This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Read our full disclaimer here. Our opinions are not affected by affiliates and are our own.
What are the Best Summer Jobs for Nursing Students? The best summer job for a student nurse is to work as a student nurse tech/intern in the field that they think they want to be in. Working in your dream field can help to assure you that it’s what you want to do, or deter you to find another choice. Regardless, you’ll also acquire valuable information, experience and contacts in the field.
If you’re in nursing school then you probably already know a lot of other students have clinical jobs. Nurse tech jobs are great for nursing students to learn while getting paid! Today we’re going to be going over top choices for nursing student summer jobs (part-time, full-time, and PRN).
Why Should Nursing Students Get a Summer Job?
Summer jobs are great for college kids to make a little bit of money before going back for the fall semester. However, for nursing students they could be vital. Just as an engineering student might do a co-op or summer internship, nursing students can do something similar.
Having a summer clinical job can help boost clinical skills, keep your mind sharp for the fall semester, and make you some money for the fall. In addition, working with a hospital system can help you secure a job there in the future. For example, if you wanted to get a job in the ICU as a new grad, then working on that floor as a nurse tech can really improve your chances of being hired.
And, in addition to helping academically, you can help yourself monetarily. On average, nurse technicians can expect to make around $19.00 per hour (source). This can be huge towards paying back student loans, or even getting some gear for your next semester.
What is a Student Nurse Tech?
A nurse tech is typically a nursing student that works almost as a PCNA or nursing aid. However, nurse techs are able to practice certain nursing skills such as putting in IV’s, placing foley catheters, or assisting with procedures. These are almost always paid positions and can help a nursing student secure an easy transition to new nurse.
What is a Student Nurse Intern?
Student nurse interns or externs are positions that students can apply for to work for a specified period. For example, these positions might have you float between several different specialties in a hospital to learn while working. Student nurse internships are focused more on learning than they are on “working” like a nurse tech position would be.
Nurse Tech vs Nurse Intern
What is the difference between a nurse tech and nurse intern?
Nurse techs are typically much more clinical focused. They are hired for a specific nursing floor or specialty and work directly with patients as a PCNA or nursing aid would. Again, nurse techs are able to perform certain nursing skills as long as they have been approved for it.
Nurse interns are typically more focused on learning and education. They might float between nursing floors and specialties to see a variety of different things. Additionally, they might not be considered “employees” and might not be paid. However, some might have a stipend or bonus at the end of completion.
Best Summer Jobs for Nursing Students
1. Nurse Tech
Getting a nurse tech position is by-far one of the best summer jobs a nursing student could get. It will help them maintain clinical skills while not in skill, provide you with education, and prepare you for the real nursing world after graduation. There are a lot of nurse tech positions available ranging from med-surg floors to ICU’s, so we recommend finding what you enjoy and giving it a try.
2. Nursing Aid / PCNA
Similar to nurse tech jobs, nursing aid or PCNA positions are available to nursing students as well. If you pass a certification you can work as a PCNA, but if not than nursing aid positions are available as well. Both will provide nursing students with a similar experience to a nurse tech job, however you might not be able to perform some of the same clinical skills.
3. Work for the School of Nursing
Often your nursing school will offer summer positions depending on what they need. Some might include being a teacher’s assistant (TA), some might be working in the offices, or even working in an on-campus medical clinic. While you might not retain as many clinical skills doing some of this work, you will be working directly with your school. And, you might even get a discount of of classes.
Similar with working for the school, you won’t retain as many clinical skills tutoring, but you might be able to brush up on your studies. Helping other students study is a great way to not only network with other students, but also make money and study yourself! Being a nursing tutor can help you prepare for the next semester and make you some money over the summer.
This might sound strange, but a lot of students I went to nursing school with worked as secretaries on nursing floors. Again, you won’t be practicing some of the same skills, however you will still get a deeper understanding of a real-world nursing floor. Additionally, if it’s a unit that you like, it will probably help you score a job there in the future.