Poster 12: Exploring the Perceptions and Experiences of Clinical Externs, Extern Mentor Coordinators and Unit Managers toward a Clinical Externship Program During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Clinical Externship Program was developed and implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic at a healthcare organization aimed to address shortage of health human resources by hiring nursing students as unregulated care providers. Findings from a qualitative study underscores valuable insights for nurse leaders aiming to develop or expand clinical externships.

Alexandra Harris, RN, MN/MHSc, PhD, CHE, Senior Director, Nursing Practice and Education, Unity Health Toronto

Alexandra (Alex) Harris is a scholar practitioner, educator and healthcare administrator who is passionate about nursing leadership and issues related to the health workforce. She is currently Senior Director, Nursing Practice and Education at Unity Health Toronto, one of Canada’s largest Catholic healthcare networks, and Investigator at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital Toronto. Alex has also worked as an independent research consultant specializing in health human resources for national and international organizations such as Health Canada and the International Council of Nurses.
Her formal training is in nursing (BNSc, RN), health leadership (MN/MHSc, CHE) and health services research (PhD), including receipt of a Frederick Banting and Charles Best CGS Doctoral Research Award, as well as a Fellowship and Clarkson Laureateship for Public Service from Massey College, University of Toronto (UofT). Alex teaches in the graduate program at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, UofT and is Chair of the Editorial Advisory Committee for the Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership.

Co-Authors

Cecilia Santiago, RN, MN, CNCC(C), Nursing Practice Manager, St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Toronto
Daniela Bellicoso, PhD, Research Manager, Interprofessional Practice Based Research, Unity Health Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
Susan Beswick, RN, MN, Manager Evidence Based Nursing Practice, Nursing Practice and Education, Unity Health Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
Nichelle Benny, BMSc, MSc, MClSc, Clinical Research Project Coordinator, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario
Julie McShane, RN, MN, Manager of Nursing Innovation and Development, Nursing Practice and Education, Unity Health Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
Jane Topolovec-Vranic, PhD, Director, Interprofessional Practice Based Research, Unity Health Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
Teresa J. Valenzano, PhD, SLP(C) Reg. CASLPO, Practice Innovation and Change Manager, Health Discipline Practice and Education, Unity Health Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
Teya van Biljouw, BASc, MSc, Research Assistant I, Interprofessional Practice Based Research, Unity Health Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
Kaitlyn Vingoe, RN, MN, Interim Senior Director, Nursing Practice and Education, Unity Health Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
Natalie Weiser, MA, Research Coordinator III, Interprofessional Practice Based Research, Unity Health Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
Alexandra Harris, RN, MN/MHSc, PhD, CHE, Senior Director, Nursing Practice and Education, Unity Health Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

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