Any value in shadowing?


I'm a pre-nursing student who is also working fulltime. But I noticed that, by golly, I only have to work 5-days a week. Is there any value to using some of that free time shadowing? Or do I just wind up as a pain to the nurses while not really spending enough time to learn anything?


446 Posts

Specializes in ER, ICU, Medsurg.

I think shadowing is invaluable. You would be amazed what you can pick up on if you are observant and ask questions. If you get a good nurse that doesn't mind answering questions it can be a great experience. The only thing that might be a problem is if between class/work/shadowing you dont have time for studying.

Good Luck!!!


82 Posts

Thanks! But I am terrified of wasting other people's time, so I have to ask: Is it appropriate to shadow just one shift (8 or 12 hours), or should I plan on doing it both days off for something like a month. I mean, I'm curious about different specialties, but I don't want to be half-baked about this.

Tweety, BSN, RN

32,973 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 31 years experience.

I know shadowing is valuable, but it's not a common practice. If you already know you want to be a nurse, why shadow? You're going to learn enough in clinicals to see how nurses operate and get experience in various areas.


446 Posts

Specializes in ER, ICU, Medsurg.

I wouldn't go and ask a nurse if you can shadow for entire semester, or even a month. Like Tweety said, you are going to get enough at clinicals. However, shadowing for a day or two would be beneficial to actually see the "real world" without having an instructor breathing down your neck. Just make sure to get a "good" nurse or one you know will answer questions and not be "put out". Some nurses love students, some nurses hate them.

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