Must GN's do an internship?

  1. Does a new nurse, a GN or one who has passesd the NCLEX have to do an internship?

    I have noticed that all the internships require a commitmment to the hospital of one to 2 years.


    Here is my situation. I am trying to decide between two schools Barnes-Jewish Hospital college in St louis and Northlake college in Dallas. I have attended Northlake and El Centro so I know what to expect in Dallas. The program will take 2 years. Barnes-Jewish offers many of the nursing classes in 8-week segments. After speaking to an advisor because I have all but one of the support courses, I can probably be done with the program in 10-12 months.

    Here is the sticky part. After I am done with my nursing studies, I only want to work part-time. I want to go back to school to finish up another degree not related to nursing. I am certain that I will do this in Dallas, since that is where my heart is.

    I do not object to post-grad training. I know the Dallas hospitals are great, but Barnes-Jewish also have some great internships that I think I would enjoy. I would just hate to be dishonest and start an internship when I know I don't want a full time commitment.


    Have any of you heard of new grad's not doing an internship? Any training programs that do not require an a job commitment? How much would the hspital "ding' you if you do an internship, but decide not to stay? Anyone done this?
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   sunnyjohn
    bump
  4. by   Dixielee
    To answer your question to the best of my ability....no, you do not need an internship after you pass boards. You may start at the first place who will hire you. I think the internship is a relatively new concept and is not in place at all places, or even most places I think. The one you are talking about sounds very complete.

    I don't know if most people need an internship or not. I graduated in 1973 and we were allowed to work as student nurses during our last year of school and until we passed boards. We did team leading back then and learned great organizational skills, people skills, meds, procedures etc. In all honesty, we had very little supervision, and didn't have any idea how dangerous we were.

    The idea of an internship is to give you time to get your skills down pat before you are on your own. Some people need it, some not. If you have had no healthcare experience or if you are very young, I think it might be a good idea. But if you have life experiences, have been a medic, tech, etc and already understand the lingo, flow of things and how to interact with people, then maybe you do not.

    I don't think a 2 year committment is too much to ask, because they are spending a lot of money on your education. In the beginning, you will not even be counted as staff even though you are working. You will be with a preceptor who you will shadow a while and then gradually begin to take a heavier and heavier patient load, while still having close resources.

    It is a toss up as to weather you need one or not, but it is not required in most places. Good luck on your adventure.
  5. by   TiffyRN
    You don't need one however it is a great thing to have. They were not generally available when I graduated; six weeks orientation and you were cut loose. You can certainly find jobs in the DFW area that will not require internships and I think you may be able to find part-time work even as a new grad. The question though is whether you really want to do that. I think having an internship and working full-time (at least for a few months) are great ways to really learn how to be a nurse.

    But this is the beauty of nursing in America today, you have a lot of flexibility and choices. Not doing an internship or working full-time may limit your choices some. You may not get hired to some specialty units as a new grad but you WILL be able to find work! Good Luck!
  6. by   medicrnohio
    While I don't think an internship is absolutely necessary, I do think that a 1 - 3 month orientation period is definitely necessary. I was a medic for 4 years before I became a nurse. That helped me prepare for my new job as an RN. But I still learn many new things every single day. Good luck!
  7. by   sunnyjohn
    Thank you all for your replies. I don't mind working full-time for a few months in order to go through orientation and to give me some level of comfor

    t with my new skills. I would just dislike having to commit to 1-2 years. What if I didn't like it? How could I quit knowing they put so much into me? I know myself very well. I always hate the first new job I get. Only after careful searching and trying things on do I find the right fit.

    I have worked in healthcare for a number of years and I am a non- traditional student, so I guess I do have a slight advntage.
  8. by   Altra
    Quote from sunnyjohn
    Thank you all for your replies. I don't mind working full-time for a few months in order to go through orientation and to give me some level of comfort with my new skills. I would just dislike having to commit to 1-2 years.
    That kind of time commitment generally comes attached to bonuses. If you are hired without a bonus, tuition forgiveness, whatever the facility chooses to call it -- there is no commitment. You're most likely an at-will employee just as you would be in any other position.
  9. by   LilRedRN1973
    I will not be given a bonus, nor do they do tuition forgiveness. But I DO have to sign a 2 year contract and if I should choose to leave before that 2 years is up (working full time...36hours/week with one extra shift per month), I will have to pay back $2500.

    Melanie = )
  10. by   sunnyjohn
    Quote from RNnTraining1973
    I will not be given a bonus, nor do they do tuition forgiveness. But I DO have to sign a 2 year contract and if I should choose to leave before that 2 years is up (working full time...36hours/week with one extra shift per month), I will have to pay back $2500.

    Melanie = )
    2.5K is alot, but I could do that.... For the peace of mind....

    When I was younger I took a huge hiring bonus and seriously above average pay rate. Boy was that a mistake!!!!

    I don't knock hiring bonus, and I certainly believe in being fairly compensated for my hard work, but I learned the hard way that it's better to take a lower wage and be happy than a higher wage were you are miserable....

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