Today in the chart

Transformative Summer Internship: Unveiling Nursing Passions at NYU Rusk’s HCOP Program

Emily Milgrim, an undergrad nursing student, sought summer internships close to home. Accepted into NYU’s HCOP program, she shadowed NPs, attended lectures, and gained valuable insights for her future

At the University Of Pennsylvania, there is a heavy emphasis on summer internship culture. As an undergraduate nursing student, I knew my summers would look very different from my non-nursing peers at school. When it was time to figure out my summer plans, I was eager to find an opportunity to fulfill my nursing interests. Most nurse externship programs require you to be a rising senior in your BSN program, so most externship programs were unsuitable for me as a rising junior. Additionally, I wanted to be close to home over the summer, so I applied to programs in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. After sifting through many career fair pages at my university, I concluded that a very narrow number of internships fit my criteria.

One program that stuck out throughout my search was the Health Career Opportunity Program Internship (HCOP) through NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation Center. This 50-year-old program allows various health-field-related pre-professionals to gain shadowing experience in a clinical setting and attend daily lectures. When I filled out my application, I ranked my top three “specialty” areas, number one being the Nurse Practitioner department, as an aspiring NP. The application process consisted of a personal statement essay and submitting my transcripts, resume, and application form. I was notified in early March of my acceptance to the four-week program and began the onboarding process. 

The HCOP program was founded by Dr. Howard Rusk and is sponsored by the Wallace Foundation. It has graduated over 5,000 summer interns over the past half-century—the program partners with Rusk Rehabilitation at NYU Langone’s hospital system. The program has three four-week sessions throughout the summer, with about 40 interns each. Students can specialize in various fields - emergency medicine, physical therapy, nursing, and more. One of my favorite parts of each day was learning how these various specialties work together daily to rehabilitate those staying at Langone.

I began my time at NYU’s HCOP program in June and opted to live in NYU housing, so my daily commute was a walk away. I spent my time at NYU Langone’s Kimmel and Tisch Buildings. But depending on the specialty, students rotated through any of NYU Langone’s NYC locations. Depending on the day, I was assigned to a team of NPs and CNMs on an Obstetrics and Gynecological Oncology floor. I gained insights into NP and CNM interactions with patients, attending physicians, PAs, nurses, fellows, residents, medical students, and other healthcare professionals. I learned about various medications and procedures for daily rounding with the NPs. I also watched multiple procedures, from C-Sections to hysteroscopies and more. My experience was extremely positive with this team, as everyone was very eager to show me the ropes of the floors. Learning what I did and did not like about inpatient care, these specific floors, and the specialties of Nurse Practitioners (Women’s Health and Certified Nurse Midwife) was highly beneficial. 

Each day, after I shadowed the NP I was with, the entire cohort of around 40 students gathered to attend a lecture and/or have a group meeting. The lectures included guest speakers from various areas of the Rusk rehab center, MCAT/GRE preparatory sessions, and advice panels for applying to graduate school and beyond from HCOP alums. During small group meetings, students discussed their respective departments and how their experience could improve. I valued these meetings because they made the directors of HCOP extremely accessible and immediately resolved any concerns. 

I had an extremely positive and meaningful experience at NYU Rusk’s HCOP program. I learned so much about myself, my future career, and the amazing level of care at Langone and Rusk. My mentors taught me much about medicine and each patient’s diagnosis and procedure. I’m grateful for this transformative experience and wholeheartedly recommend it to other pre-health and nursing students seeking to find their place in medicine.

Emily Milgrim is a junior at the University Of Pennsylvania majoring in nursing. She will graduate in May 2025. You can follow her on LinkedIn.

Subscribe to our M-F newsletter
Thank you for subscribing! Welcome to The Nursing Beat!
Please enter your email address