Externship: Early Split!


I'm currently doing a nursing externship and I'm soooooooo bored! What was I thinking. I work as a tech at a hospital and I get to do more than an extern! I also earn more. The floor where I'm doing the externship has nothing new. My question is, should I leave the externship early? I have bills to pay and I live right down street from the hospital where I work. I have to travel 50 miles wasting my gas to this externship that's not teaching me anything. I don't think I want to work there after graduation. What should I do? I'm so desperate to get out of it!

Jules A, MSN

8,863 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Personally if it were me, I'd suck it up and continue on. In case you didn't notice we nurses are a very incestuous bunch and imo burning bridges is never a good idea because you would be shocked at who you might see in the future.


You knew the pay ahead of time and if the experience isn't everything you hoped you can either try to find more opportunities while you are there or just muddle through it. Just my two cents and good luck with whatever you decide.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

ask your supervisor if you can be assigned to a preceptor or go to another department. YOU are responsible for your learning. This could be a great opportunity. Heck, you would learn a lot following respiratory therapists, dietician, case managers, and other disciplines. Hang with a unit clerk - they transcribe orders and do other "mission control".


444 Posts

Specializes in Psych.

From their point of view they extended you an opportunity, one that might have been highly coveted by another person who didn't get it. I don't think they would take it as an expression of gratitude if you ditched it mid-stream.

If it were me, I would honor my commitment for its duration and bring my very best self there everyday. Use it as an opportunity to demonstrate what you have to contribute to an employer.

racing-mom4, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 1,446 Posts

Specializes in ICU/ER.

I always believe honesty is the best policy. You need to be upfront with your nursing mgr and explain to her that your grateful for the opportunity but you were under the impression you would be learning more and given more responsibility. Explain that you feel honored that you were chosen for this externship, but unfortunately due to gas prices (everyone can relate to that right now) and another job closer to home would she accept your two weeks notice.

This gives her an honest opinion of the externship program, which they may want to change to give students more opportunity, it also gives her time to line up another extern who would be interested.

I am assuming you have done everything in your power all ready to get what you want out of the program??? If not, give it another chance with a new outlook...but if you have tried and are still just not happy--you owe it to your team to let them know.

Best of luck

RNperdiem, RN

4,580 Posts

Has 14 years experience.

You say you don't want to work there after graduation?

If the job market is tight for new grads, you might need to apply there.

Unless you are being mistreated, pushed into unsafe practice, or are so unhappy you cannot function, make the best of your time there.

Boredom is not a legitamate excuse for ducking out of a commitment especially one that is a short term commitment.


331 Posts

Specializes in Ortho and Tele med/surg.

Thank you guys. I really appreciate all your advice. I'm so used to running around like a mad woman on the job and I spend majority of my time standing around. I hate standing around. I REALLY want to learn! But you guys are right. It's only 8 weeks so I should honor my commitment. Three major hospitals just closed in NJ, which makes new nursing positions competitive. I would love to work at the hospital where I work after graduation, but I still have to keep an open mind. Thanks.

allnurses Guide

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 46 years experience.

My Dad used to ask me the same question regularly: "Did you learn anything in school today?" If I said, "No," he would want to know why not. What was wrong with me that I couldn't find some lessons to be learned in the world around me?

If all you know how to do is rush around and do tasks ... then you have missed many valuable lessons in life. Thre is much to be learned when we are "still" and have the opportunity to reflect on our surroundings and our practice.

Talk with your preceptor/unit educator or whoever else would be a good resource for you. Thank them for the opportunity you have been given for the summer and explain that with your background on a similar unit, you are not learning as much as you had hoped. Ask them to help you find learning opportunities in your extern envirnment. Give them a chance to help you make the most of the situation. Just remember to stay positive about their workplace as you do it. Don't sound whiney and ungrateful.

Good luck.

Is it possible to ask to be floated to different units? i.e. cath lab, dialysis, OR, Interventional radiology?

As a student, I think I learned most by observing in these areas and it gave me a better idea of what I would enjoy doing. Also, once you have your RN it is very difficult to float and just observe and take it all in.

If you cant float, just make yourself useful. Ask questions, ask and ask. Let them know that youre there to help and that you want to see as much as possible.

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