical assessment,” Pinnock says. “It was such a fun experience and I felt happy when all the nurses and providers I was working with all said I did a good job!”
Pinnock’s walk-in patient for the night was a man presenting with a variety of non-emergent symptoms. A clinic like DAWN is important, she notes, because it offers an affordable option to patients like hers who would often seek primary care at an emergency room: “Having these types of clinics available seems to bridge the gap for many patients that may be lacking health care coverage and continuity of care.”
The experiences the DAWN Clinic offers to students are unique and valuable for both undergraduate and graduate nursing students. “This is a clinic that is frequently in need of volunteers and I hope to continue volunteering in the future,” Pinnock says.