Nurse Externs

  1. What is a nurse extern permitted to do that a CNA cannot? I am applying for a summer job as a nurse extern, but haven't had an interview yet to ask these questions. Thanks!
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   MelRN13
    I worked as an extern and I was under the direct supervision of an RN. I did admissions, assessments, pt. teaching, etc. The only thing that I was not allowed to do was pass meds or IV starts until after I took my boards.

    It might differ in every state, I'm not sure.

    I thought that it was a wonderful experience, and I gained alot of knowledge from my preceptor.

    Good luck!
  4. by   memphispanda
    That's probably going to vary greatly from state to state, and even facility to facility. I can't do much of anything it seems...I can assess and chart, but other than that it's basic MA work. Can't do things we used to like caths and NG tubes. No passing meds or anything. A lot of going room to room taking BPs and asking if they need anything.
  5. by   Nurse Keli
    Where I work we can do anything we have checked off on in nursing school EXCEPT passing meds. Can't take a patient on by ourself and cannot chart in the nursing notes.
  6. by   Angella Walker
    All I can say it that it really doesn't matter in my case. In interviewed for a Nurse Extern position today and I am pretty confident that I will get the job. If I have to wash behinds and do laundry, it pays 4.50 more than my current job as a secretary. Experience in patient care matters more that the exact job duties you preform. Enjoy the exposure that you get and if all else fails.......smile and nod

    Just my opinion!

    AW
  7. by   jessjoy
    I work on a cardiac floor as an extern. They let us do everything a nurse does with the exception of taking telephone orders from a doctor. We are allowed to pass all meds, do iv's, drips, treatments,assessments, charting......basically everything. I'm surprised that in some places externs can't pass meds.
  8. by   MelRN13
    Originally posted by jessjoy
    I work on a cardiac floor as an extern. They let us do everything a nurse does with the exception of taking telephone orders from a doctor. We are allowed to pass all meds, do iv's, drips, treatments,assessments, charting......basically everything. I'm surprised that in some places externs can't pass meds.
    I'm suprised that you are able to pass meds and do IV drips without a nursing license. What if you (god forbid) made a mistake? Would your preceptor be responsible, since technically, you are working under her license?

    Just a thought...
  9. by   jessjoy
    We must check our meds over with our preceptor before giving any meds, just like in clinical. They ask us what the med is for, rate to be run, etc... They also must cosign all our documentation.
  10. by   Forevermomof5
    HI!!!
    Here in Las Vegas they call a nurse extern a Nurse Apprentice and just like an apprentice in other professions we are under the supervision and care of a licensed person.
    Here at the hospital that I work at I can do everything except hang blood, hang iv meds(not sure why because they let us do the invasive procedure of starting ivs) and iv push.
    We do CNA work too sometimes but it doesn't matter because I get to do other things also. The great thing is that our hospital would rather have NAPS than CNAs so if want to work, I do and I have priority and I make at least $3 more an hour than CNAs too.
    Good luck!
  11. by   llg
    I coordinate the summer extern program at my hospital. Here, we have 3 categories of activities for externs.

    1. Things that a nursing assistant can do. We allow to do these things "on their own" just as a nursing assistant would do -- after the extern has been "checked off" by his/her preceptor on those skills.

    2. All other patient care activities. We allow externs to participate in all other types of patient care activities as long as an RN preceptor is physically present and directly supervising the extern. From a legal standpoint, the RN and the extern are doing the task together. This gives the extern the opportunity to learn an unlimited range of skills (meds, IV's, phlebotomy, central lines, etc). Our externs are always buddied with an RN preceptor.

    3. Purely educational activities (classes, observing surgeries and tests, observing on other units, etc.). We do not "count" externs as part of our staffing. Therefore, they are usually "free" from care obligations so that they can take advantage of whatever interesting learning opportunities may arise. We encourage the externs and staff to keep an eye open for interesting things going on that the externs might like to experience. We tell the RN's that, when something comes up, grad the extern and do it together.

    In addition, each extern can choose to observe on other units or do some other educational activity for up to 4 hours per week with pay. Our typical schedule is three 12-hour shifts per week. They can do educational stuff for the other 4 hours to make a 40-hour work week if they choose. On a few weeks during the summer, we have planned 4-hour seminar days, when we bring them together as a group and have classes and discussions planned specifically for them. On the other weeks, they can choose to design their own educational experience and/or observe on other units.

    As you can see, our program is geared very much toward supplementing the education of the students and we try to avoid abusing them as cheap labor.

    llg
  12. by   NurseShell
    Our "official" externship informational meeting is this Friday - but we've already been told that we will be doing everything we've done in clinicals - pass meds, VS, IVP, IVPB, Dsg changes, etc, etc. The only thing we are NOT cleared to do is start IVs b/c they've moved that "skill" to third semester for some bizarre reason. If I learn anything more after Friday I'll let you all know
  13. by   soon2belpn
    How far into your LPN schooling do you have to be in order to apply for an employment as a Nurse Etern? I did not even know there was such a thing. Sounds like a great way to gain some experience!
  14. by   MelRN13
    Originally posted by soon2belpn
    How far into your LPN schooling do you have to be in order to apply for an employment as a Nurse Etern? I did not even know there was such a thing. Sounds like a great way to gain some experience!
    I worked as an LPN extern from the time I graduated until I took boards.

    I will start as a RN extern after I graduate this year (1more month!)

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