Congratulations! You have officially completed your nursing program. All the anticipation to becoming a registered nurse has led you to this moment, but what is next? Landing the first nursing job can be exciting and nerve-racking. After all, from the moment you graduate from nursing school, people automatically expect you to hold patients’ lives in your hands. However, the reality is that there is much more learning ahead, and finding the right job is paramount to equipping you and laying the foundation for a successful nursing career. Find out what steps you should take once you become an official nursing graduate.
Pass the NCLEX exam
Your registered nursing career will not start until you pass the NCLEX. The NCLEX, The National Council Licensure Examination is a nationwide examination for the licensing of nurses in the United States. This exam is designed to test if you can process information and use appropriate problem-solving techniques to make a clinical decision. The NCLEX is not a walk in the park; stay focused and study daily. You can take the NCLEX up to 8 times per year with a 45-day waiting period between each attempt. Some states have additional standards; you should consult your board to ensure you meet state requirements.
Prepare to land the first registered nurse job
The first job out of nursing school is your first major decision; rely on your own clinical rotation experience, lifestyle, and personality to help you decide what the best fit for you is. On your resume, include your clinical rotation experience and any volunteer work relevant to the position you are interested in. If you seek an opportunity in the pediatric unit and completed clinical rotations in the NICU, add it to your resume to keep you as a top prospect. In addition, consider your strengths, the environments you best thrive in, and what you want to get out of the job opportunity in the long term. Remember, with each job opportunity comes responsibility and a door to future promotions. You may not get the job in the unit you have dreamed of but get your feet wet for an easier transition to your desired unit.
You landed the job
The deal has been sealed you secured your first nursing job. This is HUGE! The real work starts now; time to put all the knowledge you have gained to use. The way you carry yourself to colleagues and patients directly impacts your reputation as a registered nurse. So, be confident in your skills and equally open to continuous learning. Although you just landed a job, continuing your education is part of your career. While at school, you demonstrated you would be a competent and great nurse. You will continue to show that to your employer to further your career this time. Look into extra certifications, ask to be cross-trained in a different unit if you can, and be flexible and adaptable
Things to consider
If becoming a travel nurse is something you intend to pursue, consider that most travel nurse positions require a minimum of two years of experience. So, for the next two years, build on your resume, remain flexible, work the night shift, and work different units if you can. This will help you figure out what you are passionate about and what you are not when you are ready for this new move.
SkillGigs understand this is an exciting and equally intimidating time for you. Our talent marketplace is designed to connect you with jobs you are genuinely interested in at your desired pay rate. You do not have to embark on this new journey alone. Our team is ready to partner with you to bring you the top jobs from the leading healthcare facilities throughout your entire healthcare career.
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