Eastern Maine Medical Center offers a paid Student Nurse Externship (SNE) Program for nursing students. As a student nurse extern, nursing students are introduced to an environment that fosters excellence in all areas of nursing. This 10-week summer extern program provides nursing students with educational opportunities to improve their nursing skills in a collegial relationship with RNs while at the same time providing summer employment. It is an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the professional practice of nursing in the clinical setting. 


Under the direction and supervision of a registered nurse, nurse externs provide direct patient care, gain hands-on experience, and enhance their assessment skills. Externs are introduced to various specialties of interest through a clinical rotation model. Examples of areas of interest include operating room, PACU, and critical care. This program helps students develop organizational and time management skills. Nurse externs have the opportunity to attend the committees governed by Eastern Maine Medical Center's nurses. Educational in-services are presented throughout the 10-week program to further supplement the learning process. In addition, externs are involved in community events such as Camp Survivor and assisting with duties at the Ronald McDonald House.

Selected externs must commit to all program dates. There are no exceptions. Candidates must be able to commitment to working a full 36-40 hours per week. Weekend and evening rotation may be required to obtain specific experiences.



  • 10 weeks paid employment
  • Enhance clinical competence and gain clinical confidence
  • Expand critical thinking and organizational skills
  • Professional development sessions
  • Opportunity to develop professional relationships beyond nursing school
  • Explore inter-professional relationships with nursing
  • Engage with nursing leaders in various roles
  • Examine the role of nurse-driven committees in the organizational structure


  • Student nurse externs provide patient care in the CNA role only.
  • Externs are assigned to one or two preceptors for the summer. A primary preceptor will be assigned and a secondary preceptor will cover primary preceptor vacation time.
  • Preceptors are nurses who have at least one year of experience, demonstrated clinical competency, reliable attendance, an understanding of the scope of the CNA role, and no disciplinary action.
  • A student needs assessment is completed in accordance with the CNA Competency Based Orientation (CBO) tool. This assessment assists the preceptor and extern to identify gaps in the extern’s knowledge/practice and develop an action plan with a timeline to close identified gaps.
  • Externs are expected to attend the Extern Welcome, Camp Survivor, biweekly meetings, assigned professional development opportunities, community service assignment, and Extern Graduation.
  • Externs complete an assigned extern project.
  • Evaluation is collaborative and includes the preceptor, staff developer, nursing leadership, and extern.
  • Externs provide their own transportation to volunteer sites