What Are Good Summer Jobs for Nursing Students?

As a nursing student, it is likely that you already work very hard in school in order to learn all that you can. However, getting a summer job can be beneficial. Not only can you earn real-world experience doing so, but you might find yourself putting your nursing skills into action. These jobs are also great resume builders and can make you look much more appealing to employers after you graduate. In fact, if there is a specific field of nursing you are interested in, try to find a job in something related to that specialty. This can increase your chances of finding work in an official capacity later. With that said, what exactly makes a good summer job for nursing students?

Paid Versus Unpaid

There are several things to take into consideration when searching for summer work. If you are looking for a job in order to make money, you may approach different types of work than if you are looking to volunteer or intern. For those students that want or need to make a bit of extra money over the summer, working as a patient care technician is a great option. These jobs are usually available at local hospitals, and you would work in the same areas you are studying in school. Your coworkers will often give you advice on specific methodologies you aren’t sure how to implement, and if they know you are going to school to become a nurse, they’re likely to impart some real-world expertise.

Work as a CNA

Becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA) is also a possibility. CNAs help out senior nurses with their day-to-day tasks (see: What Does a CNA Do.) Many hospitals that hire CNAs offer them long-term, permanent positions once they have completed their education and become registered nurses. The skills learned as a CNA will be applied as an RN, and becoming one is easy. You simply have to pass an accredited course, which is likely one of the many courses you will take in nursing school. If not, you can volunteer to take it as an elective. After that, passing your respective state’s CNA exam is necessary. Once you have completed these two tasks, you are eligible for hire as a CNA.

Volunteer at a Free Clinic

If you are okay with unpaid work, volunteering at a free clinic is a great way to help people, gain experience, and get in some community service hours. Free clinics are almost chronically understaffed and welcome qualified help that comes their way. The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics is a great resource to find a place to volunteer. In addition, you should check with your adviser; some colleges will offer extra credit for working at free clinics. While most free clinics will not pay, the fact that you are helping those less fortunate is often payment enough; not to mention the contacts you make can help you network after you graduate from nursing school.

No matter what kind of summer job you decide to take, make sure it benefits your future career in some way. Remember that no matter how unlikely, each person you meet can be a connection that might benefit you at some point in the future. Work hard, study hard, and make sure to learn from the experience. Any job that helps you improve your skills while helping others is a good summer job for a nursing student.