FAQs About the FNP Immersion Weekend

Earning an advanced nursing degree is an exciting step to take in your career. It’s an experience that is both challenging and rewarding. For nurses interested in earning their Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specialty track at Chamberlain, the immersion weekend is an excellent opportunity to learn and apply new skills as well as to engage with their professors and fellow students.

The MSN-FNP specialty track continues to grow since its introduction in 2013 and last winter a cohort of students attended the immersion weekend at our Addison, IL campus.

The immersion weekend is a part of course NR-509: Advanced Physical Assessment as the lab component. It’s an opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience and provides the opportunity to observe, participate and be evaluated on clinical assessment skills.

“Students get to develop assessment techniques related to history and physical examination of patients throughout the lifespan. Students explore, analyze and apply these principles in a hands-on setting,” said John Distler DPA, MBA, MS, FNP-C, FAANP, dean of the Master of Science in Nursing nurse practitioner tracks.

Here’s a look at the details surrounding this immersive experience.

Who is involved?

FNP students in the last course before starting their practicum take part in the immersion weekend. They’re joined by FNP faculty members – including both fulltime and visiting professors. These are the professors who have been teaching the students all along, and now they get the chance to meet in person and make a deeper connection.

What all do students do during the weekend and Why?

The focus of the weekend is to have students demonstrate that they know how to perform certain episodic assessments.

During the first day, students will spend time with their professors going through five skill stations, assessing and diagnosing mock-patients. The following assessments are performed:

    • Generalized abdominal pain
    • Cough
    • Non-specific headache
    • Head, eyes, ears, nose and throat
    • Skin rash

The goal of the assessments is to provide students with experience in addressing the chief complaints they’ll most likely encounter as FNPs. They get to see what performing these assessments looks like, as well as the tools and techniques involved.

On the second day, students are called upon to demonstrate how to perform one of the five assessments.

Where does it take place?

Although the most recent immersion weekend took place at our Addison, IL campus, future weekends are slated be held at the Q Center in St. Charles, IL.

The site was selected for its full-service conference facilities and ability to allow students to stay onsite during the weekend, minimizing hotel travel times and maximizing their one-on-one time with fellow students and professors.

When does this take place in the program?

Students take part in the immersion weekend when they have three semesters or about one calendar year left before graduating. This is one of their final courses before embarking on their practicum experiences.

How long does the immersion take?

Students arrive the Friday leading into the weekend. This allows them time to check-in to their hotel and get situated.

The immersion itself starts on Saturday morning. Dean Distler welcomes everyone with an opening keynote before students and faculty break out to the skill sessions. The day ends with dinner and leaves ample time for students to prepare for their demonstration the next day.

On Sunday, the students perform one of the five assessments based on a random drawing. Once through, their immersion is complete.

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