When you go to apply for a job, do nursing school clinicals count as work experience?
This is a great question that a lot of students have when applying for their first job after graduation. Nursing school clinicals can be a great experience and they do help you to prepare to work as a nurse. But on the other hand, employers are typically looking for more rigorous on-the-job experience. Here’s a question we recently received:
Does nursing school clinicals count as experience for job applications? I’m applying for my first job and it is asking to list all of my experiences and past employment. Should I include clinicals as my experience?
Do Nursing School Clinicals Count as Experience?
Thanks so much for your question Rhonda!
When employers ask for your experience or work experience, they typically do not mean nursing school clinicals. Nearly every nursing school graduate will have gone through a clinical program as a part of a nursing school curriculum. Most employers recognize this and so they aren’t speaking of clinicals.
Instead, most employers are looking for real work experience. They want to know if you’ve worked as a nurse, CNA, and so forth on your own in an employment situation.
With that being said, there is nothing necessarily wrong with including your clinicals, especially if you had an interesting circumstance happen or if you can share an experience that would enhance your resume. But just don’t expect clincial experience to earn you extra points on your resume unless something really unique happened.
Ways to Get Nursing Experience For Resumes
Even though nursing school clinicals won’t do a whole lot to count towards experience on a resume, the good news is that as a nursing student you can take steps to add experience along the way.
Here are some ideas to get experience for your resume:
- Consider working part-time during nursing school. Even if you don’t work during the semesters, try to at least build a relationship with a local employer (such as a hospital) so that you can work summers or during holiday breaks. Read the following article for some good jobs for nursing students. This is a great way to not only earn money, but to also build that very important experience that employers love to see.
- Volunteer in the Community. There are always ample opportunities to lend a hand in the community. You can always work with a hospital, charitable organization, or other healthcare agencies on a volunteer basis. This is a great way to earn experience outside of school.
- Write about Nursing. Consider writing a few articles for your local school paper about nursing, or your local newspaper. Also, you can write for established nursing blogs or websites online. This is a great way to add experience while also engaging with the nursing community.
Those are just a few examples of experience you can build outside of school. These things always look good on a resume, and your future employer will likely give more weight to these things than your clinical experiences in nursing school.
Need Help Finding a Job or Preparing a Resume?
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