Extern-is it a good way to get experience and gain confidence?

  1. is it hard to be accepted as an extern? what kinds of stuff does an extern get to do?

    i'm in nursing school right now, just about to finish my 3rd semester, and i have learned so many skills in nursing, but i feel so incompetent right now and no confidence whatsoever. i'm a little nervous too.

    even though i passed all of my skills and did an okay job, i'm just a little nervous that i may mess up in some of the skills or miss some steps, because it has been quite awhile since i practiced those skills. and some of the stuff i learned, i need to review again in order to refresh my memory. there are a lot of skills i learned, and i probably only know 80% of the steps on some of them or most. and i really want to get it to 100% or close to it.

    i've never worked in a hospital before, all of my experience has been in clinicals, andwe are limited in some of the stuff we get to do depending on the patient we choose, and there are very few skills that i learned so far that i applied to the clinical settings as of right now.

    do you think being an extern is the best thing for a student nurse to be more competent, gain experience, and confidence?
    Last edit by Wheaties on Mar 21, '04
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    Highly recommend it. You will have so much more confidence when you get out into the real world. I also like to suggest that you offer to float when they need someone to do that. It will open your eyes to so many other things.

    Good luck to you.......................
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I highly recommend externship, and being a floater. You get to be in different parts of the hospital, and you graduate school with a lot more experiece than you could buy.
  5. by   mazz
    Definitely the way to go. I would not have felt nearly as comfortable as I did when I graduated and went to work in the real world. I was an extern at a childrens hospital- I was able to do assessments and chart under an RN's supervision; I was able to watch and assist with many different procedures (I watched hundreds of IV's being started- you learn a thing or two thats for sure); and just learned how a hospital ran. GO FOR IT! if you are lucky enough to live in a place where those programs are offered, take advantage of it.

    As far as getting in, I think I just applied and showed proof of schooling. It was't hard.
  6. by   C'wing
    I'm interested in becoming an extern as well, but I have no idea how to apply for it. Do you just go to a hospital and ask them about it? thru' school? or..?

    Thanks in advance.
  7. by   suzanne4
    Just go and see the Human Resources department at the hospital that you are interested in or call around and see which hospitals in your area are offering programs.

    Good luck to all of you..................................
  8. by   klone
    Quote from C'wing
    I'm interested in becoming an extern as well, but I have no idea how to apply for it. Do you just go to a hospital and ask them about it? thru' school? or..?

    Thanks in advance.
    Our hospital actually has a representative that comes to the school and talks to the students about halfway through their second semester and passes out applications to those who are interested. Of course, we only have one hospital and one school in this small town, so I imagine it's done differently in larger cities. I'm very excited to work as an extern - not only for the experience, but so that I can actually make money in the healthcare field and quit my other job, as well as get a foot in the door in the hospital/dept. that I hope to work for when I graduate. I was told that they almost always hire the externs on as new grad RNs after graduation.
  9. by   maire
    I had a question about this a little while ago. You might want to check out the thread and read the other responses too!

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...ght=externship
  10. by   Altra
    I'm sure externships are a great experience - if you have the opportunity you should definitely pursue it, as long as it doesn't interfere with school.

    I applied for an externship at one of the hospitals in my area, however, I did not get a spot. This hospital's extern program required 36 or 40 hours a week, no exceptions, for 10 weeks. They did not select anyone who was taking a summer class. It may be for the best - 4 days/week of med/surg class & clinical and a 40-hr. week externship may have killed me!

    I'm looking into other possibilities to get some additional experience this summer - possibly functioning in some kind of volunteer capacity in the ER (my area of interest) at one of the hospitals where I've had clinicals.

    Good luck to all!
  11. by   licorice14225112060
    Quote from suzanne4
    Highly recommend it. You will have so much more confidence when you get out into the real world. I also like to suggest that you offer to float when they need someone to do that. It will open your eyes to so many other things.

    Good luck to you.......................
    Where would you get an externship in RN after you have graduated? I have graduated and need to brush up on my clinical skills. Please respond....from licorice14225112060
  12. by   licorice14225112060
    Quote from mazz
    Definitely the way to go. I would not have felt nearly as comfortable as I did when I graduated and went to work in the real world. I was an extern at a childrens hospital- I was able to do assessments and chart under an RN's supervision; I was able to watch and assist with many different procedures (I watched hundreds of IV's being started- you learn a thing or two thats for sure); and just learned how a hospital ran. GO FOR IT! if you are lucky enough to live in a place where those programs are offered, take advantage of it.

    As far as getting in, I think I just applied and showed proof of schooling. It was't hard.
    I live in Buffalo, NY and do not believe that they will let me do an externship under their license since I have already graduated from school. Any suggestions. I really need to know what to do here. I was in the Honor Society for Nurses, but need the experience in order to keep the job. Thanks for any help....licorice14225112060
  13. by   marilynmom
    I would recommend it as well. I also know the externships in my area are GPA competitive. You need a good GPA to get one. But not every place is like that.

    I work in the hospital and I LOVE it! My job is like a preceptorship and I work one on one with the RN. It seems everyday I do suctioning, Foleys, assessments, admits, blood draws, etc. It is amazing experience and I can't believe how much I have learned.
  14. by   madampomfrey
    Licorice~ I am not sure if I am understanding you right. Are you a knew graduate? Many of the hospitals where I live offer an internship for new graduates prior to them taking the NCLEX. I believe that they make a pay close to that of a licensed nurse. But they will assign you to a preceptor and you can't give meds. Many of the hospitals will even give you paid study days for the NCLEX. I also know of one hospital that offers internships in particular fields so that a nurse or recent grad can become certified in a specialty such as L&D or critical care. This may be something to look in to.

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