What is Shadowing?

Shadowing is one way to learn more about a particular career. Shadowing is typically a half-day or one-day observational experience that offers a glimpse into a typical workday in a specific career field. It is up to you to make the initial contact with the professional and schedule a mutually convenient time to shadow them. Be respectful of their schedule, and show up on time.

During your shadowing experience you might meet with the professional for a brief meeting and then follow the professional for agreed upon time. Shadowing will help you define career interests, see what a certain job will be like, ask questions of the professional you are shadowing, understand the educational requirements for the profession and gain a better understanding of a particular work setting or healthcare setting. You'll be surprised to find that though someone's job title may be the same, what they do on a day-to-day basis can be drastically different depending on the healthcare organization or hospital for which they work. Professionals with a variety of majors often do the same job so be sure to ask a person's major when you shadow them.

No academic credit is received and no fee is charged for shadowing. It may be done as often as desired and at any time during the year. The UK Nursing Career Resource Center encourages UK College of Nursing students and UK Healthcare Nurses to participate. Remember that most professionals are very busy and are volunteering their time to allow you to shadow them. Dress professionally and be respectful of the professional's time. Make sure to leave your resume with the professional you have shadowed, and if you are interested in hearing about future openings, ask them if you might keep in touch. Ask for their business card and be sure to show your appreciation with a thank you card after the experience.

Some questions you might want to ask during your shadowing experience:

  • How did you first become interested in this career?
  • What is an average day like?
  • Where are the various work settings that you can work?
  • What is the job market for your profession?
  • What is your background?
  • Educational requirements? Credentials? Licensure requirements?
  • What advice would you have for someone like me who is interested in pursuing this type of career?
  • Potential salary information?
  • Other questions that you might have

If you are an Advanced Practice Nurse or a nurse with a specialization and would be interested in having a UK HealthCare nurse or UK College of Nursing Student shadow you, please complete the form below.