Question about a bad trend I have heard about....

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    I have heard that there is a trend in nursing (especially in California) to not hire new grads or those without experience but to hire them as an "intern" and not pay them for a certain amount of time, until they have experience and then possibly offer them a job. I do not know if this is true or not, i have heard about it third party from my mom who supposedly heard this from my Aunt who live in the San Fran area. I am just curious if this is something that is happening and becoming more prevalent. So here is my question, do any of you know about anything like this happening? Have any of you dealt with this or had to go through a process like this? I would like to hear what your experiences are regarding this. I had originally planned to be a med. transcriptionist from home and then put myself through nursing school and that did not happen because of this very thing and am afraid to here it may be occurring in nursing as well.
  2. 4 Comments so far...

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    Some places are doing this ... or offering interships at low wages ... but it has not yet become common. New grad nurses take a long time to become competent in the clinical area and it is expensive for the employer to orient them. New grads also have a history of not staying with their first jobs very long. So, in these hard economic times, employers are usually looking to hire experienced nurses rather than new grads. And if they do hire new grads, some are looking for ways to decrease the training costs. It is a sign of the times -- and of the weak economy.

    But ... as I said ... unpaid internships are still pretty rare in nursing. Only a few employers have gone that far with their cost-cutting efforts. You'll need to investigate the particular employers in your area to know whether or not it is something you will face or not. In may area (East Coast), no one is doing that.
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    I've known a lot of nurses, including myself, who felt frustrated because they graduated from school lacking in clinical hands-on skills. So I can see the appeal of something like that; an opportunity to get some real hands-on experience before hitting the job market, and without having to pay tuition.

    On the other hand, it does seem exploitative and reflects a discouraging trend lately of facilities taking advantage of the bad nursing market.
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    One major hospital system in Houston launched a year-long "unpaid" internship a while back. Participants receive a stipend, uniforms & meals while at work. It has been very successful. They receive an enormous number of applicants from all over the country for this program. Just sayin'. . .
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    Thanks for your responses! I can see ways in which it can be beneficial and also ways it can be bad, but the instances my aunt was talking about was a couple years before they could get hired, after RN school. I can't imagine many people can work for free that long, especially if they have student loans to pay off!


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