Becoming a registered nurse: the nurse extern experience

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

J Contin Educ Nurs

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of continuing education in nursing

PubMed ID



Little is known about the perceptions of nursing students externing in newly developed hospital-based programs that focus on socialization and transition to the registered nurse (RN) role rather than on institutional recruitment and retention goals. This qualitative study explored student nurse externs' expectations, experiences, and benefits of participation in a student-focused externship program. Externs wanted to gain experience with skills and learn what it was like to be an RN. Goals were met or exceeded by becoming comfortable in the externship role, growing in skill performance and confidence, and becoming members of the healthcare team. The experience fostered growth from the novice to advanced beginner level of nursing practice. Externs saw the program participation as a valuable way to gain experience and learn what it was like to be an RN.


Adult, Aged, Arizona, Attitude of Health Personnel, Career Mobility, Clinical Competence/standards, Education, Nursing, Continuing/organization & administration, Goals, Health Services Needs and Demand, Humans, Internship, Nonmedical/organization & administration, Interprofessional Relations, Middle Aged, Nurse's Role/psychology, Nursing Education Research, Nursing Methodology Research, Nursing Staff, Hospital/education/psychology, Preceptorship/organization & administration, Program Evaluation, Qualitative Research, Questionnaires, Socialization, Staff Development/organization & administration, Students, Nursing/psychology

Published Article/Book Citation

Journal of continuing education in nursing, 37:2 (2006) pp.86-92.

This document is currently not available here.