Should I get an internship? Help!

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    Hi everyone! This is my first official post since becoming a member, and I am excited to say that I will be starting nursing school this fall! I am very excited about the idea of starting a career in nursing, but with the current economy and difficulty of finding a job as a new grad, I was thinking of ways to make myself more marketable. I don't work and I don't have a lot of family obligations, and I was thinking it would be great to intern at my local hospital during the two years of my program, so when I graduate I will have more patient experience and will be more comfortable in a health care setting. I love the idea of shadowing nurses in different departments and observing procedures and just LEARNING more about my future career. My problem is that a few people I have spoke to (including one of the advisors in the program) insists that one day a week at clinicals is more than enough, and trying to do something like this will just be too difficult. I was thinking only one additional day a week, but do you believe they are right? I have two previous degrees, so don't have to worry about messing with any pre-reqs while taking the nursing classes. I also believe that these previous degrees have taught me time management skills that they might not be used to in their students. Am I trying to take on too much? Do you believe that even one more day of patient interaction a week will be worth it, or make me a better nurse for when I graduate?
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  3. 12 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I don't think there's anyone here not going to suggest you go for it ... so ... go for it.
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    I think it would be very helpful and worth it. Many people work or have extra obligations during nursing school, and I think most people could handle a one-day-a-week thing just fine.
  6. 0
    I think the other people I spoke to really worried me, when they acted like taking on some sort of internship would take away precious hours I would need to pass their program. I started thinking that maybe nursing school was ten times harder than I had previously anticipated. I was just wondering if people who had already started their program thought that they never had enough time already, and if this was something they thought might harm more than help - especially starting out.
  7. 2
    Why don't you start the nursing program first, see how it goes, and then decide whether you can handle doing an internship?
    NurseB_ and One1 like this.
  8. 1
    Generally speaking you have to be a nursing school graduate to get an internship. However, a few hospitals do offer externships, which are meant for the current nursing student. Most of them are willing to work around your school schedule and you choose for yourself how much or little you are scheduled for. At least that is how mine works.

    You can also consider a patient care tech position or CNA (after you get certified of course) after the first semester or two of school.
    CBsMommy likes this.
  9. 1
    Each summer we get to do an internship at my hospital. So far I have done one in cardiac stepdown and now in the ICU, where I am going to work once I am out of school. I have learned more in those few months about being a nurse than I ever could in school. I say go for it
    cogath likes this.
  10. 0
    Usually you can't get hired as a nurse intern or extern until you have done a semester or two in the nursing program. They aren't going to let you shadow a nurse before then. Also it depends on how the hospitals in your area work. Here the hospitals have externship programs and you have to meet certain requirements like having certain nursing classes completed, having a certain GPA and no C grades. For the most part externships are only for the summer and most students don't take on full externships until their last year or semester in nursing school and if you do that you do they don't work around your schedule, sometimes you can get the overnight shift ect.

    You can also become a CNA, SOME states will allow this after your first semester in school, some will require a seperate CNA course for certification.

    However even getting hired as an internship won't guarantee you a job in the hospital. My friend was a nurse extern for the final year in nursing school and also volunteered and she still wasn't offered a job, not because they didn't want her but because they didn't have openings. Having an opening for a intern doesn't mean they'll have an opening for an RN. They can only give you a job if it's there, not create one for you.
  11. 0
    The only externships I've seen require the student to have completed a semester or two of clinical courses. But if you have one that doesn't require it, I'd do it. People work and go to nursing school all the time and many of them have children. If you have no other obligations, I think you can do it.

    If you can't get into the externship, you could always volunteer at the hospital that way you can get some patient interaction experience.
  12. 0
    I don't know about everywhere but the only internships I have heard of, or that I or my classmates did were summer internships; not during school. They were actually paid internships and I would absolutely recommend doing it. You get to see the "real world" of nursing. Also you can try out an area of nursing to see if you like it. I did psych, which I enjoyed, but not where chose to work. However, I still use skills I learned in that summer in my practice now. The internship positions had many applicants and it was competetive to get in, so start thinking about it early.


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