Going on an Externship

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It's called the externship program and it offers the unique opportunity for the true blending of education and community, and it helped one area senior find her true calling.

For four hours a week the hospital is Kenyatta Thomas's classroom, and her teachers, registered nurses.

"If I had the opportunity to do this I would have known immediately what I wanted to do rather than finding out later,” says Linda Frinnel.

Seventeen-year-old Kenyatta is enrolled in the externship program at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, gaining real world experience in the neo-natal unit.

Hands on learning has helped light the path to life after high school for this senior.

"First I wanted to be a lawyer, then a doctor, but now I want to be a nurse because they seem to have more interaction with the patients,” explains Thomas.

Helping to comfort and cure the smallest patients of all, could actually be improving life on a much bigger scale, considering the nursing shortage plaguing the nation.

"Nursing shortage affects all of us much more important,” Sheena Thorpe says.

Even if she is just the beginning of turning around the trend, Kenyatta finds her inspiration wrapped in pink and blue blankets.

"Babies how small they are and you want to help them the best you can,” Thomas adds.

Twenty-two Leon County students are enrolled in the externship program, five of them at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.

The externship program is offered to all Leon County seniors. To get involved, students just need to ask their guidance counselor for more information, and it's not limited to just TMH.