Frequently Asked Questions


Who is eligible to apply?

Only nursing students entering their final semester will be admitted into the Nurse Extern Program. Learn more about our Nurse Extern Program eligibility requirements.

Which cohort should I apply to?

Our cohorts are structured to match up with your graduation date. For example, if you will be graduating in Spring 2017, you should apply for our Spring 2017 cohort.

I am graduating in the Summer (August). Can I participate in the Nurse Extern Program?

We do not offer a cohort for Summer/August graduates at this time. If you are in your final semester of school and will be graduating in the Summer, we invite you to learn more about our Graduate Nurse Program.

Should I apply for the Nurse Extern Program if I am about to graduate from nursing school?

Only nursing students entering their final semester will be admitted into the Nurse Extern Program. If you are already in your final semester of school, we invite you to learn more about our Graduate Nurse Program.

What if I want to work at CHRISTUS® Trinity Mother Frances Health System but am not yet entering my final semester of nursing school?

As a nursing student, you may apply for a Unit Tech position with CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System at any time. Unit Techs in good standing will receive priority consideration for the Nurse Extern Program when they become eligible.

If I already work at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System, will I automatically be considered for the Nurse Extern Program?

All students must submit a separate application for the Nurse Extern Program, regardless of current employment status with CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System. Find out what you need to do to apply.

If I am a Unit Tech at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System and do not get accepted into the Nurse Extern Program, can I continue working in my current position?

Yes. Unit Techs have the opportunity to gain direct patient care experience and are valued members of our team. With limited space in each cohort, we may not be able to accept all eligible Unit Techs into the Nurse Extern Program.

When can I apply for the Nurse Extern Program?

We will begin accepting applications for our Spring 2018 cohort (for students graduating in Spring 2018) in the winter.

How do I apply?

We will begin accepting applications for our Spring 2018 cohort (for students graduating in Spring 2018) in the winter. More information on the application process can be found on the Nurse Extern Program Details page.

How long is the Nurse Extern Program?

Our Nurse Extern Program is approximately the length of your final college semester. Our Spring cohorts begin in December and end in May, and our Winter cohorts begin in June and end in December. We have structured our program so that the initial classroom training and skills labs are scheduled during the winter/summer breaks before your semester begins. Get more detailed schedule information for each cohort.

Will I be paid?

Yes, our Nurse Extern Program is a paid externship.

Do I get benefits?

No, the Nurse Extern is a PRN position and not eligible for benefits.

Is housing provided?

No, housing will not be provided.

Can I receive academic credit for participating?

Schools of nursing may approve this program as a nursing elective for college credit, but it is the responsibility of the student to receive approval from his or her school and complete the necessary paperwork to obtain academic credit.

What topics are covered in the lecture series?

Topics may include, but are not limited to:
• MD/RN Communication
• Generational Differences in the Workplace
• Quality of Life and Ethical Issues
• Regulatory Compliance

If I want to, can I work extra shifts as a Nurse Extern?

You may only work as a Nurse Extern for two 12-hour shifts/week during the winter/summer breaks and one 12-hour shift/week during the semester. This ensures that you are with your dedicated preceptor at all times. If desired, you may work additional shifts as a Unit Tech.

Which floor will I work on? Can I choose the area where I work?

We will take your preferred clinical area(s) into consideration when making assignments. Every effort will be made to match you to your area of interest. See the full list of available clinical areas offered in our Nurse Extern Program.

Will I work on one floor only, or will I float?

You will be matched with a particular floor, but you will have exposure to all the departments within that clinical specialty. There may be occasions when you float with your preceptor.

Do Nurse Externs have a better chance of getting hired as GNs?

Nurse Externs in good standing have the advantage of priority consideration for our Graduate Nurse Program. GN recruitment will be open to our Nurse Externs two months ahead of all other applicants.

If I am hired by CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System, what work commitment will be expected of me?

If you successfully complete our Nurse Extern Program and are offered a position, you will be required to sign a commitment to work a minimum of 24 months (full-time status) at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System as a Registered Nurse. If you do not meet this work obligation, you will be required to reimburse CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System $2,000 as partial consideration for this development opportunity. If it is determined that you cannot continue your employment in the assigned unit due to failure to progress or failure to pass boards, you will not be required to pay the amount noted.

If I transfer to another unit after being hired as a Registered Nurse, does this violate my 24-month work commitment?

No, as long as you retain full-time status. Your 24-month commitment is to CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System, not a particular unit. If you transfer to another unit after hire as a Registered Nurse, the time worked on all units will count towards this obligation.