what jobs are available to registered nursing students?

  1. Can anyone from anywhere tell me if they know
    of any jobs available to registered nursing students in hospitals, clinics, doctors offices,
    .etc.. anything, I begin school at the end of may and will be on the fast track, and would like to know what type of employment will be available before school is finished. thanks to all.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   colleen10
    Hi Angel,

    It depends somewhat on where you live and the size and type of facility you are in but usually nursing students can get jobs as Patient Care Technicians (PCT), Patient Care Associates (PCA), Unit Associates, Nurses Aides. The titles differ depending on where you are located. I think the duties are somewhat like that of a Certified Nurses Assistant (CNA). I've only ever seen these positions listed in hospitals and in LTC facilities.

    Some places offer a training program for these jobs so that you don't have to invest time and money to become a licensed CNA. But where I am from if you have at least 1 year of Nursing School Clinical experience you can usually by-pass the training and role right into the position.

    I've also heard of Nursing Students who work as Phlebotomists while in school.

    I am currently trying to find a facility that will give me the PCT training so I can't say too much about exactly what your duties will be but a lot of nursing students have told me that is an excellent way to apply your book learning to clinical experience and vice versa.

    Take care and good luck!

    Colleen
  4. by   shannonRN
    angel, at my hospital we have a nurse extern program. i believe that you can start as one as soon as your first semester of classes. the extern is usually paired with a rn....at first is oriented to the unit, then gradually takes patients. i have an extern under my supervision now. she takes 1 or 2 patients and provides their care; assessments, one touches. the rn can complete their own assessment of the patient as well, and passes the meds and talks with the docs. the rn also has to sign off on the charting at the end of the shift. i started at my hospital as an extern and thought it was a really good experience. we also have some nursing students working as nurse assistants. good luck to you!!
  5. by   angel1971
    Thank you for your help and information. Do you have any idea what a nurse extern job would pay? I am trying to get out of what I am doing now so that I can enter the nursing field sooner. Thank you.
  6. by   shannonRN
    don't quote me on this, but i want to say that it ranges from $8-$16. ithe pay scale varies depending on where you are in your nursing program. i am almost positive that it pays more than our cna position. but i'm not 100% sure.
  7. by   xantha31669
    I did the nurse extern program at on of local hospitals over winter break and am doing it again over the summer. We make a base of 12.50 with a 3.00 nite shift differential and another 1.35 for weekend nites.
  8. by   traumaRUs
    Xantha - some of our RNs don't make that much!!!!! In central IL, nurse externs pay about $9/hour, PCTs $8/hr and unit clerks about $7/hour. Our new grads start at $16.20/hr.
  9. by   RNIAM
    If I were you I wouldn't do it at all. I was a pct, and a CNA. I would never do it if I could do it all over again. You are not treated well at all. You will also be trained differently as a pct. I know their are alot of people out there who like being a PCT and CNa but I will never work in that capacity again.If you want specifics please email me. I can tell stories that will curl your hair. You better off with a part time store job etc. JMHO
    Rhona
  10. by   angel1971
    rhona1
    did you have nurse externs at the hospital you
    worked at? They are advertising them in the news-
    paper here where I live, in all different areas of what I guess could eventually be a specialty.
    --To rhona1 and everyone else what area do you think is the best to start off in as a nurse extern? Thanks to everyone for your input.
  11. by   NICU_Nurse
    I worked as a CNA after my first semester (you got a state license for completing your first semester of nursing school) and then as a Senior nurse tech for the last two semesters of school on a postpartum unit at a nearby hospital. I knew I wanted to go into SOME area of Maternal/Child, so I got lucky. My job consisted mainly of taking vital signs around the clock, getting ice and juice, and performing perineal care on recovering moms. I did other things too, naturally, but this was the bulk of my day. Over and over again. In a way, it was bad, because not only was it repetitive, but I had absolutely no authority. I was the lowest part of the totem pole. However, even though I complained at the time of being bored, later I realized that even just working there doing CNA stuff was helpful. I learned a lot about conditions that helped me in school, and if I had a question about stuff we were learning in class, I had an entire unit of people to help me out with questions and information. By the time I was a senior tech, I was starting IV's (supervised and technically against the rules, but still...) and doing much more. I don't regret it for a second. Other students in my class tech'd on other floors, though, and some of them HATED IT, like those in Med/Surg who got worked to death, and some on Telemetry. I guess it depends on your hospital and what unit you're going into. School comes first, but if you can handle the studying and loss of time, I say by all means get a job or internship. Any exposure AT ALL will help you later, even if it's negative. At the very least, negative exposure will teach you what you DON'T want to do. ;>P Good luck!
  12. by   RNIAM
    I'm sorry I have no idea about this nurse extern position. I would assume that you would be doing the same things a PCT does but with a different title. They may treat you better because you have nurse in the title, but honestly I really done't know.
    Good luck to you in whatever you decide.
    Rhona
  13. by   Ortho_RN
    I don't necessarily think that PCT's are treated badly.. At the hospital I am working at they are treated good, and all really like their jobs... The nurses realize that have the PCT's give them more time to do some of the more "medically" inclined things... I start this month as a PCA on an Orthopedic floor at 12.34/hr... I just finished my first semester of an ADN program and I know this is gonna be great experiance...


    Good Luck in whatever you decide to do..
  14. by   mattsmom81
    Angel, payrates vary greatly around the country for salaries, so you will have to research your area. Your instructors will be a good resource for you in terms of jobs that may be available to students in your area..

    Many student nurses also work as unit secretaries, admission clerks, dietary aides and even monitor techs at hospitals. Often they don't mind working around the school schedule if you will be somewhat flexible with them as well in their 24/7 operations. Hospitals really like hiring student nurses ...they can get their claws into you early on in your career...hehe . Good luck!

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