Senior Meghan Riegel spoke with a Texas Health Resources recruiter.

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TCU nursing students had an opportunity to speak about potential employment opportunities with healthcare organizations on-site at the Harris College Nursing Fair on Thursday.

Fifteen healthcare organizations were available at the fair offering applications for volunteer work, externships and full-time jobs.

“We see the value in bringing in new grads, new students that have the latest education,” said Jennifer Schmeppl, a Hendricks Medical Center recruiter. “We’re interested in bringing them on board and seeing what they have to offer us.”

Another Hendricks recruiter, Missy Lewis, said students bring “cutting edge education” about the field to their workplace. She said compassion and new ideas are qualities valued in Hendricks’ employees.

“It’s like a freshly plowed ground,” Lewis said. “They’re ready for planting, and they’re ready to learn the culture of our organization as well.”

However, eligibility for jobs partially depends on students’ progression in the nursing program. The event was mostly for clinical nursing students who qualify for hospital jobs, said Katherine Bishop, a career consultant.

Amy Trello, an HCA North Texas recruiter, said senior nursing students are trained to work as full-time nurses for their company.

Trello said seniors can apply for residencies—what hospitals call internships—that give them the hands-on experience they need.

Kelly Nash, a senior interested in caring for sick babies, said she’s applying for HCA’s residency program. The program will teach her how to care for infants and earn her certification to work in a neonatal care unit.

Trello said she saw “passion” from students she met at the fair.

“We’re really looking throughout this whole time to bridge them from being a student to being a successful graduate nurse to being a successful nurse on the unit,” Trello said

Juniors also networked with organizations at the fair.

Whitney Miner, a junior nursing major, said she’s applying for summer jobs. She said juniors can apply for jobs in home health, at summer camps or in hospitals as technicians.

Miner said she spoke with Camp Longhorn recruiters about student nursing positions at their summer camps.

At the camps, student nurses function similarly to a school nurse. They are responsible for handling the children’s medication and treating them if they get injured.

Miner said she is pursuing a career in pediatrics and is “super interested” in anything that involves children.

Celeste Lindell, TCU employee development manager, said the fair had a variety of organizations from all over Texas and the United States.

“Students can branch out and do something different,” Lindell said.