Believe it or not you can actually start working in the nursing field while you are going to school and gaining your certification as a nurse. It can be a great way to gain real life hands-on experience, expand your skill set and earn some money while you are finishing school, getting certificates and taking exams. Most student nurses have to work to support themselves while in school so it only makes sense to do it while working in the field and gaining invaluable experience at the same time.
To be able to start gaining work experience in the nursing field you will need some prior experience and every agency has different requirements. The most common requirements are that the nurse is in their second year of study, have already completed a 12-week placement within a hospital setting or they have completed one semester of a clinical rotation. These are often the minimal requirements to start providing basic health care, so if you have more experience and are further in your schooling you’ll have more job opportunities available. Every state, facility or agency will have different minimum requirements, so you’ll need to check with each one to know whether or not you’re qualified.
Obviously because student nurses are not completely certified they are limited to what they can do, but some of the positions that are available to student nurses are care support worker, aid, medical transporter and dietary aid. You can also work as a nurse assistant, care tech, secretary, ward clerk or phlebotomist. Depending on just how much schooling you have completed and the experience you have, other student nurse jobs that might be available are patient care tech, respiratory therapist, housekeeping, private caregiver or crucial care tech. Some student nurses will even take an EMT certification exam and start working as an EMT or basic paramedic while in school.
Most nurse student jobs that are acquired through agencies are in many different settings like health care centers and both general and community hospitals. The hours are very flexible and perfect to work around your busy school schedule. Many online agencies offer student job opportunities on their websites as well as some nursing schools on billboards and at job fairs. The application process is usually easy and fast and most student nurses with the required experience can be working within a week.
Compensation is going to vary depending on the type of work you are doing, the facility, your education level and other factors. For an example, the median hourly wage for a student nurse tech is approximately $12.00. Most student nurse positions pay by the hour and on a weekly basis.
Although the obvious reasons for working while going to school are the experience and financial benefits, they don’t end there. By gaining trust with employers you can start building your reputation as a nurse and establishing yourself within the health care industry early on. Many student nurses will go on to get offered great full time positions once they have become certified. In addition, they can start earning vacation, sick pay, medical and dental coverage, life insurance as well as have an amazing support team along the way.
If you have already made the choice that a life as a nurse is the life you want to live, why not start gaining experience as soon as you can? There are many advantages to starting work as a student nurse. Most nurses love their jobs because they get to make a difference in people’s lives, so why wait another day? There’s no time like now to get started in your career.