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It’s that time of the year, or time of your life, or time of your choice where you finally begin looking for a nursing job! But first thing’s first, congratulations on making it this far! It is an extremely remarkable achievement to make it to this point, as nursing school is no easy feat. You made it through late nights, exams, clinicals, maybe even a few tears (hehe), and more – so celebrate!
Now let’s begin!
The process of applying for a nursing job varies from person to person. One may want to use prior to graduating nursing school, while others may want to wait until after writing the NCLEX exam. Some may want to apply to RN Residency programs, while others may want to go through traditional orientation programs directly. The options and possibilities are endless!
My journey involved applying for a nursing residency program I was interested in two weeks prior to graduating, where I was offered a position a few days before graduating. Thus, the choice of when to apply is unique to you!
Here are a few tips I found beneficial while applying for jobs as a former nursing student:
- Begin by reflecting. Think about what kind of nursing experience you would like to get into and reflect on your previous clinical experiences to see if you enjoyed a specialty. It helps to have a realistic idea of what kind of position you’d like to apply for.
- Do research. Based on your reflection, begin researching the position that you are interested in as a new grad nurse (or as an upcoming new grad). Think about whether you’d like to apply for an RN role directly or if you would like to go through a nursing residency route.
- Job Search. Once you have an idea of the position you are interested in, begin looking for jobs specific to your interest – and take NOTE of their qualifications. In general, write down what you need to have to apply for the positions. It also helps to see if you qualify for those positions. A lot of the time, job qualifications can include “one year of related work experience,” but don’t let this keep you from applying for the position. This is when your clinical experience comes into play.
- Revamp/organize your resume. Reach out to your school’s career services (if offered). A lot of the time, they offer resume feedback on how to improve your resume. OR you could reach out to your guidance counselor/professor for resume feedback. OR you could look up online resources (even through IG/Youtube) on ways you can improve your resume/make it stand out!
- Apply! Once you know which type of position you’re interested in, go ahead and apply and hit that submit button (along with all the information they need, such as your resume, cover letter, and any qualified certifications)!
- Prepare yourself for the job interview. I recommend looking up “common new graduate nurse interview questions” and practicing answering those questions. You can even watch online videos on how to prepare yourself for a nursing job interview. Other critical key tips are to: learn as much as you can about your potential employer, arrive on time (or be virtually online on time), dress for success, stay true to yourself/be courteous, ask questions, and thank them for the opportunity and time! Another helpful thing to remember is to reflect on your previous clinical experience (I think it will help with clinical scenarios that may come up during the interview).
Overall, give it your very best! This part of your nursing journey is simply another stepping stone, so don’t feel rushed and go at your own pace. You know what is best for you.
Although it may not be much, I hope this little post was of help to you. These were some of the few things that helped me in my journey, but reach out to your peers, mentors, and even professors for more help and guidance. Best of luck, I believe in you!
Love, Annika Grace
Written by: Annika Grace
We’ve all been there - you get home late from the hospital, you have to be back in 8 hours, and the last thing you want to do is prepare food for your next shift. The benefits of prepping snacks and healthy meals at home outweigh the negatives.
Cost: Healthy food is available for purchase at hospital cafeterias is usually expensive - I know, because last week I spent $6.00 on a fruit cup. So, let’s say I buy a fruit cup four days a week - that totals $24.00, and in a month, I would be spending $96.00. Even though I’m making a healthy food choice, I would be able to prepare fruit cups at home for a month for a fraction of the cost.
Access: It seems every second day, the break room is full of snacks and treats that staff or management have brought in to boost morale. As much as we all enjoy cookies, doughnuts, and all the good stuff - these items are not going to provide you enough brainpower to get through your shift; therefore, you may have a few more treats than planned if you’re feeling hungry. Bringing snacks from home allows you to fill up on nutritional food and have room for a small staff room treat before heading back on the floor!
Time: Your break is only so long, and I like to spend them sitting and resting my feet! If you don’t prep food at home, you’ll find yourself spending half of your break standing in line and not even having time to enjoy your meal before running back to the unit. Yes, it does take a little time to prepare snacks at home, but you don’t have to rush yourself, and when you get in the habit of doing it, it will become easier!
I’ve compiled a list of all my favorite clinical/work snacks that are easy to prepare and taste delicious! Most of these ideas can be pre-portioned on your days off; that way, you can quickly toss them in your lunch bag on the way out the door!
Carrot Sticks with Hummus
Protein Bars/Granola Bars
Apple Slices and Peanut Butter
Homemade Oatmeal Chocolate Muffins
Air Popped Popcorn
Hard Boiled Eggs
Most of these food items contain high carbohydrate or protein levels, giving you the energy and brainpower you need to have a great shift and be in a good mood! Because let’s be honest, no one wants a hangry nurse!
Written by: Holly Peacock
I have taken the NCLEX twice and have not passed successfully but I truly believe that the third time’s a charm! (That is a blog for another time!) Through those times of studying for the dready NCLEX exam, I have discovered many resources to use to prepare myself for the big day. Studying does come with a good, healthy mentality, so knowing that you have been taught everything you need to know and learning those test-taking strategies will be a fantastic combination to beat the beast that is NCLEX. Here is the study schedule that I plan to follow for my next attempt at NCLEX & the resources I plan to use.
Day of NCLEX Studying:
0600: Wake up & take a few deep breaths to start the day!
0630-0700: Meditate + do my workout for the day <3
0700-1030: STUDY TIME! Reviewing content from Remar VT & Mark Klemik Audios/Notes (Using the Pomodoro Method)** 30-minute study sessions with a 5-10 minute break per session **
1030-1100: Eat a small snack to refuel!
1100-1200: Review concepts from the morning
1300-1500: Go through a 50-75 practice question assessment through Archer Q-Bank
1500-1700: Understand and review the questions I got wrong with the rationales
1700-Night: No more studying, relax and be proud of your study session for the day :)
For the resources mentioned, Remar Virtual Trainer is an NCLEX-RN, and PN NCLEX review for individuals that want to refresh their nursing mind with the content learned during nursing school. It is a hefty price to pay that includes a review workbook and a study schedule, and videos to go along. Also included is a “Quick Facts for NCLEX.”guide with (as the title says) quick and straightforward high-yield topics that could be expected on the NCLEX exam.
Another resource that I recommend for test-taking strategies is listening to Mark Klemik. Mark Klemik is an ex-writer for the NCBSN who is responsible for producing the NCLEX questions/exams. His audios provide easy mnemonics and tricks to answer NCLEXstyle questions better. He also has available private tutoring and online video sessions for people to participate in.
Lastly, the Archer Q-Bank is my preference in testing my knowledge and practicing for the big exam. Many people use U-World but as a person who has taken the exam twice now, paying for a U-World subscription is not ideal. Archer Review provides asimilar format from U-World, which is the exact format of the NCLEX using vagueness of questions that can better prepare you for the exam. Subscriptions for the Q-Banks are less than $100, depending on how long you want to practice questions. They also have a content review that you can purchase as a combo at a discounted price!
The most extensive advice I can give anyone who plans to take NCLEX soon: Do NOT overwhelm yourself with too many resources. That was my mistake initially; Now I’ve done my research on the resources that I prefer, and you should do the same! Whatever you use, it’s all about taking your time to read the question and answer choices to see what the question is truly asking. Mastering that will help you kick the NCLEX’ butt!
Happy Studying to you all!
You are made for this! You WILL pass NCLEX! You WILL be an RN!
Written by: Kayla Del Mundo