How Do I Shadow a Nurse?

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Shadowing a nurse is an important part of deciding whether you want to take the plunge and become a nurse. Many hospitals, especially universities with a hospital attached to them, offer programs that allow students to be paired with a nurse and follow him around while he works. However, due to the confidential nature of the nursing experience, many schools and organizations require you to shadow only on certain days and may not allow you to view certain cases.

  • Talk to your school counselor. Many programs allow children as young as 16 to shadow a nurse, so ask your counselor if she is familiar with a shadow-a-nurse program.

  • Contact your local hospital if your school counselor is unable to provide information. You should call the hospital's general number and inquire about shadowing a nurse. You may also be able to contact a nursing association. For example, the Texas Nurses Association provides information for perspective nurses to shadow working nurses and points them to local hospital sites.

  • Schedule a date to shadow the nurse you are assigned to. Show up on time and stay for your entire shift to respect the time that she is giving up for you.

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