What to Expect After Your NCLEX
In this episode, we are going to discuss the things you have to do once you’ve passed your NCLEX. In nursing, the work seems to never stop. So, you’ve passed your NCLEX and you are crossing over from student to practitioner. Your next step should be applying to jobs, but on a unit, you want to work on.
Before you apply for a job
When you are looking for a job there a few things to consider. Get your paperwork together, this includes your:
- RN License number
It is always beneficial to keep these items stored together because you are going to be using them a lot for the rest of your life. When you apply to a position you will be filling out a lot of information such as:
- Experience, etc…
You will also need to input your license number and even proof of graduation.
Some Universities offer a resume-building workshop or even have it be a requirement to create one in class. We highly recommend checking out our friends at https://www.theresumerx.com/. We even had Amanda Guarniere on our show, EP 74.
Your resume should consist of:
- Contact Information
- Opening Statement: Summary or Objective
- Work History
- Soft Skills and Technical Skills
- Certifications and Professional Memberships
- Achievements and Awards
- Additional Sections (Community Involvement, Volunteering, etc.)
Applying to positions
The best place to start looking for jobs is the closest hospital to you. This is the most convenient as some people find themselves driving for 30 – 60 min one way to work. Driving that long shortens your days by about 6 percent.
You should also ask around. Do you know anyone already working in the hospital or clinic? It’s always easier to get into a job knowing someone already there.
Many people recommend taking the first job you get or to start within a specific unit to learn some basic fundamentals. However, we believe that you should always aim for something that you specifically want and exhaust all options before moving on to something different. This gives you the best chance of figuring out what you want to do in nursing.
The turnover rate is high regardless of what unit, you may realize that the unit you had for your capstone, that you really liked, wasn’t meeting certain expectations. Know that this is completely normal and do not freak out, it takes some time to figure out what you really want to do. Maybe you tried Peds and realized that you get too emotional around kids, it’s normal to switch. Remember you want to work in a place you are comfortable and enjoy working in.
If you aren’t a new grad and are applying to different jobs, take travel nursing into consideration. Take this summer to think about it and when August comes around you can make your decision for September. That is a good way to think about it because it is always an option, and who doesn’t like traveling.
Some of you may have never been in a job interview, you may have some experience with interviewing for nursing school or a mock interview, but those don’t compare. We are not going to walk you through the whole interview process but we will offer you some good questions to ask your future employers.
- Do you offer a new graduate nurse program? (if you’re a new grad)
- How many weeks, what shift?
- Will I be paired with 1 nurse or multiple?
- Verify that it is the correct shift – make sure it is a day’s position if that’s what it said on the jobs posting. Ask if there is a chance to switch shifts, but understand what shift you applied for.
- How is the workplace culture? Is there a high turnover rate?
- What are the nurse-to-patient ratios on a busy day?
- What are the weekend, holiday, and overtime arrangements?
- Is there an opportunity for leadership positions and school reimbursement?
- When should I expect a call or notification of my acceptance?