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Why are Nursing Internships Important?

February 21, 2022

Studying nursing is a comprehensive endeavour involving many aspects enhancing overall learning. As much as theoretical knowledge is considered a fundamental part of completing a nursing course in Canada, gaining practical experience is necessary as well. While you are studying to become a nurse, it is important to realize the significance of a nursing internship.  Just like all other professions, experience and knowledge are the basis on which success is dependent. A nursing internship is capable of offering both. Nursing internships may not always be paid and this can often discourage some students. However, it is way more important to remember that the experience of nursing internships is of higher value as compared to the money.  When you are in nursing school, there are chances that you may not see a patient’s progression of healthcare. However, when you are interning, you will be able to see the care that the patient receives first-hand while also seeing the medical teams working to offer the best possible care. Working with professionals prepares the nurses for a good start.  In this blog, we will know why nursing internships are considered important. Let’s start by understanding the meaning of nursing internship and how it can give an edge to a nursing career.  What is a Nursing Internship?  A nursing internship is a period where students completing their nursing education are exposed to the real-world experience of working in a clinical setting. It offers clinical training and a reliable experience of direct patient care. The interns can work under the direct supervision of a registered nurse while also learning from entry-level nursing skills in a secure environment.  Typically, the students intern during their academic year while completing programs at nursing colleges in Canada. A nursing internship is one of the best ways to prepare yourself as a new nurse.  Internships Give an Edge to Nursing Career:  When you study nursing in Canada, there will be many factors to think about. In addition to the everyday classes and practical learning, there is also a need to think about the future when you will be employed as a nurse.  The transition that you make from a nursing student to a professional nurse can be exciting yet overwhelming in many ways. However, if you do your nursing internships at the right time then this transition can be easy. It takes away doubts, fears, uncertainties, and also helps you land your first job easily.  Nursing internships offer students an understanding of the working structure and hands-on learning experiences. This structure and learning experience reflects real-world jobs and builds on nursing school clinicals, which eventually offer the nursing students a benefit in the first job. The students who intern get an idea of what to expect at the job because they have already done the same before.  All interns are normally assigned to coaches who are registered nurses in the department where the interns are working. The nursing interns are supposed to practice under the supervision of their coach. Nursing interns also gain a chance of gaining a mentor because of this working relationship.  All in all, the nursing internships create a seamless avenue for the recruitment of students, offering a steady stream of new nurse recruitments. Nurses with additional experience as students along with enhanced communication and teamwork skills are always preferred for the jobs.   Benefits of Nursing Internships: 
  1. Gaining Real-World Experience: Gaining knowledge in the classrooms and learning from books are the two common methods for students when they complete their nursing education. That said, the practical experiences are completely different. 
As a nurse, one must develop a detailed knowledge and understanding of people from diverse backgrounds. A nurse does not just collaborate with medical professionals to work for the patients. An important part of the nursing profession is communicating with other professionals such as cleaners, chemists, receptionists, etc.  During the nursing internships, a student learns multiple processes that need to be carried out in a healthcare environment. They learn to help with administering injections, IV lines, ordering medications, taking samples, and much more.  A nursing internship is an excellent way to witness a patient from the time of hospital admittance to the time of recovery and discharge. Nursing internships offer excellent learning experiences that form a blueprint of working as a professional nurse. 
  1. Collaborating With Senior Nurses: When it comes to learning then there is no better way than to learn from senior professionals in your own field. When you intern, you get a golden chance to collaborate with senior nurses and other medical professionals. These professionals are experienced and help you with many problems that may arise on the job. 
With dedication, observation skills, and an appetite to learn, collaboration with senior nurses can be extremely beneficial. They are the best teachers because they have been doing what you are starting to do for a long time. As an intern, you can expect the senior nurses to clear all your doubts because of past experiences.  Moreover, work experience with a broad healthcare team also enables you to understand the roles and responsibilities of the professionals. Nursing interns should ask as many questions as possible while paying attention to the relationship among the team members. 
  1. Finding and Learning from a Mentor: A nursing internship is a proven method to look for a mentor who can lead you through an early nursing career. Many senior nurses readily become a mentor with the intention to teach you everything they know. They teach you how to create a secure healing environment for the patients and their families. 
Other than this, a mentor also becomes a good reference in the future when you are on the job hunt. The nursing students should focus on maintaining a good relationship with the nurses and other medical professionals that they interact with each day. These relationships become important down the line.  Your nursing education will be empowered exponentially when you prioritize maintaining valuable relationships with medical professionals. This way, you will also be able to network better, which can benefit you when you look for jobs, advice, and assistance in your career. 
  1. Gaining Confidence: Internships enable you to acquire confidence in various clinical settings. A nursing internship is like a professional learning experience so nursing students should know that it is alright to ask questions. All of us begin somewhere so one must not feel anxious or worried in case a skill is not mastered right away. 
When you study nursing in Canada, the theoretical concepts can be learned practically when you meet real patients. This is going to increase your confidence and familiarity in the medical field.  The first-hand experience will also become important when you finally look for a full-time nursing job. There are multiple things that can be learned while you are on the job so you must ensure that you are willing to try and learn new skills. 
  1. Exposing Yourself to Various Clinical Areas: While in the nursing college in Canada, a student may learn different patient care practices. However, when it comes to the real job, there are many specialties and each one follows different processes for treating the patients. 
Collecting blood samples from patients can in fact take some practice when it comes to older adults and children as they might be comparatively less cooperative. At the time of a nursing internship, students get a chance to know more about different nursing specialities.  In addition, a nursing intern can also work at different healthcare facilities such as nursing homes and laboratories. All the work experiences collectively converge to offer various hands-on experiences that help in choosing the area of medicine that suits the student. 
  1. Improving Professional Behaviour: Pursuing a nursing course in Canada implies that you will be required to spend a good amount of time with your patients and staff. This means that you must develop the professional skills needed to do the same. Although all jobs need skills, in a profession such as nursing, it becomes essential. 
Nursing is based on effective teamwork and communication. Although most colleagues are easy to work with, there are work challenges that take the best out of your colleagues as well. This is right where professionalism comes into place and helps you perform your role no matter what the situation may be.  Nursing internships are an effective way to learn about clinical skills and soft skills such as communication, balancing duties, professional behaviour, and much more. Mastering all these skills increases your job opportunities and also improves your career progression exponentially.  Conclusion:  A nursing internship can enable you to familiarize yourself with a professional environment and it can even lead to a future job in the best-case scenario. Many employers also use the internship pool to choose their prospective employees.  Hence, nursing students must make the most out of all professional internship opportunities. Remember to also make as many professional connections as possible while leaving a lasting impression on the co-workers because that helps in the long run. 

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