Nursing students must take classroom theory to real-life practice. That happens during nursing internships. At some point in a nursing education, all the textbooks, lectures, labs, and clinicals converge on an internship experience. The nurse’s internship is one of the most important phases of a nursing degree program, since it helps to establish the nursing career. Here’s what you can expect.
Surprise. No article, video tutorial, or personal conversation can prepare you for the experiences you will face as a nurse intern. Once your education hits the hospital floor, you’re in for a series of surprises—some pleasant, some not so pleasant—that will make you into the nurse you need to become.
Routine. In spite of the initial surprise phase of your internship, it will likely wear off into routine after a little while. Much of a nurse’s responsibilities revolve around repeat action after repeat action. Just like any other job, there will be routine.
Excitement. You’ll learn to savor the routine when excitement hits. Hospitals have high-stress moments, and as a nurse intern, you will be part of those intense events. During the adrenalin rush of an emergency surgery, an ER event, or a baby delivery in the hallway, you’ll learn what preparation, reflexes, and training are really all about. It’s all part of a nursing career.
Discovery. The event of a nursing internship, albeit filled with surprise, routine, and excitement will be a time of discovery for you as a nurse in training. The internship is time for you to decide, “Is this what I want to be doing?” As you come into contact with body fluids, get bogged down in paperwork, handle hospital politics, and get tired during a twelve-hour shift, you’re learning about the reality of a nursing career. More importantly, you’re building skills for one of the most important careers on the planet—helping other people.