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What is the best extracurricular to invest time in during nursing school that will impress future new grad programs?

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Corin’s Answer

The above answers are excellent! If you feel you have the time to do these things during nursing school these would be excellent suggestions. I attended nursing school while working full time and I can honestly say it was very tough. The BSN degree is the hardest undergraduate degree to obtain and NCLEX preparation is all consuming. The intensity of your school time, clinical time, and study time may not allow for any extracurricular. I just want you to be prepared to put your studies first, keep that GPA up, be NCLEX ready before taking on any additional tasks.
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Ron’s Answer

You will impress them most by picking and applying yourself to things you enjoy and can talk about with passion. It always helpful if you can make clear linkages how what you have done/learned as a volunteer relates to your future career. This is particularly true of "soft skills" such as communication, collaboration, leadership.
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victoria’s Answer

Hi Kristen. I am a current registered nurse and Suzanne gave some great tip! A big thing with entry level nursing involves having the ability to multitask. Being able to balance and maintain despite being pulled in several different directions is a plus.

When i was in nursing school, hospital system offered "nurse Externships". They were short paid internships over the summer(i believe it was 8-12 weeks) where you worked 1 on 1 with a nurse to gain hands on experience as a nurse. After the externship, you had the opportunity to transition to a nursing assistant position (keeping your nurse extern title). in keeping that title you were able to be paid several dollars more than your typical nursing assistant. it was also a casual role therefore very flexible and you pretty much make your own schedule with as little as 4hr shifts after the extern period.

I do believe you would have to be entering your Jr year to do this though.
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Suzanne’s Answer

Hi Kristin,

This is Sue and I am a retired oncology (cancer) nurse. I worked for over 35 years in the field. I wanted to make sure that my information is up to date, so I did a bit of research to help answer your question.

1. First of all, congratulations on working toward your BSN. You will be able to apply to major acute care institutions and either new grad jobs or nurse residency jobs. Make sure you take a NCLEX preparation class to solidify your learning and increase your confidence.

2. While you are still a student, I recommend volunteering for the Red Cross. I became a Red Cross Certified (way back in the day) and used this as a reference on my resume.
https://www.redcross.org/about-us/who-we-are/nursing-health/opportunities-for-nursing-students.html

3. Here is first-hand information from the American Nurses Association on "what nurse recruiters are looking for": https://www.nursingworld.org/resources/individual/recruiters-look-for/

4. Consider joining a professional student nurse/health care association. This would indicate a serious commitment to the profession in the eyes of a nurse recruiter and would also help you gain important connections:
https://www.nsna.org/committees.html
http://www.hosa.org/

5. Have you considered working part-time in a doctor's office or other facility in any capacity? I know that nursing school is more than a full time job, but during breaks, you might be able to find a suitable position. It is helpful have real world experience in the medical environment. I had worked as a nurses aid and this was a beneficial element on my resume.
https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/nursing/blog/jobs-for-nursing-students/

6. Here is a last bit of helpful information:
https://atinursingblog.com/how-to-get-your-first-job-out-of-nursing-school/#:~:text=Apply%20at%20the%20start%20of,a%20great%20place%20to%20start.

I hope this information is helpful. I am wishing you all the best. Stay the course and finish strong.

Best,
Sue
(PS this system doesn't have the ability for me to insert active website links, so please copy and paste the URLs into your web browser)
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