Your thoughts on unpaid internships for new grads?


I have an interview for an unpaid 2-month internship. I've been job hunting for about 3 months with no luck YET. I've been applying everywhere so I haven't lost hope yet. I did a board search and it seems like doesn't approve of new grads working for "free." But isn't it also a good thing if this hospital says that in their last group, most of the interns were hired? The nurse recruiter also said that although employment isn't guaranteed, you will get to work with a nurse, have insurance, etc. and will have a better chances of being hired afterwards as a regular nurse without having to compete for a new grad position. I currently have a friend who is doing this at this same hospital and she said so far, she is being trained as a new grad, just not getting paid. Thoughts? Should I accept the offer if I get it?

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

4 Articles; 7,907 Posts

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

The point is what YOU think and feel about it. If you think it'll be something good and you can afford to do it, then give it a try. If you think it's a waste of time, don't.

FWIW (your mileage may vary), based on what you describe, I'd do it. It is nursing experience, could help give you a leg up when it comes time to job hunt, and it looks a lot better on a resume than that empty gap you'd have if you did nothing. And no one says you can't keep job hunting during your internship.

Best of luck whatever you decide.

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 46 years experience.

Actually, they ARE going to pay you -- benefits. Benefits like health insurance can be very valuable.

Personally, I would prefer to see that they were at least paying you a little training wage ... but ... if you like the hospital, I would do it. This economy and job market are so bad that I would recommend giving it serious consideration.


47 Posts

Thanks guys. I just found out that I've been accepted, but it seems like they've "clarified" some things during the interview that was quite different from what they said over the phone.

For instance, although we get to work with a nurse and learn from her, the only thing we're allowed to do is vital signs, talk to patients, answer call lights, observe procedures, etc. Also, they said the program is 6-months long, not 2 months! You get to shadow a nurse for 12-hour shifts. They also added that you get to learn what they expect from a new grad without the added pressure of being a "paid new grad." They also said they only select BSNs for this internship, and the program is selective, that's why they have an interview process. In their last group, most of the interns were recommended to the Director of whichever floor they interned and were offered a job.

I think this is a great opportunity and I would love to participate in while I'm still job-hunting, but man...I need a paid RN job STAT! The reality is, I need to survive and I have bills to pay :crying2: