Actions Speak Louder Than Words – UPMC’s Student Nurse Internship

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At UPMC, our patients are our top priority. Our nurses may be busy administering medication and juggling their schedules, but our true focus is building relationships with each patient and showing them that we will go above and beyond for their care.

UPMC’s Student Nurse Internship program allows nursing students to witness the high quality of care that UPMC nurses provide and gain valuable experience with the support of a one-on-one preceptor.

Discover more about all that you can learn as a student nurse intern at UPMC from the firsthand experiences of our program alumni.


Ty T., Student Nurse Intern, UPMC Presbyterian

“I’ve been excited to start my career as a nurse for a long time, but until this internship, I never knew that it would turn into my passion. UPMC Presbyterian is a Level I Trauma Center, and I have had the pleasure of serving on a trauma unit during my time here. In trauma, each patient’s care is completely different from the next, and you need to be astute to every individual’s complex needs.

One patient in particular has stuck with me from my time on the floor. This patient was the unlucky victim of a motor vehicle accident. She came to us with many fractures throughout her body and a new tracheostomy placed. My first few days with her were challenging, because she couldn’t speak and I struggled to read her lips. Every time I would go into her room to help, I would tell her about myself and hum the songs stuck in my head to make her feel more comfortable.

We went through quite a lot during her stay, including tears and many laughs. When she could finally use the valve on her trach, I was able to hear her voice for the first time. She told me how much it meant to her to hear the music that I hummed, to see the pictures of my puppy that I showed her, and to witness the perseverance we showed when communication seemed impossible.

This patient taught me that nursing is much more than passing medications and conducting assessments; it is about service to others and giving a piece of ourselves to each patient to help them heal and become a whole individual once again.”

Shania D., Student Nurse Intern, UPMC Northwest

“During my time at UPMC, I got to experience firsthand why nursing is such a fulfilling career. I had a patient who was admitted with renal problems related to a blockage in her kidney. My coworkers informed her that they would need to insert a nephron tube to drain the kidney, and the patient was rather nervous about having a tube inside her for an unknown time. She wished her daughter could be available for the procedure, but she was unable to be there.

I was observing the procedure that day, so I told the patient that I would be there for her. She responded with the question, ‘So you will protect me?’ I ensured her that she was in good hands and that we were going to get through this together. I held her hand through the entire procedure. When it was over, she said, ‘That wasn’t as bad as I had imagined. I’m so glad you were there with me.’

Sometimes the fear of the unknown can be the scariest part of a patient’s experience. This is a perfect example of how at UPMC, we not only provide exceptional care for our patients, but we also have the job of making people feel comfortable. The simplest things can be what make our patient’s experience great. I am proud to say not only do I provide the best patient care possible, but I am also a hand to hold, and that will forever make this job worth it.”


Are you interested in spending your summer gaining valuable experience for your future nursing career, while learning rewarding lessons along the way?

Learn more about the UPMC Student Nurse Internship Program by clicking the button below!

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