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Riverland nursing students experience working in South Texas
Contact: James Douglass, Director of Communications, Riverland Community College: (507) 433-0611,

In January two Riverland Community College faculty members accompanied 20 nursing students to McAllen, Tex. to participate in four days of clinical experiences at South Texas Health Systems. The students were enrolled in a Riverland Transcultural Nursing course that helps prepare students for practice in a culturally diverse environment. The students paid for the trip including the cost of one college credit.

The Transcultural Nursing course explores the influences of culture and the traditions of service as an integral approach to holistic nursing practice.

"There is a large Hispanic population in this region of the country and also a large number of Filipino nurses," said Stacey Rosenberg, Riverland nursing instructor. "in addition, there is a tremendous shortage of nurses in this area of the country. To attract employment candidates, nurses receive a $50,000 sign-on bonus."

The students were exposed to a variety of experiences in obstetrics; surgery (obstetrics, cardiac - open heart, general); cardiac catheterization; pediatrics; adult, pediatric and neonatal intensive care units and pediatric and adult emergency rooms. Students observed a patient having a heart attack while undergoing cardiac catheterization, and a patient who needed to be defibrillated while in the cardiac catheterization lab. Time spent in the emergency room exposed them to patients from a serious motor vehicle accident, as the hospital also included a trauma center.

"The trip was also valuable because our students don't have the opportunity to participate in these types of experiences in the smaller hospitals in our region," said Rosenberg.

Participating Riverland students included: (from Albert Lea) Mary Donnelly, Sheri Fehr, Mary Kudoja, Nicole Loyd, Rachel Rislov; (from Austin) Lynae Baier, Desahna Belden, Katie Heard, Allyson Klankowski, Emily Quealy, Sara Romeo; (from Brownsdale) Kayla Schubert; (from Kasson) Shannon Wilson; (from Minnesota Lake) Jill Radke; (from New Richland) Amber Sletten-Lewer; (from Riceville, Iowa) Diana Moore; (from St. Ansgar, Iowa) Sarah Nelson; (from Waltham) Merna Thompson; (from Wells) Shannon Burns, Lynn Sovell.

Riverland Community College, a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, is a regional comprehensive community college inspiring learning for living through a personalized educational environment. Approximately 4,000 students are served, annually, through a wide range of credit-based educational opportunities. An additional 5,600 students are annually served in non-credit courses. Facilities are located in Albert Lea, Austin, and Owatonna, Minn. Riverland may be found on the Internet at

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system comprises 32 state universities and community and technical colleges serving the higher education needs of Minnesota. The system serves about 250,000 students per year in credit-based courses and an additional 140,000 students in non-credit courses.