Freeman News

Freeman Announces New Partnership with Crowder College

October 18, 2019

Clinical Partnership Program Leads to Better Clinicians

Joplin, Mo. – Freeman Health System announces a unique Clinical Partnership Program with Crowder College Neosho with the goal of improving the transition from studying to practicum by better preparing students in the clinical setting.  The “transition” is a part of 12-hour actual shifts work instead of partial shifts new nurses must adapt to with hands-on training by seasoned nurses and simulation experiences.  Retaining students as graduate nurses following completion of the program is also a goal.

“Most nursing programs require students to complete an internship or practicum in a medical setting, enabling nursing students to gain practical experience and observe seasoned professionals on the job,” says April Bennett, MSN, CHFP, RN, Vice President of Nursing Services at Freeman Health System. “This helps students transition into the professional world after they complete their nursing degree.  With this unique program, students are ahead of the curve and can adjust more easily to a patient care environment.”

For the inaugural group, ten students were chosen who will graduate in December 2019 to be a part of the program where they will go through an extensive interview and selection process.  The students were placed on specific nursing units in the hospital and assigned a preceptor (a mentor).  Each will complete the clinical hours required for the nursing program through Crowder College Neosho with their assigned preceptor by completing 12-hour shifts.

“The unique part of this program is that the students will be Freeman employees and be paid for the clinical hours they complete, which is approximately ten total shifts throughout the semester, while still receiving credit for their program,” says Mary Frerer, Chief Human Resource Office at Freeman Health System.  “This program offers hands-on, clinical training that offers students a true taste of what nurses do and are provided the practical experience nurses need to get an entry-level job after graduation.  A time commitment is required that’s similar to a part-time job.”

Ultimately, the program helps students improve their self-discipline skills, preparing them to complete tasks in the workplace and successfully hold down a job. These positions also help students hone their interpersonal skills by providing them the opportunity to work with nursing staff and other healthcare professionals.

The program provides first-hand experiences that the classroom cannot offer. Students may practice techniques for administering medication or drawing blood in a classroom, but it’s completely different to perform these tasks for a real patient who may be ill, anxious, or in pain. These students also get a chance to work in different specialties, so they may find there’s an area of medicine they especially prefer, or ones they don’t like. This knowledge, plus the professional connections and recommendations students can gain in the process, are especially helpful in transitioning from the academic world to the workforce after graduation.




About Freeman Health System

Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. In 2019, Freeman earned dozens of individual awards for medical excellence and patient safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers.  U.S. News & World Report named Freeman Health System the Best Hospital in Southwest Missouri for 2019.  With more than 300 physicians on staff representing more than 70 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit