ArticleThe Benefits and Challenges of Providing Nursing Student Clinical Rotations in the Intensive Care UnitSwinny, Betsy MSN, RN, CCRN; Brady, Melanie MSN, RNAuthor Information Baptist Health System School of Health Professions, San Antonio, Texas. Corresponding Author: Betsy Swinny, MSN, RN, CCRN, Baptist Health System School of Health Professions, 8400 Datapoint Dr, San Antonio, TX 78229, (firstname.lastname@example.org). Critical Care Nursing Quarterly: January-March 2010 - Volume 33 - Issue 1 - p 60-66 doi: 10.1097/CNQ.0b013e3181c8df7c Buy Metrics Abstract The goal of providing a clinical rotation in a basic nursing program is to integrate skills and knowledge from the classroom setting into the clinical practice setting. In the intensive care unit (ICU), nursing students have the ability to learn about the complex health issues of critically ill patients, practice selected technical skills, and develop communication skills. There are both benefits and challenges to having nursing students in the intensive care setting. With preparation, the student is able to immerse in the ICU environment, acquire new knowledge and skills, and participate alongside the nurse caring for critically ill patients. The staff nurse must balance patient care with the added responsibilities of helping the student meet the clinical goals. It is optimal to have faculty that are also intensive care clinically competent and can facilitate the clinical experience. The school, the hospital, and the ICU need to collaborate to provide a positive clinical experience that is safe for the patient. In return, the hospital can recruit student nurses and clinical faculty. Planned with thought and intention, rotations in the ICU can be an ideal clinical setting for upper-level student nurses to learn the role of the registered nurse. © 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.