How do I get experience while in pre-nursing?

Nursing Students Pre-Nursing


Hello everyone!

So, Ive been trying to figure out a plan. I see everyone around here recommending that a nursing student get as much experience as possible. But how? How did you all do it while also taking classes? Did any of you not have any experience and still get accepted into a nursing program?

Ive wanted to take CNA courses or work/volunteer at a hospital but i cant find the time. Well, i CAN but i rather devote that extra time to my pre-nursing classes to get the best grades I can. So what would you all recommend I do? How do you deal with this dilemma? Did you completely give up your social life and become a hermit during this time? Any advice??


I just applied to volunteer at a local hospital, they only require two hours a week.

EMT-B - Volunteering, minimum hours can be low but the experience (patient contact, emergencies) are appicable to nursing. Plenty of people got jobs straight ouf of school because of EMT.

CNA - This is self explanatory ...

Specializes in General Surgery.

I'm a fourth semester ADN student and a med/surg CNA. It may depend on if you want to work in a hospital or in LTC. You could apply to be a volunteer at a hospital at the very least. I think our volunteers do four hour shifts at the most. If you can find some time to do a CNA program, I'd do it and apply to your local hospitals or carehomes. I started out at my hospital as a housekeeper so you could do it that way just to get your foot in the door. Networking helps so if you know anybody that works where you want to end up, I'd highly suggest that as well.

Seriously?! 2-4 hours for volunteer work? I thought it would be much more time consuming! That's doable

Specializes in Forensic Psych.
Seriously?! 2-4 hours for volunteer work? I thought it would be much more time consuming! That's doable

The hospital I'm about to start volunteering at requires a commitment of 2 hours per week for 6 months. No big deal!

Specializes in ED.

I was offered a tech job but I had to turn it down with an already full schedule and the kids. However, I was told that whenever I felt like I was able to do both then to give her (the DON) a call and they'll get me in as a PRN. There were no minimum hours either. So after I start this nursing semester I'll see how it goes and I might take her up on her offer. I know the experience would be invaluable.

I didn't have any experience when I got acceptance into ADN - I did however start home health a few months prior to starting. We were told it helps when you actually hit the floor for

Clinical you won't have that "lost" feeling.

I work full time, I go to school in the evenings, and One sunday a week I would volunteer at the local hospital. It was overwhelming at times, because It was hard to hang out and have some fun with friends and family's knowing I had homework and I had to be at the hospital early on Sundays, but I knew why I did what I did and kept pulling through. Because of my volunteer work, my school gave me a scholarship, and I truelly appreciated it and felt it was all worth it. I only did it for a year. I needed a break. I'm not sure if you work? but if you just go to school full time and do not work, then I would think volunteering and managing school would be no problem, and it helps to get to know others in the hospital, and possibly making new friends that could later be of benefit to you. Good luck!

Thanks for all the information and advice! I just filled out an application for volunteer work at my local hospital. They say they'll work around my schedule and I only have to put in 100 hours a year! That's so easy! I'm so excited!

Would it be wrong of me to ask to work in a certain area? I'm fine with any area, but I'd like to request maternity to get a feel for it before I make a commitment to midwifery.

The first volunteer program I applied for was with a small community hospital. I applied and got an interview. During my interview, I listed my available hours and was required to volunteer 4 hours a week for 6 months. They gave me whatever shift they needed people for. I requested to be in ICU since I was extremely interested in that unit but found that it wasn't a good fit for me so they transferred me to the ER. I realized it was that particular hospital's volunteer program that ultimately wasn't a good fit for me so I applied to volunteer at the biggest hospital in my region with the largest volunteer program available. They gave me an interview and with my specialty interests, they realized I would be a good fit as a newborn nursery volunteer. Only about 20-30 people are selected from interviews to be placed in the nursery at this hospital and there are over 4,000 volunteers so I was pretty surprised when they placed me there. I absolutely loved it and volunteered a night shift for 3-4 hours for 6 months then would volunteer every other week after the commitment period ended :) Just request or state your specific intentions of what you hope to benefit from volunteering during your interview or on your application. Sometimes hospitals don't let you select your unit as a volunteer and would just place you in a unit depending on what they need volunteers for so just be aware of what the hospital is asking for.

I volunteer once a week for 4 hrs at the local hospital.

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