Internships vs. Externships

  1. What is the definition of an internship and an externship?
    What is the difference between them?
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   memphispanda
    Here, you are an intern after you complete school. It's a position where you are in sort of extended training. They are few and far between.

    An extern is a student nurse who has reached a certain level in their nursing curriculum. I had to have completed 2 med/surg courses. The LPNs have to be in their last semester. It's a very part-time position where you pretty much make your own hours. They have described it as a recruitment tool. Because of issues with externs being unlicensed it really isn't a position that allows a lot of skills practice. (I am only speaking for the system I work in--I know other places have different rules).

    I would guess that the definitions/requirements will vary from place to place.
  4. by   nursebucky
    Externships here in Georgia are allowed after the first clinical rotation in a nursing program. I have already received interviews for this position, and haven't even started nursing classes. They try to get you beforehand, I guess.
  5. by   purplemania
    Externs here are defined as RNs in last year of nursing school. They are paid more than an aide but don't do a lot more, except learning IV starts, specimen collection, educating patient (reinforcing what RN teaches), phlebotomy, etc. Varies with the unit assigned to. Interns are recent nursing school graduates. They get paid RN pay. Our facility has a 6-9 week orientation (longer for critical care). This gives the intern time to take Boards. Interns in this state have a temporary permit (good for 60 days)allowing them to perform skills under RN supervision. When they get their license they still work with an experienced RN till competent. Competency is assured by demonstrating and documenting skills performed. Both externs and interns are a recruitment tool, but also we find that there is a BIG difference in our expectations of what a nurse should be able to do and what they actually can do. Training is provided to give them confidence and reduce risks.

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