Externships are WONDERFUL!!

  1. 0 I started my externship at the local hospital about 3 weeks ago, and I can't believe how much I've learned already, after just 4 shifts on the floor. After another 2 weeks, I will have more floor nursing experience after a month than I have in the entire past year of nursing school. And the externship lasts a year. By the time I graduate, I will be SO far ahead of the game compared to other students, I almost feel guilty about it. :chuckle And I'm pretty much guaranteed a job in the unit as a new grad RN next year after graduation.

    If externships are offered at the hospitals in your area, DEFINITELY take advantage of it. The experience you gain cannot be measured, it's such an awesome opportunity, and you get PAID!! :hatparty:
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  3. Visit  klone profile page

    About klone, BSN, RN

    klone has '10' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'OB/Gyn, research, lactation,'. From 'Denver, CO, US'; Joined Apr '03; Posts: 8,383; Likes: 15,718.

    27 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  Curious1alwys profile page
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    I am so happy for you!! I will definitly look into that....if I last that long!



    Good Luck and Congrats!!! :hatparty:
  5. Visit  OBRNinTN profile page
    0
    I have to agree. I just finished my 5 week med/surg rotation, and Monday I start my specialty in L & D. I have had so much fun, and learned so much. I too would recommend it to everybody.
  6. Visit  speedykicks profile page
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    Quote from caffeinatedstudent
    I have to agree. I just finished my 5 week med/surg rotation, and Monday I start my specialty in L & D. I have had so much fun, and learned so much. I too would recommend it to everybody.
    I am just starting nursing school this fall. Please tell me more about externships - how are they structured? What is the pay like, compared to CNA jobs or other part-time jobs nursing students have? Is there an emphasis on learning? Is it too much with clinicals and school work? Please elaborate - I really want to hone my clinical skills in nursing school.
  7. Visit  OBRNinTN profile page
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    The hospital where I am doing mine offers it to students who have a year left of nsg. school. I basically follow an RN, help w/assessments, and function some in a CNA role. We can "take things out", but we can't "put anything in"! Except, of course, enemas! So, I guess in a nutshell, we can't pass meds, start IV's , but we can give care. Trach care, dressing changes, etc. Not all programs are like that though. Some are allowed to do more, and some less. It has been an invaluable experience, and it's fun too! We interviewed for the positions, and got letters of recommedation. We were asked to list 3 top clinical areas we would like to be placed in, and then we waited! I, like Klone, requested L&D, ER, and the OR. I was given the Cath Lab. Then, someone dropped out, and they asked if I would like to do L & D instead. In our program, we have 5 weeks of med/surg, and then 5 weeks of a specialty. I know that other area hospitals dont do this, it just one rotation the whole time. At first I was afraid about doing med/surg, ...but I have changed my mind about med/surg now. I learned so much, and saw so much.. I really enjoyed it. Your intructors can probably fill you in about the externships offered in your area...I say go for it!
  8. Visit  Momto3andNurse2B profile page
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    Great information. I don't know if hospitals in my area offer externships or not, but I'd be very interested (once I have my first year done!) I'm assuming they work around your school schedule?

    Richele
  9. Visit  epiphany profile page
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    Externships are a great way to get a job later. Either the nurse manager will hire you when you graduate, or many recruiters will ask you what your internship experiences were (so put that in your resume). As I always tell new students, apply early and you are more likely to get the floor you want...
  10. Visit  mitchsmom profile page
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    That's great to hear, Klone!! Are you in L&D?
  11. Visit  JustAnuthaGirl profile page
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    I am happy to hear that it is such a great experience. I was also interested in doing an externship, but the hospital where I aplied only offered the program from June through August, so I applied for a PCT (patient care tech) position. I just started, and so far it seems like it will be a great experience too. I don't know if I will be allowed to follow the nurse or help with assessments, but I just might ask after I get to know the nurses well. And if everything works out, and I like my unit (orthopedics), I am sure I could stay on after graduation.

