Top 5 Pre-Nursing Internships

March 4, 2024
3 min read


Reviewed by:

Jonathan Preminger

Former Admissions Committee Member, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine

Reviewed: 3/4/24

Thinking about doing a pre-nursing internship? Keep reading to learn about the best internships available for aspiring nurses and how they could help you in your future career. 

Becoming a nurse can be a long journey. It is important that nursing students have hands-on experience before they enter the workforce, which is why participating in a pre-nursing internship can be so helpful.

The problem is that there is a wide variety of options when it comes to internships for pre-nursing students, which can make it difficult when deciding what to apply to. To help you wade through the options we’ve come up with five examples of internships that could help you develop the skills needed to be a successful nurse.

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Top 5 Pre-Nursing Internships

Internships for college students offer clinical experience through shadowing a licensed nurse within a hospital or health care center. This type of professional learning experience gives interns hands-on time with actual patients with the support of clinicians.

Most nursing internships are between 10 and 12 weeks long, often over the summer break. Some of the opportunities are paid internships, while others are unpaid volunteer positions. With a wide variety of choices, you should be able to find an internship that is right for you.

The following are five different examples of pre-nursing internship programs that you can apply to. 

AACN Government Affairs And Policy Internship

This is a non-clinical internship for students who are looking to find out more about the nursing profession and how policies are created. This internship is especially good for students who are looking to get into public health nursing.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing Internship will include the following activities:

  • Learn about issues that impact academic nursing on the federal level
  • Attend legislative and policy hearings, briefings, and other events on Capitol Hill and within the Administration
  • Draft letters and newsletter articles
  • Assist with the preparation of the Fall and Spring Annual Conferences

The AACN Internship runs four times a year:

  • Summer Session One: Mid-May to June
  • Summer Session Two: July to August
  • Fall Session: September to November
  • Spring Session: January to May

Each session runs for six weeks, with at least 20 hours of work per week. Applications are considered on a continual basis.

For those interested in public health this would be a great internship as you will be learning about how policies are created as well as how nursing education is administered.

ASN/BSN Excel Nursing Internship Program

This pre-nursing internship is for college students who are about to go into their senior year. It is provided by Rochester Regional Health in Rochester New York with placements at local hospitals and health care centers.

Students will work alongside experienced nurses as patient care technicians, allowing them to gain practical skills and firsthand experience in a clinical setting. The program promises to enhance students’ college experience and ease their transition into the nursing profession.

The internship is paid and runs for ten weeks. Students can choose from working either full-time (40 hours per week) or part-time (24 hours per week).

The Excel Nursing Internship Program also offers weekly educational opportunities, meaning you get more than just hands-on experience from this internship. This also increases your networking opportunities as you will be able to meet people in the profession as well as other students. 

Student Nurse Internship Program (SNIP), Norfolk Virginia

The Student Nurse Internship Program is offered by Sentara Healthcare, which is located in Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina. The student will work in the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and should be about to enter their final two semesters of nursing school.

This is a paid internship that allows you to work under the direct supervision of a professional nurse. You will provide patient care and support the admissions and discharge process.

SNIP will give students valuable hands-on training that will allow them to get comfortable working in a hospital setting. Through the hands on experience, this internship can help students to decide the type of nursing job they might be interested in once they graduate.

Student Nursing Internship Program In Tucson Arizona

The Northwest Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona offers students a nursing internship program that runs for eight weeks over the summer, from June to the end of July. The schedule is full-time, meaning you will be dedicating 36 hours per week to this program.

You will be working under a professional nurse, helping with patient care and administrative duties. In addition to learning valuable skills that will help you in your future career, interns will have the opportunity to work in different departments including the Emergency Room and the Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit.

While this internship is paid, participants are also eligible for a scholarship or stipend. Interns are also able to gain access to regular staff benefits, which include medical insurance. 

International Medical Aid Pre-Nursing Internships Abroad

International Medical Aid (IMA) offers pre-nursing internships in places around the world that are in desperate need of health care. Some of the areas include East Africa, South America, and the Caribbean.

The IMA nursing internship was developed by Johns Hopkins University and allows students to be mentored by dedicated health professionals in an international hospital setting.

This is a great opportunity for any student who dreams of propelling their career while exploring the world. IMA Interns also get the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of their destination, as each location have dedicated tour guides that will guide you on group excursions. 

Being able to see the culture of the country is part of the entire experience for the student interns as they are able to learn more than just nursing skills.

This internship is a volunteer-based internship, meaning you will be paying for the experience. That being said, this is a unique opportunity that will not only give you practical experience working as a nurse but also recommendations to help you get into graduate school.

The program operates year-round so you can easily find a time to fit it into your schedule. You can go for as little as two weeks and as long as six weeks, which makes this the perfect opportunity to participate in during the summer.


Still have some questions? Here are some answers to our most commonly asked questions.

1. What Is the Best Job for a Nursing Student?

Working in healthcare in some capacity is the best job for a nursing student. This way you will know what it is like to work in the type of environment you will be in after graduation and you might learn a bit about patient care.

2. Do Nurse Interns Get Paid?

Most nurse interns get paid and might even get the same benefits as other employees. Other programs are volunteer-based, meaning you will not get paid but will still get a good amount of hands-on experience.

3. How Much Does a Nurse Intern Make in Florida?

Nurse interns in Florida make around $14 per hour or $566 per week. The national average is slightly higher at $18 per hour or $727 per week.

4. How Long Is a Student Nurse Internship?

A student nurse internship is usually between 10 to 12 weeks long, typically during the summer months.

Final Thoughts

Pre-nursing internships offer students invaluable opportunities to gain hands-on experience in the healthcare industry. By participating in these programs, students can build their skills, network with professionals in the field, and gain a deeper understanding of what it takes to succeed in nursing. 

Whether you're a high school student exploring your options or a college student looking to take your nursing education to the next level, these internships are worth considering. Don't miss out on the chance to jump-start your nursing career and make a difference in the lives of others.

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