Multifaceted Support of Nursing Students

UChicago Medicine is dedicated to the growth and development of nurses at all stages of their careers. As an academic research institution, UChicago Medicine supports nursing students in many diverse settings. To ensure that nursing students across the Chicagoland and northern Indiana areas have clinical opportunities, we have partnerships with more than 40 Colleges of Nursing to serve both pre- and post-licensure students throughout the year.

In addition, we encourage nursing students, nurses and people exploring the nursing field to participate in onsite shadowing experiences.

Finally, in support of the newest members of the nursing profession, anyone hired within the first six months of practice is enrolled in our new graduate residency program. This program is designed to help support nurses as they transition a nursing student to a registered nurse.

S.T.A.R. (Student Transition and Acceleration Residency) Program

The evolution from the role of a nursing student to a registered nurse is often one of the most difficult professional transitions in a nurse’s career. Research shows that strong supportive transitional programs, such as internships and new graduate residency programs, improve confidence, competence, job satisfaction, critical thinking and reduce work stress and anxiety for new nurses. In order to support nurses through this time, UChicago Medicine hosts a nurse externship program called S.T.A.R. (Student Transition and Acceleration Residency) Program. The program is designed to ease the transition from the educational environment to the work environment.

The program is approximately 12 weeks and includes an introduction to several clinical areas across our care continuum, including perioperative services, adult inpatient, emergency room and pediatric inpatient.


STAR Program participants follow their preceptor’s schedules. Inpatient areas work 12-hour shifts starting at either 7 a.m. or 7 p.m. Perioperative areas work 10-hour shifts with varying start times. STAR program participants are expected to work off-shifts, such as nights and weekends, when their preceptors do.


In order to be eligible for the program, nursing students must fulfill the below criteria:

  • Be enrolled full time in an accredited baccalaureate nursing program
  • Be entering the final year of a BSN program with graduation expected by spring of the following year
  • Letter of reference
  • Valid BLS
  • GPA of 3.0 or Higher

Please note: Applications are generally available at the start of the calendar year. To start a job search, go to our jobs page and enter “STAR Program” into the key work search of your job search tool.