No externship = huge disadvantage?

  1. Over the last few weeks, I've been worrying about the future because of the fact that I didn't get an externship this summer. A bunch of people from my nursing program have been updating their Facebook statuses with externship-related things, and I guess I'm just feeling down in the dumps because I'm scared of being behind once the school year starts again. More so, I'm scared of not being able to get a job once I graduate and pass the NCLEX.

    I know that worrying isn't productive and that I should focus on the present and the opportunities I do have (I'm employed as a PCT at a local hospital, but I won't get into that because I'm not especially happy there), but I guess a little reassurance from others who experienced a similar situation the summer before they graduated would be nice, haha. And that was the longest sentence ever, sorry!

    Anyway, my actual question is, will not having an externship be a huge disadvantage when the time comes to apply for jobs? ("Huge" being the operative word.)

    Thanks in advance to anyone who responds! I really appreciate it.
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    About gossamer

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 1
    from US


  3. by   Koyaanisqatsi-RN
    Just posting in support and to say I'm wondering the same thing. I only just finished 1st semester and most places don't want an extern with that little experience.
  4. by   fiveofpeep
    it seems that most internships/externships are very similar to PCT positions.
  5. by   r0b0tafflicti0n
    I might be completely wrong, but I'd personally think a PCT position would look better than a summer externship.
  6. by   llg
    You might be at a slight disadvantage, but probably not a big one -- especially as you wll have the PCT experience. A lot will depend on the partcular hospitals in question, the types of extern and PCT programs involved, etc.
  7. by   Morgan,BSN,RN-NICU
    i feel ya.... i didn't get an externship either, but I did get a job as an ER tech. However I actually get to do more than my friends who got externships do. They pretty much follow the nurse and observe her (now don't get me wrong they will get to hear tons of advice and tips by following the RN but.... no actual invasive stuff) I however get to run EKGs, do straight stick lab draws, and triage patients by myself. And the nurses in the ER know I'm in nursig school so they make it a point to show me things and give me some useful info. I think that ANY exposure you get in the nursing field will be benifical to you in the long run. If you aren't happy where you are look for other jobs as an CNA, tech, etc.

    Hope this helps!
  8. by   LiveZen
    I did volunteering, externship and PCT at a childrens hospital and got hired on there. (I graduate tomorrow and will start work as an RN later this summer after boards!). I think the main thing is to try to be at the hospital where you want to work after graduation, in whatever capacity. I certainly don't think the externship is the end all be all.

    It helps if you extern where you want to work, but I'd suggest focusing on what you can do at this point. Not everyone gets an externship, there's just a limited number of spaces. Making the connections with staff and meeting nurse managers along the way is what helped me get my job.

    I offered to pick up extra (I'm working pool as a PCT, which means I work random hours basically as needed) shifts in other units when my unit was fully staffed without me, and that helped a lot. I fell in love with ER after picking up shifts there and got to know the managers there and that's where I ended up getting a job. I had the option to work for my own unit after grad, but discovered that specialty (pediatric oncology) was not a good fit for me. I'm happy in the ER! PM me if you have any questions.