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DREAM Externship Program Information

Program Overview

The DREAM Nurse Externship Program is an enrichment program sponsored by UC San Diego Health in collaboration with Southwestern Community College, City College, and Grossmont Community College.

The DREAM Nurse Externship Program focuses on providing participants with career information and critical skill sets to support their transition into the professional clinical nurse role.

The 2021-2022 DREAM application cycle is now closed. The 2022-2023 application cycle will open May - July 2022 

Congratulations to our 2021-2022 DREAM Nurse Externs!

Select participants will be eligible to apply for a per-diem Sr. Nurse Aide position within the inpatient medicine division.

This 12-week externship program offers instruction to nursing students to develop their understanding of the professional clinical nurse role. Students will be coached on:

  • Profession of Nursing
  • Relationship Based Care
  • Personal Brand
  • Simulation Skills Lab Experience
  • Health Literacy/Health Care Disparities
  • Shadow Experience
  • Healthcare & Technology
  • Diversity & Cultural Competence
  • Nursing and the Community
  • Research and Evidenced Based Practice
  • Professional Communication/Presentation Skills

Application Process

  • The 2021-2022 DREAM Externship application cycle is closed
  • The 2022-2023 application cycle will open May - July, 2022 
  • UC San Diego Health makes the final selections based upon the strength of the student's entire application, including GPA, transcript, written essay, letters of reference and interview. 

PLEASE NOTE: UC San Diego Health does not discriminate in admission, employment or administration of its programs or activities on the basis of age, gender, race, national origin, religion, creed, color, marital status, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, ethnicity, ancestry, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. In addition, UC San Diego Health administers all programs and services without regard to disability and provides reasonable accommodations for otherwise qualified disabled individuals.

DREAM Mission

To create, nurture, and sustain an inclusive nursing workforce that meets the needs of our diverse patient population.

DREAM Extern Eligibility

  • Be a U.S. Citizen, non-citizen national, or legal permanent resident
  • Underrepresented population in Nursing
  • Enrolled in the 3rd semester of Nursing School during the 2020/2021 academic year
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale (as demonstrated by an official transcript)\
  • Ability to attend all UCSDH didactic class sessions

Externs must also meet 2 of the following three criteria:

  • Underrepresented minority in nursing
  • Would be the first generation in their family to graduate from an accredited college or university
  • Demonstrate financial need.*  Use the following link as a guideline:   

*Students can initially self-report family income levels if they apply to the program. However, at a later date students accepted into the program may be asked to provide documentation. Acceptable forms of documentation will be communicated upon acceptance.

    UC San Diego Health will make the final selections based upon the strength of the student's entire application, including GPA, transcript, written essay, letters of reference, and interview.