How to find nurse shadow opportunities

January 8, 2021

Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.

Click here for 2021 shadowing opportunities

Interested in becoming a registered nurse? Shadowing an RN can help you decide if nursing is the right path for you. In this article, we tell you how to find nurse shadow opportunities

At Global Pre-Meds, we understand the importance of shadowing a healthcare professional as a way of building professional connections, learning the differences between healthcare workers, and setting you up for a successful career

We provide doctor shadowing and global health experience for high school and university or gap year students who are interested in a career in healthcare. Our programs are appropriate for students who want to become doctors, nurses, midwives, or physician assistants.

Personal connections

Contact everyone you know that is in healthcare. Personal connections are how most people get hired these days. The same can be said when discussing how to find nurse shadow opportunities.

Of course if you already know a nurse, the best thing to do would be to ask them. Even if they don’t have time or the ability to allow you to shadow, they may be able to connect you with someone else. 

Don’t be afraid of contacting people who are in the healthcare field but are not nurses. They too, may be able to introduce you to a registered nurse. 

Because job shadowing in healthcare is a serious responsibility, it’s best when you know someone who might be able to vouch for you. 

Join Global Pre-Meds

At Global Pre-Meds, we make it simple. Instead of searching for the right nurse shadowing opportunity, you can just apply to our program. 

Once you submit your application, we receive references and interview you to understand what your interests in healthcare are. We have already created partnerships with hospitals and medical doctors who will provide you with a great shadowing and global health experience. We match you with peers who may have similar career paths in mind, and a mentor who will be the best guide for your individual needs. 

As a nurse, patient care will be an important part of your role. Understanding the different backgrounds and resources that your patients may have will help you become a better healthcare provider. Gaining a global health experience would serve you well on your journey to becoming a nurse

We currently offer two programs – one in Tanzania and one in the Dominican Republic – that help students stand out from the crowd of other nursing school applicants.

While you will be shadowing a medical doctor, they will be able to show you a range of medical and surgical cases that the country experiences. You will learn about the role of a physician in a hospital, and your mentor may even have you observe with other nursing colleagues if it’s appropriate.

We have students with different medical interests who join our program and enter into university or medical school with a more diverse experience than other students. We have strict ethical, health, and safety protocols, so we can protect you while you are on the front lines of international hospitals. 

You can contact us here to learn more about how our program may help you on your journey to becoming a nurse. 

Social Media

Social media can be a useful tool for creating connections. It has the potential to connect you directly to someone through Facebook or Instagram, rather than searching for their contact information yourself. 

Ask friends and family on your social media pages if they know a nurse or someone in healthcare that you could shadow. You may be surprised how many people respond. 

You can also find other nurses’ Facebook or Instagram pages to see if you can connect with someone who might be eager to share their knowledge with you. 

Internet Search

You can harness the power of internet searches to find nurses near you. 

There are databases with healthcare providers online, which you can find through internet searches. It’s best to try and find the name and contact information of a registered nurse. However, you can also look for hospitals or clinics near you and cold call them to ask if they have any nurses on staff who may allow you to shadow them. 

You can also search for nursing blogs, forums, and other pages where you might be able to connect with nurses in your area. There are many people who are happy to help future healthcare professionals. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone you don’t know. 

Stay polite, professional, and concise when sending an email or message to ask about shadowing. 

John HOSA or other school health clubs

HOSA – Future Health Professionals is a membership association with chapters on many high school and university campuses in the United States. They are a great example of student groups that may already exist at your school that can help you make important connections for your career. 

HOSA hosts guest speakers and events for future healthcare professionals and has advisors assigned to each chapter to help you. See if there’s a HOSA chapter near you. They may be able to tell you how to find nurse shadow opportunities.

There are also school clubs and pre-health or premed advisors that may have ideas on finding a nurse to shadow. 

Volunteer at a hospital or clinic

Volunteering at a hospital or clinic can help you gain experience that makes it easier for you to find clinical shadowing opportunities as a pre-nursing student. 

Some volunteer gigs do not require any prior medical knowledge. These volunteer opportunities may involve more administrative or clerical work, which means they are not giving you hands-on medical experience, but they can still add value to your resume and help you get to know healthcare professionals. 

For example, if you volunteer to help check patients in and out at a hospital, you may make friends with nurses on staff, or apply to a shadow program they may have at that facility.

If you are a pre-nursing student or a high school or university student looking to explore the field, we hope you consider joining us in Tanzania or the Dominican Republic. We can offer you a one of a kind shadowing and global health experiences abroad. Check out our program dates here