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In Focus

Nurse Interns Learn About the Business of Health Care at Leadership Lab with The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

By September 12, 2018Nursing Education
2018 Nurse Internship Labs

The Independence Blue Cross Foundation’s (Foundation) Nursing Internship Program uses an innovative approach to prepare undergraduate nursing students to become future leaders in health care. Through the program, nurse interns are placed in one of two unique settings: community health centers supported by the Foundation’s Blue Safety Net grant program, or at Independence Blue Cross.

Throughout the ten-week program, nurse interns have several opportunities to build professional competencies through Leadership Labs, research projects, and mentorship. Each year the program evolves as we add new, enriching opportunities.

A Chance to Learn from Nurses in the Field

This year, we partnered with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for a Leadership Lab focused on professional development and advancement in nursing. Hosted by CHOP senior vice president and chief nursing officer, Paula Agosto, and associate chief nursing officers, Kathryn Roberts and Susan Kolb, the Leadership Lab gave the nurse interns a chance to learn from and network with nurses in the field.

Through an interactive “Price is Right” game, the nurse interns learned about the business of health care and how nurses play a critical role in keeping health care costs down. Another presentation focused on innovation and entrepreneurship in which nurses discussed the importance of problem-solving and shared examples of innovative ways to improve patient care and safety. Nurses also spoke about professional development and opportunities for career progression and growth at CHOP. The day concluded with advice from nurse researchers who discussed the role nurses play in advancing health care, their respective research interests, and advice for preparing research posters.

During lunch, Paula Agosto shared her wisdom and guidance with the nurse interns. Her advice to them was to always prioritize altruism and selflessness. Having the opportunity to network with her and ask questions was a highlight of the day for the nurse interns.

Through the remaining Leadership Labs, the nurse interns learned about implicit bias, working in LGBTQ communities, understanding generational differences, networking, and public speaking. Many of the nurse interns noted that Leadership Labs were some of their favorite parts of the Nursing Internship Program.

The 2019 Nursing Internship Program

For more information about the Nursing Internship Program, visit our website. Applications for the 2019 program will open in late fall.


Christopher Baker

Christopher Baker is currently working as a nurse intern with the Independence Blue Cross Foundation team. This fall he will be entering his final year at Temple University where he is enrolled in the BSN, RN nursing program in the College of Public Health. Throughout his short nursing career, he has gained clinical experience at Temple University Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Jeannes Hospital, Fox Chase Cancer Center, and Episcopal Hospital as well as in several nursing homes, senior centers, high schools and day cares.

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