Is there a type of nursing you’ve always wanted to learn more about, but haven’t had clinical experience with? Is there a certain advanced nursing specialty you’re considering pursuing? Just looking for a way to keep gaining experience over the summer without working as a nurse’s aide? Make the best of your upcoming summer off and play the student card!
Use your connections!
We all have that friend or family member who is a nurse. Reach out to the nurses in your life and ask if you can shadow them or another nurse they know on the job. I reached out to just one nurse and suddenly had a laundry list of contacts, ER to case management to practitioners and more.
Professors and clinical instructors make great contacts as well. Many of them have hospital jobs as well, especially part-time faculty. Ask if you can shadow them, or if they can put you in touch with a few nurses that you could observe for a day.
Make new connections
Reach out to specialty centers in your area–burn and trauma centers, life flight, home health and hospice care, etc. Often, specialty centers are receptive to having students come in for observation. Simply write a nicely worded email or put in a call to the administrative office explaining that you are a nursing student interested in any observation opportunities that may be available. You will be surprised at how many yeses you can get, and if you are turned down you have lost nothing. You literally have nothing to lose and so much experience to gain!
In summation: Don’t be afraid to reach out to the nurses you know in your personal life, instructors, and specialty nursing centers in your area. You can learn so much though observation and getting the opportunity to talk with nurses employed in many different areas of the profession.