Date Published: April 8, 2019
You did it! You have made it through nursing school in one piece and have your degree in hand. After all the anticipation leading up to this moment, you may be wondering, what’s next? As you prepare to begin your career, keep the following advice in mind to help you along the way.
Study for the NCLEX
As you neared the end of nursing school, chances are you began to prepare for the NCLEX. As the test date approaches, consider other prep resources available to you. Going to a review session is a great way to study in a structured environment similar to a classroom setting. You can also prepare by familiarizing yourself with the format of the test. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) has a number of resources available to help.
Remember to prepare for test day
Preparing to take the NCLEX includes more than just studying. Before the exam, remember to eat and sleep well. A well-rested and well-fed mind will perform better. You can also drive the route to the exam location prior to test day to leave you feeling relaxed the morning of. It is important to keep a positive mindset and practice relaxation techniques that you can use to calm test nerves. Being nervous is okay, but remember that you have worked hard to ace this exam!
Find your dream job
Everyone wants to land their dream job right out of nursing school, but there are some things to consider before you start the hunt. Your resume is a key piece to your job search. When drafting your resume, include prior experience, volunteer work, information about your education, and more. The more you can add that is relevant to the position you are applying for, the better off you will be. On the day of the interview, dress to impress and remember to come prepared with questions for the recruiter. The more prepared you are for the interview, the more confident you will feel. Find more job search tips and tricks here.
Don’t forget about continuing education
After you have landed a job and are working as a professional nurse, you will need to start thinking about continuing education. In order to renew your nursing license down the road, you will have to keep up with continuing education requirements. As soon as you are licensed, pay attention to your state Board of Nursing requirements so you do not get behind. Not sure where to begin? Check out this free CE course offered by NursingCE.com to get started.
Real world experience
Most nurses would agree the best experience comes from working. There are a number of ways to seek real world experience outside of your day-to-day work. Consider finding a mentor who can help answer questions, and don’t be afraid to ask others for advice. Friends who have been working for a while are another great resource for career advice.
Graduating can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to. You have worked hard throughout school and starting this new chapter should be an exciting time. Need more advice about what’s next? Check out our Post Grad Guide for more ways to get going after you finish school.