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Nurse Externship

Gain real world RN experience before graduation, while putting into action the skills learned in nursing school. As a nurse extern, you’ll work under the guidance of an RN who will act as your mentor and preceptor. Your responsibilities will range from direct patient care to administering medications, placing IVs and conducting admission assessments. You’ll also view many different procedures, bringing your textbook education to life. This is your opportunity to meet and learn from experienced RNs and to find the specialty that’s your passion.

Scheduling is flexible with your class-schedule and we’re committed to helping you learn, develop and grow. You’ll forge your own path forward while providing total patient care and prepare yourself for your nursing career.

Our team members

“When I transitioned from an extern into the grad nurse role, I felt empowered, understood patient flow, and was excited to work as a nurse on the unit.”

– Bailey J, RN House Supervisor

Meet Bailey

Bailey started her nursing career as a nursing assistant and then as an extern, learning from experienced nurses who helped her develop critical thinking skills and inspired her to keep moving forward, even on the most difficult days. The externship helped her see the endless opportunities available at Aurora. After graduating and becoming a registered nurse, she quickly became involved in shared governance, planned community projects and began working as a preceptor. Now, as a nurse leader, she works to help other nurses find their passions and love for nursing, while providing safe, patient-centered care.

We’re growing the next generation of nurses


nurses receive educational assistance


New Grad Nurse Residents


student nurses

IGNITE: Nurse Extern Program

Inspiring Growth in Nursing students through Individualized Training & Experience

Program Mission

To support the development of cognitive, clinical and professional competencies of the nursing student as they complete nursing school.​

Program Overview


Participate in site onboarding, tour the hospital and your unit, meet members of the care team.


Work with your leader to schedule shifts and review information about the externship.


Complete orientation requirements, including EPIC system training.

Pathway Progression

Have regular check-ins with your preceptor and/or leader and partner to determine appropriate patient assignments.

Professional Development

Take part in professional development and shadowing opportunities with a variety of preceptors and leaders in multiple specialties. 

Looking Ahead

As the externship wraps, begin the transition to Nurse Extern II or New Graduate Nurse.

Progressing as a student nurse

Nurse Extern I

Nurse Extern I candidates are currently enrolled in an accredited nursing program and have completed their first medical surgical rotation. They perform activities of daily living, check vital signs, monitor blood glucose, complete head to toe assessments and reinforce patient teaching.

Nurse Extern II

Nurse Extern II candidates are currently enrolled in their final year of nursing school and have completed fundamental skills and pharmacology courses. In addition to the duties of a Nurse Extern I, they collaborate with their nurse preceptor to establish a plan of care, evaluate patient response to interventions and administer medications.

New Grad Nurse

After graduating and passing their NCLEX, the new grad nurse will complete the onboarding process focused on role development and experience. Components include nursing orientation, nurse residency, standardized competency model and preceptor program. As a new grad, you’ll also be eligible to participate in the Clinical Nurse Mentor program.

Nurse Residency Program

The one-year New Graduate Nurse Residency Program fosters a positive experience for all newly licensed nurses as they transition into practice and is here to help you grow professionally with guidance from supportive cohorts, training opportunities and monthly interactive learning sessions focused on patient outcomes, leadership and other professional roles. The sessions incorporate blended learning teaching strategies that include didactic, hands-on content, case studies, simulation and facilitated discussion.