Most nurses consider their profession as a vocation rather than an occupation. As primary caregivers in hospitals and other healthcare settings, nurses ensure that their patients remain comfortable even in the most challenging situations.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 3 million registered nurses are in the United States. But as with other medical professions, the country faces nursing labor shortages. In 2020, there were only 11.79 nurses for every 1,000 Americans, slightly lower than its 2019 figure of 11.98 per 1,000 individuals.
If you’re planning to enter the medical sector as a nurse, pre-nursing internships are a good idea to obtain valuable practical experience. In this blog, we’re going to discuss how it works and how you may apply for one.
How Do Pre-Nursing Internships Work?
Various organizations offer internships for college students completing nursing and pre-nursing courses. Programs for these exposure activities are available in local and overseas locations.
An internship abroad could be a better option for those who opt to learn in different healthcare settings. Some organizations partner with governments from other countries to send interns to work with supervision and in limited capacities in the latter’s healthcare system while experiencing their culture and interacting with locals.
How Internships Help Pre-Nursing and Nursing Students
While specific programs vary based on the candidate’s capacities, interns work with healthcare professionals in their chosen destinations. Guided by local medical practitioners, interns often perform different tasks related to their backgrounds, specialties, and the locality’s needs.
Besides caring for patients in various settings, candidates will be engaged in other nursing work. These activities aim to improve public health care delivery by providing information and knowledge in first aid or emergency response, improving sanitation, and reducing preventable diseases.
That said, learning to work in these underprivileged countries provides nursing interns with the essential skills needed to excel in the field while exploring the country’s exciting destinations.
How To Apply For A Pre-Nursing Internship
There are different available routes to take when seeking internships for pre-nursing students. As an aspiring intern, you can approach school-based organizations or initiate online applications from non-profit institutions offering such programs.
1. Assess and Prepare Yourself
Overseas internships for pre-nursing and nursing students can be tough if you don’t possess the right general and specific nursing skills. For instance, aside from clinical experience or background, you must be a team player, a problem-solver, as well as a patient and highly adaptable individual. Excellent people skills also go a long way when working with locals in your destination country, alongside a genuine commitment to improving a patient’s condition.
2. Approach Your School’s Career Center
Your school’s career center is a good source of information on domestic and overseas programs for pre-nursing internships. Institutions often link with school-based offices to search for interested candidates.
Apart from providing you with helpful information, career counselors can help with the application process.
3. Search for Internship Opportunities Online
Learn more about the career center’s referrals by browsing the organization’s website. Their online portals regularly provide useful information about the application process. Application forms and a requirements checklist can be downloaded from the site too.
Note that nursing internship programs usually close early to thoroughly prepare the candidates for their overseas deployment. Grab the opportunity by conducting your search early or at least six months before the application acceptance period closes.
4. Determine Whether Their Program Aligns With Your Goals
Check the internship program offered by different organizations and choose the one that aligns with your goals. If you want to spend more time learning additional skills and experience rather than enjoy your internship as a tourist, opt for the program that offers education-intensive training.
The nursing field has many specialties that may interest you as a pre-nursing or undergraduate student, such as neonatal nursing, oncology nursing, and mental health nursing.
So, see that your program suits your objectives as an aspiring nursing student and that you have an assigned mentor or trainer who can help you.
5. Gather and Submit the Requirements
Apart from the application forms, an internship program applicant would be asked to submit other documents, including evidence of enrollment in a nursing or pre-nursing program, academic or volunteering and training certificates, a cover letter, a recommendation from a clinical instructor, and so on.
Pre-nursing internships abroad always collect program fees, so prepare to pay for that. Additionally, find out if you need a roundtrip plane ticket or if it’s included in the payment. If it’s not, book early to ensure you arrive in your chosen destination on time.
In Which Countries Can Students Get Their Internships?
Interns who qualify for these programs are sent to scenic regions in Africa, South America, Asia, the Caribbean, or other nations with more pressing healthcare issues. Kenya, Peru, Chile, Madagascar, and Bangladesh are a few of the top overseas destinations for nursing interns. Depending on an individual candidate’s schedule, the program could last from two to twelve weeks. The longer you spend in a new country, the more experience and knowledge you gain.
Applying for pre-nursing internships can be competitive, so you must prepare early and fulfill the requirements to qualify. Passing the screening means you can work in challenging settings and enjoy your stay in one of the world’s most scenic spots.