After the NCLEX: Surviving the Wait

While many nurses cite the NCLEX exam as one of the most intense and stressful experiences of their life, oftentimes the wait between finishing the exam and finding out the results can be just as brutal. Luckily for you, we have a few tips to help occupy your time and keep you from pacing circles and chewing your nails.

Take a mini vacation

            You deserve it! Those late nights of studying fueled by coffee and anxiety have more than likely caused a great deal of stress, so take a day-trip to the beach, an amusement park, or just binge-watch the latest TV series craze at home. Nurse Jackie, HawthoRNe, and E.R. are just a few nurse-related shows that might be worth checking out. You’ve dealt with a stressful school environment for well over a year now, so there’s no sense in worrying anymore, relax!

Get a head start on the job hunt

            It’s time to think optimistic! Assume you passed the exam, cause you will! Now it’s time to get a head start on that job hunt. First, it’s a good idea to talk to friends who are already in the field. They will often be the first ones to know about upcoming job opportunities. It’s also a good idea to talk with your former teachers. Many schools will offer placement programs to help find their students jobs. If you completed a preceptorship at a place at which you enjoyed working and you believe they thought highly of you, send the manager an email and see if any positions are open or are opening soon. Follow up with a phone call if you don’t hear back.

Ahem, and don’t forget about this wonderful website. Travel Nurse Source will help locate the perfect employer if you’d prefer a job working around the country or even around the globe. Our site offers a variety of handy tools and informative blogs (like this one) to help take that next step in your nursing career.

Talk to people in the field

            Another great way to prepare for your future nursing career is to talk to people who already made the transition to a registered practitioner. Chatting with friends and those who have already been through the journey of finding a job might have some tips and recommendations that could help you land the perfect gig. Knowing what to expect can relieve the stress while pursuing your career. This isn’t the time to be shy.

Get your resume in order

            The last thing you should do before pursuing a nursing career is to make sure your resume is polished. There are hundreds of templates online you can use, but it’s a good idea to have a peer who’s in the medical field review it. It’s also a good idea to contact your references to let them know employers may be calling them in the near future.

These are just a few tips to help you kill time during that NCLEX wait. Remember to stay optimistic, stay focused, and stay motivated.

Author: Troy Diffenderfer

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