Nursing experience before BSN?


  • Specializes in Med/Surg, MICU.

My friend and I are both in the nursing program and were discussing experience before graduating the other day. She said that the nursing shortage is so bad that experience won't matter and that's why she wasn't worrying about getting a nursing related job while in school. I said that I think it's good to get experience regardless, and she said that clinicals would be enough experience.

Right now I've been working as a CNA for about 5 months and I plan on becoming a nurse intern as soon as a I can. Will my work experience in the nursing field benefit me once I graduate or is my friend right and it won't matter about how much experience we gain before we graduate?

Whispera, MSN, RN

3,458 Posts

Specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education.

Experience always helps. First of all, clinicals don't make you an expert--they just start you down the road of learning what to do. Working helps you learn more on that road. Secondly, places tend to hire first from those who work with them, rather than from a pool of strangers. Besides, it would get you some money to pay those school loans off and to buy food!

Specializes in ED, ICU, MS/MT, PCU, CM, House Sup, Frontline mgr. Has 15 years experience.

you are doing the right thing. your friend is incorrect if he/she thinks that the nursing shortage applies to him/her. it does not! the nursing shortage applies to experienced nurses... not new grads. there are plenty of new graduate nurses who cannot find a job anywhere!!! tell your friend to read the graduate nurse forum if she does not believe me.

right now schools all over the country are cranking out so many new grads that hospitals cannot accommodate (hire) us all. therefore, students who are wise do what you are planning to do... they get jobs as techs (cnas preferably) then become nurse externs while in school. as a new grad on the inside, you will be the first hiring directors will choose. your classmates will have to take what he/she can get assuming he/she will be able to get something. :twocents:


931 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics, Med-Surg..

I would agree that working during school is a very wise idea. I would try to get any sort of job in places you might want to work at after nursing school. You can learn lots by being a CNA and like the others said, you are already in. Here in Canada, working is strongly encouraged during school esp. in the summers.

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