New Grad RN Internship Worth it?

  1. 0
    I'm a nursing student who works in a hospital that does not hire new grads, but they have a new grad internship program open to internal applicants only. I know if I do it, I will likely get hired in the hospital afterward, but it's 36 hours a week unpaid for 3 months, plus you have to keep your other non-nursing job. I'm not sure if it's worth the 3-month wait to finally start working as a nurse. My family is expecting me to find WORK after graduation, not have 3 more months of full time unpaid training. Is it something I should jump on, or should I just get a non-hospital job elsewhere so I can actually start working? What do you think?
  2. 10 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    That sucks! I was just accepted into a new grad internship that is terrific and it is paid. I don't know if I would do this. I would really have to look at my options.
  4. 0
    I guess it depends how hiring is in your area. Are there other opportunities? The hospitals sure have it made these days...
  5. 2
    Agree with PPs - you need to weigh all issues to determine whether this would be the right move for you.

    FWIW, 'unpaid' new grad programs are becoming more common as hospitals are trying to cope with drastic cuts in reimbursement. In many cases, it's either than or simply refusing to hire new grads at all. Most of these programs do provide a stipend to cover program-related expenses such as parking, uniform, meals, etc.

    Sorry about your family's unrealistic expectation - they obviously don't understand that transition programs are needed because school experience does not really prepare a nursing grad for the workforce.
  6. 1
    It really stinks that the program would be unpaid. Of course you should make sure it would be doable to work both jobs at once, but it may be worth it if there aren't many opportunities in your area for new grads. The three months will be very hard but they will probably go by fast with how busy you'll be. As long as you don't have to work days and nights at the same time, I think you should do it- unless you have a good job lead somewhere else, don't like your hospital, or you want to work in a non-hospital job. Three months is not a very long time to wait these days. I have friends who graduated with me over a year ago who have yet to find work...
    NightBloomCereus likes this.
  7. 4
    I'll come out and say it: unpaid internships are insane and it hurts the rest of us who busted our humps to get licensed. Not only does it water down the pay, but it is essentially saying that your license is worth nothing (which the hospital damn well knows is not the case). As an unpaid NURSE will they expect you to assess and document under your license? Will they ask you to pass medications under your license? Will you do a treatment under your license? If the answer is yes then you should be paid for doing work under your license. It's offensive. That being said, the job market sucks. It would not be my first choice, but I'm not one to pass judgement on someone who entered into this situation because, ultimately, a job is a job.
  8. 0
    Quote from shahoo05
    I'm a nursing student who works in a hospital that does not hire new grads, but they have a new grad internship program open to internal applicants only. I know if I do it, I will likely get hired in the hospital afterward, but it's 36 hours a week unpaid for 3 months, plus you have to keep your other non-nursing job. I'm not sure if it's worth the 3-month wait to finally start working as a nurse. My family is expecting me to find WORK after graduation, not have 3 more months of full time unpaid training. Is it something I should jump on, or should I just get a non-hospital job elsewhere so I can actually start working? What do you think?
    What area if the country do you live? What percentage of new grads acquire jobs in the first 6 months after graduation? Your question is difficult to answer without more details. If you live in california or a similar place where the job market is atrocious, take the 3 months unpaid and secure a job. However, if you live in an area where you can find a job, explore other options. Good luck.
  9. 0
    Thank you, everyone, for your responses. I really appreciate it. I live in a metro area where it is very difficult for new grads, especially ADN's like myself, to find work. There are lots of colleges and the hospitals have their pick. If I do not do the internship, chances are I would have to wait a few years, probably until I have a BSN, if I want to work in a hospital. However I should be able to secure a job with LTC or maybe home care even though even some of them are also requiring experience.

    HouTx you're right on about my family's unrealistic expectations. No matter how I try to tell them what it's really like, they keep saying when I'm a nurse, the "doors will be wide open" and I could "work anywhere I want." Ha! They definitely wouldn't be happy if I worked for free for three extra months, but oh well. I just wish the program wasn't so long, or wasn't so many hours. Even if it were 20 hours a week, I could totally work PRN elsewhere, but they don't want you to have that option.

    I think now the best action would be to talk to some of my professors. They have seen many classes graduate and would know better than anyone. Also, I could just apply to the program and apply for jobs, too. See which comes through. For all I know, it may take 3 months to find a job anyway.

    Thanks, everyone
  10. 0
    One question is are you guaranteed a job after 3 months of unpaid internship,or is there an additional weeding out process? If I couldn't find something else I probably would take it but ONLY if it dies lead to a job (unless I screwed up majorly of course). I would make sure you have the answer to that.
  11. 1
    Just look at it as an additional 3 months of nursing school, which should lead to a job to boot.

    Personally, I'd jump at the chance if it seems likely to lead to a job after three months.

    Three months is nothing.
    JustMeWhoeverThatIs likes this.


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