Pre-Nursing Shadowing For High School Students

(Over 18? Please see our nurse shadowing for over 18s)

The call to a nursing career is something that many students feel at a young age, and our pre-nurse shadowing program for 16 and 17 year olds gives you the chance to gain a real-life experience of the profession while still in high school.

Placements are residential, and are fully supported by our own dedicated team, who make the adventure of living on our programs in Europe or the Caribbean for a week or so both safe and accessible to all. We’ve hosted more than 10,000 students over the past eight years, earning us a reputation as a global leader in this kind of experiential learning.

Your Nurse Shadowing Placement

The idea of a Gap Medics placement is not to tell you, but to show you first hand what it’s actually like to work as nurse. You’ll be paired with an experienced Registered Nurse (or other health professional, if more appropriate to the department setting) as your mentor to guide and supervise your time in the hospital.

Working hours will vary depending on the operational structure of the hospital and the needs of patient care, but you’ll typically spend 4-5 hours a day in the hospital. This may be spent alongside your mentor attending to patients on the wards, preparing and supporting surgeons in the operating room, triaging new arrivals in the emergency room or with expectant mothers and newborns in the maternity unit. The placement is strictly observational (see “Our Ethics” below), but this kind of direct exposure to the work environment is a powerful way to learn.

In the weeks before your placement begins, your Gap Medics Student Experience Manager will work with you to match you to the most appropriate hospital departments and mentors, based on your stage of education and fields of interest. You can choose to focus on a specific area, such as child or adult nursing, surgery or maternity, or opt for a general placement to give you a more wide-ranging experience.

We’ve put a great deal of work into developing strong partnerships with a wide range of hospitals, including specialist maternity facilities in the Dominican Republic and general hospitals in Croatia offering a broader range of departments. That portfolio allows us to offer placements across a wide spectrum of nursing fields, as well as in hugely differing cultural and economic settings.

Our specialist Placement Advisors can help you decide which program will provide the best and most relevant experience for you – just give us a call, email or use the live chat at the bottom of this page.

Betsy Higgins

My placement was a wonderful experience and everyone was very kind and willing to teach me. I realized without a doubt, this is what I am meant to be doing with my life. Thank you Gap Medics for such a wonderful experience.

Paige Mavity

It’s safe to say, without this experience, I never would have truly known if nursing is what I wanted to do in the future as my career. Thank you Gap Medics for this truly incredible experience.

Kaylee Knights

The opportunities you get with Gap Medics to see so many medical scenarios such as birth, surgery, and more is what I loved so much about the program. I can’t say enough how much I love the Gap Medics program!!! Thank you Gap Medics so, so much!!!

Sara Popovic

From learning how to do a physical check on a newborn baby to witnessing minor surgeries and even getting to help put a cast on a broken leg, my pre-nursing internship program was honestly a life-changing experienceI would highly recommend Gap Medics to anyone thinking of working in the medical field.

Bridie Mullarkey

My time overseas helped me to not only gain extensive experience in the field of nursing, but taught me a lot about life in general! It was amazing working with the healthcare professionals in the hospital and interacting with patients every day. I think that having something like Gap Medics on your CV really stands out and shows that you are organised, productive, and passionate about a career in healthcare.

The Famous Gap Medics Social Life!

Undertaking a nursing placement in a busy hospital is an intense experience, especially in a foreign country, but our support service and the social side of our program make it a whole lot less daunting.

Wherever you go, you’ll live in one of our own safe, secure and super friendly Gap Medics houses. Rooms are shared with students of the same gender, which is a great way to help you quickly form friendships you’ll keep for years to come, and the lively atmosphere around the social areas and gardens with private swimming pools is a huge part of what makes our programs so popular.

Around half our students come from the United States, with the rest coming from the UK, Australia, and many other countries around the world. As well as that peer support, every program has a dedicated Gap Medics staff team made up of passionate local people under the leadership of an experienced Program Manager. From the person who meets you at the airport, to the chef who cooks your meals and the Student Coordinator who will personally introduce you to your hospital mentors – all are part of the Gap Medics family.

Our Ethics

Gap Medics is a proudly ethical business, and we take seriously our opportunity – our responsibility – to contribute to the communities in which we work.

It’s very important to us that our partner hospitals gain real benefit from the program, and part of the fee you pay goes directly to them. This extra income stream is a huge help to hospitals that often struggle with under-funding, allowing them to buy equipment, medicines, beds, and even employ extra staff as a direct result of receiving students.

We pass on a further proportion of your fee to the individual doctor who personally mentors you each week, an important recognition of their value to the program. In hospitals where funding limitations often mean losing the best clinicians to private practice or the draw of better pay overseas, the extra income our mentors receive has a real impact in retaining talent to serve the local population.

Our Operations Managers put a great deal of focus on professional ethics when working with our partner hospitals to ensure that the presence of students doesn’t compromise safety (their own or other people’s) or patient care. Placements are strictly observational, except where the supervising clinician allows students to undertake activities appropriate to their level of training and under close supervision.

We also believe passionately in respecting and taking care of our natural environment, and that influences every operational decision we take. We are gradually converting as many of our houses as we can to solar energy and installing reverse osmosis water purifiers to cut the use of plastic water bottles. We use fresh, local, seasonal ingredients in the food we cook wherever possible, and some of our houses already compost our food waste to feed the garden to grow more.

Get involved!

Our program is designed with the flexibility to fit around the other commitments of busy pre-health students who join us from all over the world. Placements are available starting any week of the year, and you can choose to spend from one week to as long as you like (most students choose between two and four weeks, to give a good insight into several different specialities).

Apply using our simple online Application Form, and you can pay the Registration Fee ($450) securely online to immediately secure a position on our waiting list. One of our expert Placement Advisors will then contact you by phone or email to confirm your placement, guide you through the next steps of the process, and get you set up on our online preparation portal, My Gap Medics.

If we do not have availability for your preferred destination and dates, we’ll work with you to find an alternative option – or refund your Registration Fee in full if we are unable to offer you a placement at all. Please bear in mind that our programs are very popular, especially between May and August, so the earlier in advance you can apply the more likely you are to get your first choice.

The remaining cost of your placement depends on the destination you choose and number of weeks (see our Prices page page). This covers a comprehensive package that includes your hospital placement, professional mentoring, global health tutorials, accommodation in our own Gap Medics House, food prepared fresh by our in-house Chef and personal support from our friendly team every step of the way.