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Nursing - Student Nurse Externships

The summer Nurse Externship is a 10-week program for bachelor's degree nursing students entering their senior year. Applications will be open September 15 to November 1 for the cohort that begins the following May.

Contact us

Learn more about our student nurse externship program.
Contact Lynn McCleary at

717-531-1118

A unique learning experience

The program begins with a two-week orientation including both classroom and clinical components, in which the nurse extern performs basic bedside care and selected nursing procedures. Opportunities may also exist for extra educational programs offered by Nursing Education and Professional Development.

Frequently asked questions about nurse externships

General externship questions

Must I be currently enrolled in a bachelor's degree program in nursing?
Yes, this is a requirement of the Nurse Externship program.

Is this a paid externship?
Yes. An extern is paid $13/hour.

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Questions about the application process

How do I apply?
The jobs will be posted on the website from September 15 to November 1. Please read the guidelines and frequently asked questions and then apply online.

I was an extern last year. Do I need to reapply?
Yes, you will need to go through the application process. If you are still employed with us as an licensed practical nurse, patient sitter, certified nursing assistant, extern or otherwise, please apply online using the "internal" application. If you are still on payroll at Hershey Medical Center, you will not need to be drug screened or fingerprinted again. Also, you will be exempt from much of the new hire paperwork.

Besides completing the online application, what else will I need to do?
Once your application is submitted, you may submit your professional portfolio, which will include:

  • Resume. Include all education and experience, including dates.
  • Cover letter. Begin with “Dear Nurse Manager,” and introduce yourself and your goals.
  • Unofficial transcript. This can be printed or downloaded from your school's website.
  • Your completed electronic questionnaire. At some point in the process you will receive an electronic questionnaire. This is an important document and should be completed thoughtfully and thoroughly. It will determine which units view your portfolio.

Do I need written references from my professors?

No. We use an electronic method for references.

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Questions regarding interviews

When will interviews be conducted?
Two days will be designated in late December and early January for interviews.

On what criteria is the hiring decision made?
Different hiring managers will place varying degrees of emphasis on hiring criteria, but in general they look at grade point average (GPA), past experience, references and interview score. They are seeking applicants who will bring a positive influence to their team.

What can I do to prepare for the interview? 
Research Hershey Medical Center and the nursing unit. Dress professionally, preferably in a suit.

When will selections be made?
Selections will be made soon after all interviews are complete.

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Questions regarding externship details

What shift will I be working?
Nurse externs work varied shifts. Full time status must be maintained during the entire externship.

Will there be time available for vacations?
This is a ten-week program, running from May to July, and externs are expected to be available during the entire program.

Is on-campus housing available?
Housing is available on campus for a fee. For details, visit our housing website. Students are fully responsible for the coordination of housing accommodations.

What uniforms will I need?
While a few units provide scrubs, for most areas you will be responsible for the purchase and care of white scrub pants, and blue polo shirts. The shirts may be bought through a company vendor contracted by Hershey Medical Center.

What happens after the externship ends?
You may elect to remain on staff as a PRN (as needed) extern in the float pool.

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