GMercyU Nursing Student Completes Independence Blue Cross Internship Program

By: Lauren Yancer '21

Gwynedd Mercy University Nursing student Jessica Rivera spent her summer participating in the Independence Blue Cross (IBX) summer internship program. The program allows participants to spend ten weeks working at Independence Blue Cross or at a community health center supported by the Blue Safety Net grant program.

Jessica worked closely with the Esperanza Health Center located in North Philadelphia. The clinic provides numerous services for patients such as pediatrics, mental health services, and social services. The center's services are provided to community members with varying levels of medical insurance.

It's one thing to learn the skills necessary in the classroom, but it's another to apply the skills in real-world experiences that will provide everlasting value. While working at the clinic, Jessica had the opportunity to shadow nurse practitioners, clinicians, social workers, care management team members, and nurses.

"I learned what working within the clinic setting looks like and how all team members work together to provide quality patient care. I was able to work alongside the RN, giving injections, triaging patients, providing patient education, and completing RN co-visits with patients," Jessica said.

Jessica was also given the opportunity to rotate sites and was placed at the clinic's Kensington and Alleghany location. The area surrounding the clinic has high levels of IV drug use. In the event of a code blue, Jessica often found herself giving Narcan and performing potentially life-saving CPR under the direction of medical staff.

The Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing and Health Professions has had a long-standing history of providing nursing students with the skills and knowledge necessary to enter the workforce. Students like Jessica are just one example of the types of students and people that GMercyU produces.

"I found the IBX internship to be a valuable experience and am incredibly grateful I had the opportunity to participate," said Jessica. "This internship showed me the importance of providing quality medical care in underserved areas."