Nursing Education

Community Health Network is dedicated to providing our nurses with the tools and professional growth that will enable them to develop a long and rewarding career with us. We are an approved provider of continuing nurse education by the Indiana State Board of Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

To enhance your experience, we offer numerous educational opportunities for our nurses, including specialized training programs. For nursing students, we offer observation/shadowing, the student extern program and clinical experiences through affiliated schools of nursing.

Student Nurse Programs

Schools of Nursing

Community's Schools of Nursing program offers clinical learning experiences for graduate and undergraduate nursing students.

The Nursing Academy

The Nursing Academy is a unique academic partnership between Community Health Network and the University of Indianapolis that offers an accelerated path for students to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

Students can complete the program in four or five semesters, depending on their degree status. The program uses a cohort design, with cohorts admitted twice annually and graduating together.

To be admitted, students must meet admission requirements for the UIndy Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and have completed all designated prerequisites.

Get the details and apply on the UIndy website.

The Nursing Academy at UIndy

Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Student Clinical Rotations

Due to the overwhelming number of requests and limited availability of preceptors, the following requirements are in place for our APP Student Program:

Nurse Practitioners

  • Nurse practitioner students MUST be current employees of Community Health Network, and
  • Nurse practitioner students MUST be enrolled in an NP program within the state of Indiana that is not exclusively online.

Physician Assistants

We will do our best to assist with preceptor placement; however, there are no guarantees.

Student Extern Program

We created the student extern program to help promising students complete their education while getting crucial hands-on experience at Community Health Network.


  • Two semesters of previous clinical experience in college courses
  • Within one year of graduation

Learning Opportunities

After orientation, student externs receive hands-on instruction and learn how to:

  • Perform a variety of nursing treatments
  • Deliver patient-centered care
  • Practice assessment skills
  • Gain phlebotomy skills
Observation Experience or Shadowing

Shadowing is an observation experience that allows you to observe a healthcare worker in his or her work setting. This experience is usually less than 4 hours and you will not be allowed to participate in any "hands on" experience. Under special circumstances the experience may be longer than 4 hours. The participant is always under the direct supervision of a Community Health Network employee.

Due to the extreme vulnerability of our patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), no requests for observation can be granted.


  • All participants must show evidence of proof of immunization or titer for Mumps, Rubella, Rubeola and Varicella (chickenpox). In addition, proof of an influenza vaccine (ie, “flu shot”) during the current influenza season.
  • The minimum age is 16 and a junior in high school. Any person under the age of 18 must have parental permission.
  • Participant must comply with the dress code.
  • Application and additional paperwork must be faxed no later than one week prior to requested date of experience.

Application Process

  1. Download, print and complete this application packet. (Note: You'll need Adobe Reader to view forms.)
  2. Print all consents and sign.
  3. If the participant is under the age of 18, a parental consent form needs to be signed.
  4. Obtain all necessary immunization documentation and include with application packet and consents.
  5. Fax all the forms to 317-351-5483 no later than one week prior to experience.
  6. No handwritten applications will be accepted.
  7. We will contact you via e-mail for any questions. Please check your e-mail frequently to facilitate the process.
  8. Prior to your experience read critical information for observation experience (dress code, tips, hand washing).
  9. For additional questions about nursing observations, please call 317-355-4885.

Nurse Continuing Education

New Graduate Nurse Residency Program

Community Health Network’s new graduate residency program is built on an evidenced-based curriculum and designed to effectively support the new graduate in transition from student to the professional nurse role as a caregiver in an acute care setting.

The goal of the program is to:

  • Recruit and retain highly qualified nurses
  • Provide new graduates with experiences they need to gain proficiency in their profession
  • Increase nurse satisfaction with their work

Based on the principles of "relationship-based care," the program focuses on:

  • Caring and healing environment
  • Patient care delivery
  • Patient/Family-centered care
  • Outcomes measurement
  • Leadership
  • Resource driven practice
  • Teamwork

The program is designed to support the new graduate to:

  • Use effective decision-making skills
  • Provide clinical nurse leadership
  • Incorporate research-based evidence into practice
  • Strengthen professional commitment to nursing
  • Formulate an individual professional development plan

Program features:

  • Provided for all new graduates hired to Community Health Network
  • One year in length
  • Progressive from core orientation to residency to specialty core classes
  • Content is provided every six weeks in four-hour sessions
Operating Room Training Program

The RN Operating Room Training Program is a full-time, paid, six-month long orientation into the operating room that will focus on both theory and skill. It provides supportive instructions, demonstrations and clinical experience necessary to actively scrub and circulate on a variety of surgical procedures. Candidates selected for the OR Training Program are hired as full-time employees.


  • This program is for Indiana licensed RNs with limited or no previous surgical experience in the operating room.
  • We accept associates and bachelor’s degrees from NLN or CCNE-accredited schools of nursing. A new graduate may be interviewed prior to completing the NCLEX exam and a contingency offer may be extended contingent upon receipt of RN licensure. RN licensure must be obtained prior to the start date of the program.
  • Selected applicants will be hired at one of the participating facility sites.
  • A two-year, signed commitment is required of any candidate hired to participate in the program. Due to the intensity and complexity of the program, participants need to allow two years to fully develop their skills in the operating room.

Learning Opportunities

The program offers integrated learning experiences of classroom instruction, followed by hands-on clinical rotations in the OR department where the candidate is hired. Participants are exposed to both circulating and scrub roles, under the direction of experienced and skilled on-site preceptors.

  • Classroom lectures include, but are not limited to, aseptic technique, prepping, gowning, gloving, instrument names, suture selection, laparoscopic procedures and draping.
  • Candidates will attend core circulating and scrub classes throughout the six-month program.
  • The hands-on training portion of the program occurs at the facility where the candidate is hired. This allows for a smooth transition as the nurse becomes a part of the perioperative team.
  • Circulating rotation for 11 weeks at the site where the candidate is hired.
  • Scrub rotation for 10 weeks at the site where the candidate is hired.

Program Completion

Upon successful completion of the six-month long program, candidates will work as regular full-time staff members on our surgical teams, actively scrubbing and circulating on a variety of surgical procedures.