Get an Internship in Nursing
Get an internship. It’s one of the best actions you can take while in college. In any career field, internships give you first-hand experience in your area of study. Plus, the leadership development opportunities are pretty great! Internships look great on resumes, they can lead to job opportunities, and most importantly, they give you a glimpse at the day to day life of a professional in that industry.
Nursing is no exception. Nursing graduates can face fierce competition for positions. But if you gain experience through an internship, you can hone your skills and leadership capabilities to be the best nurse that you can be.
Recent Nursing graduate Ellen Anderson capitalized on this opportunity and encourages other nursing students to do the same.
She says, “MBU’s nursing program not only equips students for their first nursing job, but it also prepares them for summer internships. Last summer I had the opportunity to experience over 375 hours of hands-on nursing skills during an internship. I was paired with a float nurse, so I was able to experience every unit of the hospital including OB, OR, Oncology, ICU, and ER.”
Ellen gained a wealth of experience through this internship that not only opened her eyes to the possibilities of nursing, but solidified her skills through practical experience in real-life situations.
“One of my favorite moments of the summer was being able to pray with a family after I had helped with the code of their family member,” she says. “Having completed my internship coming into senior year, I felt much more confident in my skills, patient interactions, and the nursing process.”
Experience wasn’t the only thing that Ellen capitalized on during her internship. As she entered a competitive field upon graduation, the hospital where she worked during her internship offered her a job immediately.
In short, the takeaway is simple. Get an internship. But you might be wondering, how? Well, Ellen offers advice for younger nursing students considering an internship.
1. Start looking for internships the summer before your junior year.
Ellen kept a list on her computer of possible internship programs. Because of the experiences she gained during her junior year in the nursing program, and with the encouragement of the nursing faculty, she was ready for her summer internship.
2. Apply early to internship programs.
Many applications are due between Thanksgiving and Christmas of your junior year. So start looking early, and start applying early.
3. Apply to multiple internships.
Ellen applied to four different programs. Applying to multiple internships increases your chances of landing a position.
4. Keep location in mind.
If you have a geographic area where you plan to live following graduation, check out internships in that area first in order to give you and a potential employer an opportunity to evaluate each other. If you take an internship in the area you want to live, you can also make professional connections that could lead to other job opportunities.
“This summer as I grew through my internship, I was reminded of how blessed I am to be a part of such a strong, godly nursing program that equips students for being a Christian nurse,” Ellen says. “Internships are a very positive experience and I would encourage underclassman to get an internship if you are able.”