How to get experience before you graduate?

Nurses Job Hunt


I'm applying for nursing school I've been reading a lot of threads about new graduates having difficulties finding jobs without 1 years worth of hospital experience.

I was wondering what is the best way to get experience in the hospital while in nursing school?

I have 6 years experience as a Medical Assistant and hoping to land something in the hospital or LTC facility.

Does doing volunteer work or internships while going through school give you a better chance of getting a job?

Im in the Central Valley (Fresno) if that helps

I'm also in the Central Valley too, Merced. I think that any experience that you can do will be of great benefit no matter what. I currently work as a CNA and I will be starting the BSN program next month at CSU Stanislaus. Being a CNA also helped with my nursing application because it gave me 5 extra points. I also plan to apply for a hospital internship when I get to the second semester of nursing school. The more experience you can get the better.

Do internships or volunteer work count in employeers eyes? I thought only paid work does?

I am currently in a BSN program in the southwest and I will be graduating with the following experience:

-3 years as a CNA/PCT with 1 yr LTC and 2 yr Telemetry/ICU experience

-AHA BLS Instructor teaching classes at both area hospitals

-2 years as an EMT in a busy 911 system

-2 years volunteer work with technical rescue team and a volunteer fire department

I would say cover all of your bases by getting both paid and volunteer work. The more you can do to place yourself above the rest the better! Becoming a CNA/EMT is the best move I could have made before entering nursing school and something I would recommend to everyone.

Thanks I will look into the CNA work. I have a MA Degree with 6 years experience but thought that would help. Looks like I need to look into CNA classes here in fresno now before I enroll.

That's the funny thing about healthcare that I have noticed so far. Previous work experience is a point; previous work in healthcare...pulls much more weight. In talking with unit directors, at least where I am located, extracurricular activities don't really matter that much either (SNA, student govt, local bake sales...). By having previous healthcare experience employers are seeing that you KNOW what you are getting yourself into and are much more confident that you wont bail within 6 months.

A word about CNA classes that blind sides many:

These classes are COMPETITIVE. Where else can you take a semester long or shorter course(mine was 3 40hr weeks) and be almost guaranteed a job somewhere? They often have many hoops one needs to jump thru in order to filter the masses so a word of advice is GET STARTED EARLY! get your standard immunization regimen and AHA BLS for the healthcare provider out of the way now. Be extremely proactive and satisfy the pre-enrollment requirements as early as possible. Classes will fill up in minutes or be a wait list type of deal.

Awesome thanks so much

Oh and try to look into free CNA courses if you can. Some nursing homes offer them for free. That's where I did mine and it was about 7 weeks long. Community colleges offer them but it's about a whole semester long and if you get financial aid it'll cover it. Definitely look into a free one though.

i found one that offers it for free and will sign up soon. My goal is to work in the Jail or Prisons and want to get in the door. Does anyone know how I can get experience in for the prisons? I wonder if they have a vounteer or internship program

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