Students General Students


I was wondering if any of the students out there have (or have had) externships. It's something I'm looking into for next semester or the summer. What area of the hospital were you in and what did you have to do?

Also, I just wanted to say hi to everyone out there since I'm new here. Well, I registered months ago but never posted much.



1,024 Posts

The area hospitals offer summer externships for those that don't want to work during the school year. The depts. offered were: PACU, Surgery, Outpt. Surgery (Surgicenter), CCU, Med-Surg, and NICU (only 4 bed...nothing serious). I didn't apply for it b/c I already work as a Nurse Tech in OB/GYN and the other depts. didn't interest me as much. I thought about NICU, but the hospital I work at has 40 beds compared to the 4...we take all the ones that that hospital can't handle. Why don't you call around to area hospitals and see if they hire Nurse Techs/Interns? They are really flexible b/c they want you to stay when you're done!!!



31 Posts

Hi fellow TJU student!! If you were thinking about externing at Jeff, they usually have lots of positions and even when they don't they will often accomodate you. The nurse recruiter will try to work with you and put you wherever you want to go. I am currently externing on a telemetry unit at Jeff. The duties are basically the same as a nursing assisstant. You know, changing beds, helping to the bathroom, vitals, I & O, EKGs, etc. The RNs are usually good at calling you when they are doing something interesting and explaining things to you when you are an extern. Even though the duties you perform are not exactly earth shattering, just getting the experience of dealing with the patients, their families, and what different units are like, is really worth it. At Jeff, the hours are pretty flexible and the only committment is every other weekend. The pay isn't to bad either.



56 Posts

I've done it at 2 diffrent hospitals here in town. They are Externs or Nurse Interns. At one hospital I am in the ICU, but have been pulled to almost every floor in the hospital. Except for telemetery, peds, transplant and oncology. We have not OB, NICU, Mommy/Baby at our hospital anymore since they have opened a women's hospital.

At the other hospital, I have worked Surgery and ED. I discovered I hated Surgery. Most of it takes place in the day, but I hated it so I transfered internally to the ED.


182 Posts

i began as a nurse extern in july at a great hospital. i am still employed as an extern and the only commitment i have is two weekend shifts within a 4 week period. they are very good about letting me set my own schedule, in hopes that i will stay on after graduation/nclex passing. i currently work ortho/neuro, but do get floated to other floors. i recently was floated to the oncology floor and loved it!!!! reinforced the fact that this is an area i am extremely interested in and hope to go to. as an extern, i can be placed in one of two positions...i may pca, doing bed baths, vitals, i&os, etc., or i may get to actually extern, where i get to "play nurse", except for meds, iv starts, and other procedures, but i do have to do charting, new admits, discharges, etc.

check out your area hospitals and see if they offer externships. this has really helped me "come out of my shell" and i have become more comfortable dealing with the patients and their families. good luck and i hope this helps you some.



409 Posts

Specializes in Float Pool, ICU/CCU, Med/Surg, Onc, Tele.

No spit!!! Who knew!!! I'm definitely going to call around about this soon. How far do you have to be through your program before you can start? Do they seriously PAY you during this time? What an awesome concept. I don't know that I'll have time to work this first semester but we have from Mid-May to September off so that would be an awesome opportunity for me to check out the hospital I *think* I want to work at.

During Med Assistant school we did externships for 180 hours but they were strictly volunteer - so I thought *all* externships were volunteer.


189 Posts

I've been an intern for about 8 months now. I really like it. I worked a summer rotation where I went to a bunch of different floors and now I work just tele. I get to do everything. I do cardiac drips, iv starts, admissions, discharges, dressing changes, all meds.... It's really great experience. And you get paid for it!! If a hospital near you offers an intern/extern program I hightly suggest it. I had to complete one full med/surg (acute care) clinical in school before I could become an intern. Good luck!! Jess


262 Posts

I've been working as an extern since June (med-surg). I really enjoy it. The nurses have all been friendly and I get lot's of experience. Working as an extern has definitely improved my self-confidence in clinicals. I think the pay is pretty good considering I don't have a license ($9.50 an hour)


35 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg.

Hi everyone I'm a extern at methodist hospital in philadelphia, PA

and I'm also a student at methodist school of nursing and I love

working there it has been a great experience for me ecspecially for clinical. The pay is okay and I set my own schedule. All I needed was to complete one clinical rotation and then I applied.


409 Posts

Specializes in Float Pool, ICU/CCU, Med/Surg, Onc, Tele.

This is awesome news. Thanks, everyone, for your replies. I'll definitely be checking into this after the holidays. What a great way to get some experience and get your foot in the door at your "dream" hospital... even if it's only to discover you want to work somewhere else!


56 Posts

Originally posted by Angelica

I think the pay is pretty good considering I don't have a license ($9.50 an hour)

Check to see what PCT/CNAs make. In our area they (PCT/CNA) make about $10/hr. Externs here make $12.25-$13.08/hr. Honestly I go with which one pays the best.

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.
Originally posted by tatianamik

Check to see what PCT/CNAs make. In our area they (PCT/CNA) make about $10/hr. Externs here make $12.25-$13.08/hr. Honestly I go with which one pays the best.

I am the coordinator of my hospital's extern program and I would recommend choosing the program that will give you the best experience -- unless the difference in pay is extreme. You want to pick a program that will allow you to learn and to keep developing your nursing skills. You also want a program that will help you decide which type of nursing is for you, etc. and generallly help get your career off to a good start.

Some hospitals just use their nursing student employees as cheap labor. Others provide educational opportunities, chances to observe other units, etc. The characteristics and the quality of the programs vary. As with any job or educational opportunity, look into it, compare programs, and then choose the one that will get your career off to the best start.


This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X