What Undergraduate Jobs Will Give Me Good Experience in the Field of Nursing?

Many health care jobs provide good experience in the field of nursing. Nursing is one of the most popular heath care careers available. As a result, the competition for jobs can be intense. There are some undergraduate jobs that will provide great experience in nursing and give students a leg up on the competition after graduation.

Why Nursing?

There are many reasons why a students wants to become a nurse. Nursing offers excellent job security, career options and salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS), there are almost 3 million registered nurse jobs added every year. Registered nurses are the backbone of the health care system. In fact, nursing is one of the few recession proof careers that allows nurses to move and work almost anywhere. Registered nurses have the option of working in different departments, such as cardiology, critical care, addictions and even genetics. Nurses work flexible schedules in a variety of health care facilities. Nurses are able to care for patients and give back to the community. Nursing is a very intense, yet rewarding career.

Certified Medication Aide

Certified Medication Aides (CMAs) are nursing assistants or Certified Nursing Aides (CNAs) who complete additional training and obtain state certification. CMAs have a very limited job scope. That is, they only administer medication under the direction of a registered nurse or doctor. Working as a CMA prepares a student to fully understand potent medications and the complex pharmaceutical industry. CMAs typically first start work as a CNA, which is an entry-level job in assisted living facilities (please see: What is a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)?)

Nursing Assistant

Nursing assistants provide basic care for patients in hospitals and other health care facilities. For example, they assist patients with cleaning, grooming and bathing. They regularly turn and transfer patients between beds, rooms and wheelchairs. They serve meals, help patients eat and provide companionship. They also often check and record patient vital signs. Nursing assistants must complete a state approved training program and pass a competency exam. Only certain states allow nursing assistants to give medication.

Emergency Medical Technician

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) provide critical emergency medical services to injured or ill people outside a health care setting. Working as an EMT requires basic training and education, but provides good experience in the field of nursing. Emergency services, such as 911 operators, dispatch EMTs to help accident victims and people experiencing medical emergencies. EMTs must be able to respond to any form of medical emergency. This could be anything from performing assessments, applying bandages and performing CPR. They transport patients from external locations to emergency departments. EMTs either work for a private company or a hospital. EMTs can advance their career through obtaining paramedic training and certification. This will allow them to perform emergency medical procedures in the field.

Nursing jobs are in high demand and offer excellent benefits. Students who wish to become a nurse can get good experience in the field of nursing through working as a nursing assistant, CMA or EMT.