Your first instinct after graduating from nursing school is probably to party like you’ve won a very long race.
Of course, you have, and you should really consider partying as part of your welcome back to the real world.
However, you should also attend to some things that are going to get you ready for your career.
There is no time like the present to get ready for the next stage in the journey.
1. Register for NCLEX
You should take your NCLEX as soon as possible after graduating from school. This way, the information will be fresh in your mind, you will get it out of the way, and you will be more employable as a full-fledged nurse.
2. Prepare a Resume
You’re going to need a resume to send out to people who are going to hire you, and it has probably been a long time since you updated yours. Now you can include nursing school, any volunteer work you’ve done, and any work as a CNA in a facility.
3. Take a Break
You deserve some time off to yourself. If you can afford it, get away for a vacation, but if not, a stay-cation is just as good and can help you remember what it is like not to be a student.
4. Make List of Potential Employers
You need to know who in your area is looking for nurses and who could potentially look for nurses. Very simply, make a list of all potential places that you can submit your resume when you are ready.
5. Get an Interview Outfit
It is important to look your best when you go on interviews for nursing jobs. You should have something that is business appropriate, fits well, and makes a good impression on HR and nurse managers alike.
6. Bone up on Interview Questions
Another important aspect of getting ready for hire is to learn interview questions and the best answers to them. Several books focus on these questions and help you find the best way to answer them, and you should take some time to think about this aspect of job hunting.
7. Form a Study Plan for NCLEX
NCLEX should be coming up soon, and you need to figure out a game plan for how you are going to cover your bases and hit on everything you’ve learned. Get an overview book and do as many practice questions as you can to prepare for the test of your life.
8. Reconnect with Friends and Family
Your friends and family have supported you all through nursing school, and it would be really great to see them again, get to know them again, and celebrate your connection. Don’t be so distracted by NCLEX that you forget those you love and not take the time to enjoy those important to you.
9. Work as a CNA
If you haven’t worked as a CNA through nursing school, you should consider working as one during the time between nursing school and taking the NCLEX. Not only will it give you experience, but it will also help you get a foot in the door in a potentially hiring facility.
In the end, you should balance your time directly after nursing school with a mixture of relaxing and preparing for NCLEX. As with nursing itself, time management and dedication will be important to determining your success in these crucial months as a new grad.