hey guys!

can you tell me the difference bet an INTERSHIP and an EXTERNSHIP?? Im quite confused! :confused: As a nursing student, which one would you suggest? What are its advantages and disadvantages? Thanks! Happy Holidays!:)


1,078 Posts

Specializes in Trauma ICU, MICU/SICU. Has 4 years experience.

Externship is while you are still in school (usually summer before your senior year - or if ADN after 2 semesters of school).

Internship is after you graduate. It is the initial part of your employment (at hospitals that offer internships) and may include orientation, classroom, mentoring, etc. Varies by program. There are also different specialties. For example at the hospital I'll be working at, they have internships in Critical Care, Cardiac Step-down, OR, and Med-Surg.


1,078 Posts

Specializes in Trauma ICU, MICU/SICU. Has 4 years experience.



1 Post

Can You Do The Externship On One Day


28 Posts

Lamesiah, I'm pretty sure externships are almost over over a periods of 6-8 weeks.

How much do externships generally pay? And where can you find information on different ones from around the country?


15 Posts

I did an externship at a pediatric hospital between my junior and senior years of a BSN program. It was 10 weeks in length and I found a program that paid for my hoursing for the summer. The only thing I had to pay for was my food. Other than that, they picked up everything. My salary for the summer was $13.00/hours and I learned nore during those 10 weeks than my 4 years of nursing education. It was incredible. I would encourage everyone to do an externship.

Internship is usually used to refer to programs for sraduate nurses. In states where graduate nurses are not allowed hospitals sometimes have an internship set up for new grads who haven't yet passed the NCLEX. Nursing responsibilities in an internship are limited, but you still go through the orientation and classroom work and what-not that you'd have to go through after you got your license anyway. Sometimes pay is less when you're an intern, sometimes not. Depends on the hospital.

Hope this info helps! Good luck in your future!


217 Posts

What is it called when you don't get paid?

Specializes in Float. Has 3 years experience.

Actually in my experience they can all be one and the same - it just depends on what the facility chooses to call it. In my area an extern, intern, and tech can all be the same thing. Around here it is a paid position, typically PRN. At some facilities you are a glorified CNA, at some you shadow a nurse and can do non invasive nursing duties such as taking a pt history, doing discharges, and some assessments. You can assist nurses in procedures and get to see way more than in clinical.

Some facilities want you to promise to work as they consider this on the job training and are paying you higher than a CNA. Some do not have any committment but hope you will stay.

Around here it really is just a way for them to get you in before graduation - it's a competitive thing because of the shortage and the competition for new grads - they get you while you are still a student lol.

In my area you typically can work in one of these positions when you are within one year of graduation. The pay ranges from $12-18/hr depending on facility and shift.

I've been doing this for about 2 months and love it - making some extra $ and getting a feel for the facility i am interested in working at when graduating.

Unpaid positions can be called the same thing ie there are paid internships, paid externships, and unpaid internships, unpaid externships. IME for the nursing profession you should be able to get PAID! lol Unpaid is called CLINICAL! haha


28 Posts

Are there places you can find out about different externship opportunities? When do you usually sign up for them?

Specializes in Float. Has 3 years experience.

Call the area hospital HR depts and just ask - they are usually more than happy to talk to a potential nurse! lol

You can also ask the students who are close to finishing their degree - they usually already have these jobs and can give you the inside scoop! Also check out the allnurses board for your geographical area and ask there. ;)

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