What Extracurricular Activities are Wise to Be Involved in as a Nursing Student?

What Extracurricular Activities are Wise to Be Involved in as a Nursing Student?Nursing students may not have the time to participate fully in a traditional college experience due to the rigors of most programs, but time restrictions don’t have to prevent them from engaging in useful extracurricular activities. In fact, many employers today are looking for more than a standard college transcript when it comes to hiring new workers. According to U.S. News and World Report, the clubs and organizations that students join while they’re in school help them to “discover their passions and strengths” while boosting their resume potential. If you’re enrolled in a nursing program and looking for ideas on how to get involved beyond the classroom, then here are a few suggestions.

Do What You Love

Sunny Gibson with the Association of American Medical Colleges asserts that passion should be the driving force behind the extracurricular activities you pursue. It’s not enough to sign up for things that you don’t care about just because they look good to future hospital administrators. Students benefit more from an experience when they care about the cause. If you like art, for example, then consider signing up for an art club on campus. Medical professionals use art therapy for victims of psychological trauma, and your experience here could come in handy when treating certain people. Those who like physical activities should join intramural teams to develop their stamina and teamwork skills. Invest your extra time into things that you enjoy, and your experience will be more rewarding.

Don’t Limit Activities to the Medical Field

It might be tempting to volunteer at an assisted living facility, work with student health organizations or go overseas to pursue international medical work, but these activities aren’t necessary to round out a resume. Employers look for variety as much as experience when reviewing someone’s work and education history. As a nursing student, you’ll gain significant medical practice during your program, and you’re more than welcome to sign up for extra opportunities along the way. However, try to break outside the medical box, when possible, to gain a wider range of perspectives. Consider working at an animal shelter, participating in political forums or becoming a teaching assistant. The more life experience you gain, the better service you’ll be able to provide to future patients.

Pick Your Clubs Judiciously

Nursing majors don’t have a lot of time, so choose your clubs and organizations wisely. Vary the types of activities you choose to include one professional organization along with one or two personal clubs. This balance will keep you engaged while allowing you to build an appropriate network of future contacts. Professional organizations in particular will help you land the right interviews. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Organize your schedule in such a way that you still have time to breathe at the end of the day.

Participating in sports, music clubs and other activities can help students improve their organizational skills while building a solid network of future peers and employers. While certain activities, such as volunteer work in community hospitals, might seem more attractive to a hiring manager, keep in mind that pursuing opportunities you love will lead to better long-term benefits. When choosing extracurricular activities, nursing students should explore a variety of options that encourage the exploration of new experiences.

For information on pursuing involvement in a nursing professional organization, please see: How Important is it For a Nursing Student to be Involved in a Professional Organization for Nursing Students?