In this article, we will discuss what nurse internships are and the available ones in Nigeria and abroad. Nursing is one of the most demanding fields out there and as such, studying to become a nurse is very difficult. These demands cause some people to believe that they cannot take advantage of abroad opportunities. This is not so! The world is brimming with chances for nursing students to intern abroad and learn about foreign health care systems and services.
Nursing students can travel all over the world, for a semester, a summer, or a short-term intern stint to hone their skills, help others, and learn more.
Who is a Nurse Intern?
A nurse intern works under a registered nurse, performing a variety of clinical and health-related duties in a hospital or other medical facility. Often, a nurse intern is a current nursing student or someone who is planning to attend nursing school.
A job as a nurse intern may improve an application to nursing school and later, a career. Qualifications for this position include a desire to be a nurse and experience with medical and health practices. Preferred skills for this job include verbal and written communication skills and the ability to follow directions.
Qualification for nurse internships
The qualifications you need to become a nurse intern include a high school diploma and enrollment in a nursing degree or certificate program. Your duties and responsibilities can vary depending on the details of the internship.
Some programs require specific knowledge, so applicants must complete basic nursing courses or learn clinical skills before applying. Other intern programs are only open to students pursuing a bachelor’s of science in nursing degree (BSN).
For all nursing internships, you need to know CPR and Basic Lifesaving Skills (BLS), and you must be willing to follow licensed nurses and take directions.
Internship Program Types
Generally speaking, with nursing internships you can go to a program that rotates placements or one with a specific focus. Both can be for as little as two weeks or as long as a semester; it all depends on which program you choose.
- Split Placements: These are the internships where you rotate through different parts of a hospital abroad. You might spend two weeks as an ER nurse, and then shift to pediatrics. With these programs, you can get a greater knowledge of the health care system in a particular country as a whole although you might not be able to work on specific skill sets as much as a program specific to one type of nursing.
- Pediatrics: Pediatric nursing internships are a popular stop on split placements but also in their own right. These nurses work specifically with children with various medical diseases and complications. Even if you do not speak the native language fluently, you will be able to help care for a child in need and maybe brighten their day.
- Emergency Medicine (ER): Emergency medicine is another popular type of nursing internship. ER nurses all over the world need to be able to think and react fast to help those in their care. Interning as a nurse will allow you to see many different kinds of medical injuries, diseases, and complications that you may not necessarily see in your home country. Be prepared for a fast-paced environment where you will learn a great deal.
- Obstetrics and Gynecology: Much of this type of nursing is in the labour or maternity wards of a hospital. As an intern, you could get the chance to help with or observe natural births, caesarean sections, and care for the babies and mothers after the child has been born.
- HIV Care: Some programs will have the opportunity for you to intern in HIV units or in an HIV clinic. Not only will you be helping to treat those with HIV, but you will also often be asked to help with awareness campaigns and talks with the local community
Popular Internship Countries
- Thailand: Thailand is a popular destination for many things, from honeymoons to studying abroad, but it is one of the top places to intern abroad for nursing students. Chang Mai, in Northern Thailand, is particularly popular. You will be able to start rotations observing and then maybe move into helping local doctors and nurses.
- Nepal: Nepal is a country that offers many opportunities for nurse internships. The land of Everest is cold, beautiful, and offers a unique perspective on healthcare. Nursing interns here can work with disabled children, elderly patients, and those suffering from illnesses not common in the western world. Nepalese language skills are not necessary but some programs do offer intensive courses.
- Mexico: Some schools and larger organizations have lots of opportunities to intern in Mexico. You will have to have at least intermediate Spanish skills for many of these programs. Some programs will offer Spanish Language courses to assist you while you are interning there. Interns in Mexico can be in both urban and rural hospitals throughout the country.
- Honduras: Honduras is another developing country, so nursing interns there will learn how hospitals and healthcare there differ from their home country. Much like in Mexico, basic or intermediate Spanish skills are required to have a position at a hospital in Honduras. Interns can work in many different areas including anesthetics, obstetrics and gynecology, as well as HIV awareness programs.
- Ghana: Ghana is a nation known for friendliness. As an intern in Ghana, you’ll get a chance to work in many different fields of nursing. Interns can intern in areas like emergency medicine, pediatrics, and HIV/AIDS wards and clinics. With nurse Internships, you can be placed in different cities or rural towns depending on the program and your interests.
Nurse internships offer unlicensed nursing students and recent nurse graduates clinical experience shadowing licensed nurses. These professional learning experiences give interns hands-on time with actual patients, along with support from knowledgeable clinicians.
Nurse internships are often 10- to 12-week summer sessions; some are longer, even up to a year. The internships are usually full-time positions. Nurse Internships give nursing students a chance to gain valuable learning experiences that help them bridge the gap between theory and practice. Paid nurse internships can also help nursing students defray the costs of their degree and learn at the same time.