    I am now in a hospital that I have been trying to get into for years. I did my OB rotation there last semester, and I will do Med-Surg clinicals there for the next two....so I am excited about that.

    I wish their externship program would have been a year, but since it wasn't I skipped the application...but I look forward to working as a tech, rather than my CNA position I have held for the past 5 years in LTC.

    Anyway, I am glad you like it...I have been wondering what it would be like.
  12. Visit  Havin' A Party! profile page
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    Just finished my first week of orientation (classroom) in an extern program. Hit the ED floor this week!

    Glad you had a great experience!
  13. Visit  klone profile page
    0
    Quote from mitchsmom
    That's great to hear, Klone!! Are you in L&D?
    Yes, I did get the OB position (the only one!)! I'm loving it! The only thing we cannot do is pass meds or do anything with IVs. Everything else is fine, so I'm doing a lot of assessments, charting, pt teaching, breastfeeding help, acting as another pair of hands at births, etc.

    During the summer we're expected to work 2-3 shifts/week. During the school year we can work one shift per week. We had two weeks of classroom and then we were turned loose into the units to which we were assigned.
  14. Visit  Sheri257 profile page
    0
    Quote from speedykicks
    I am just starting nursing school this fall. Please tell me more about externships - how are they structured? What is the pay like, compared to CNA jobs or other part-time jobs nursing students have? Is there an emphasis on learning? Is it too much with clinicals and school work? Please elaborate - I really want to hone my clinical skills in nursing school.
    Here's what I've learned about externships ...

    You really have to be aggressive about it in school. They don't always tell you about externships and there is often misinformation ... like when you can start. Some hospitals will take you after just one semester of nursing school. Other hospitals want you to finish at least two semesters. Don't listen to rumors. Find out first hand from the hospitals and the school administrator in charge of externships how the program really works.

    At my school you also have to sign up for cooperative education to do it. If you don't, you can get in big trouble with the Board of Nursing. One student got kicked out of nursing school all together for not simultaneously registering for the required course work that accompanies the externship.

    Also, at my school, you can do the skills that you have been checked off on in lab or clinical. It's great because you can practice skills as soon as you've been taught them in school. But you need to keep copies of your check offs so you can document that you're only doing the skills allowed under the program. That way you're also covered with the Board of Nursing.

    The bottom line is: Be careful to find out about all of the rules and follow them carefully.

    Not all externships are equal. Some hospitals do nothing but assign students CNA work. Other hospitals implement more "real" externships where you might do some CNA but are also assigned to RN's for lots of training. Find out which hospitals have the best programs.

    And ... speaking of CNA ... don't be a primma donna. Some students felt they were above CNA work, refused to do it, and the hospitals did fire them. But once you prove you're a team player and do the CNA work, the RN's go out of their way to help train you and give you lots of RN skills ... or, at least, that's been my experience.

    Externships are often competitive and the early bird does get the worm. Before I was even eligible, I started interviewing two months before the semester was over so I could get the slots left vacant by graduating students. So I was already set before other people applied who had to fight for vacancies.

    Some externships will take you all the way through nursing school, including summer and winter breaks, with no time limits. And some programs are really flexible too. With my hospital, we completely set our own schedule. I only have to work six shifts the entire semester although, I choose to do more than that. And, if I have a test coming up, they usually let me skip work that week. It's great if you can find a really flexible program.

    Oh ... and my externship pays $10 an hour.

    Hope this helps.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Jun 26, '05
  15. Visit  OBRNinTN profile page
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    Quote from klone
    Yes, I did get the OB position (the only one!)! I'm loving it!
    I'm glad you are loving OB! I'm excited about starting my OB rotation tomorrow. It sounds like your externship program is a lot like mine. We can work up to 40 hours per week, and no less than 24 hours during the summer, and work at least one shift during the school year.
    Referring to what someone else posted, you do need to get all your info about the specific program you are applying for. Some of them have little "catches", for instance, a local hospital here requires their externs to pay them!


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