Community College of Rhode Island nursing student Rachel McBride of East Providence, RI, recently won RI Monthly’s “Senior Student Nurse Award” as part of the magazine’s 2019 Excellence in Nursing Awards campaign.
One of only 15 caretakers in the state to earn an award, McBride stood out in part from her participation this past semester in Rhode Island’s Interprofessional Community Preceptor Institute, a learning workshop funded by the state’s SIM program designed to train staff from community-based health and social service agencies to serve as instructors to health professional students. Nursing department chair Susan Sienkiewicz nominated McBride for the award as “an eager, enthusiastic learner who demonstrates the qualities of a future nurse leader.”
“I was shocked,” McBride said. “When I realized it was real, I was truly honored. It’s an amazing award to receive, and I’m very thankful.
“It’s been a wonderful experience being part of the CCRI community. Our professors here are the best. They’re equipped and they prepare you for what you need to learn and what you can expect in the field.”
Upon the recommendation of CCRI associate nursing professor Lori Martone-Roberts, McBride participated in the Interprofessional Community Preceptor Institute to learn more about how professionals in the healthcare industry work together to enhance the quality of patient care. At the Rhode Island Parent Information Network – a non-profit organization providing family and individual support – she worked directly with an assigned community health worker and a registered nurse to assist a terminally-ill cancer patient with her medical and psychosocial needs.
Abiding by RIPIN’s principle of addressing the patient’s primary concern, McBride went above and beyond to find a custom gown to fit her client’s smaller frame despite encountering several roadblocks in her initial attempt.
“Without my experience at RIPIN, I may have stopped there,” McBride said, “but I knew that a patient’s primary concern can impact so much of their entire experience and what they have the ability to learn while hospitalized. The expression on my client’s face was all I needed to know that I had learned an essential aspect in caring for clients.”
McBride also exceled during her nursing clinicals with the Stonington, CT, public school district when she assisted a school nurse in caring for a student with Type 1 diabetes. As a mother of four, including a 10-year-old son with the same condition, McBride intervened to provide the nurse with information on how to regulate the student’s blood sugar levels following an episode of hypoglycemia. The school committee asked McBride to prepare a presentation for all nurses in the district on how to evaluate and care for students with diabetes, which she used as her CCRI Honors Program project.
Several school nurses in the district praised McBride for being “well-organized and informative” in providing “resources that nurses can use and share with families,” while another credited McBride for “restoring my faith in the upcoming generation of nurses.”
“It is truly exceptional for Rachel to have this takeaway from her experience and to share this with her fellow classmates,” said Suzanne Carr, CCRI’s Interim Dean of Health and Rehabilitative Sciences. “CCRI encourages all students to participate in Interprofessional Education activities as this is the norm within health professional collaborations. We are very excited for Rachel and her future in the nursing profession.”
McBride will earn her associate degree in nursing in December. She hopes to continue on to graduate school and pursue a career as a nurse practitioner or teacher.