Student Blogs

Applying for Jobs and Passing NCLEX

Written By Autumn Aniello

First off, I want to congratulate all who are in their last semester in nursing school. No matter how stressful and challenging the journey went, you finished it strong. You have made it this far, and I’m so proud of you all!

Now that you have conquered, the next step that I want you to do is BE CONFIDENT. After graduating from nursing school there are two big things that you all need to accomplish: (1) finding a job and (2) passing the NCLEX. 

So, here are some helpful tips to reach these two (2) goals:

Applying for jobs 

  • Make a list of all of the hospitals you are interested in. Ideally, you will start researching programs at least three (3) months before graduation. Some of my friends had jobs secured three (3) months before graduation, and others waited until after graduation to start looking. While you can take either route, I recommend the earlier because most hospitals have residency programs for new grads, and these start at specified times throughout the year. 
  • Start to ask for letters of recommendation. I needed two letters and asked my clinical instructor and a nurse on the unit I worked on. 
  • Prepare yourself for the interview. Make sure you have a professional outfit on hand. Most importantly, practice interview questions! My interviews were virtual so I used my computer to record myself answering practice questions. That way, I became comfortable with speaking to a screen. If your school has a mock interview program, don’t hesitate to join as well!
  • Research on the facility. Have a list of questions to ask them. I try to ask questions about specifics of the hospital so I can showcase that I actually researched.

Have faith in yourself. Don’t feel discouraged. Instead, learn to hype yourself up! You are placed in your position for a reason. Remember your purpose and your passion.

Passing the NCLEX 

  • Start as soon as possible. Signing up for the test is quite a process in itself, so I recommend starting as soon as possible. 
  1. You have to apply for a license with the Board of Nursing that you wish to work in and also register with Pearson VUE. 
  2. Afterwards, you also have to sign up for the background check, and then get your fingerprint done. 
  3. Upon graduation, a confirmation that you completed a nursing program needs to be sent to the Board of nursing so then you receive your ATT and can schedule a test date.
  • Determine what resources you wish to use. This  will  help you develop a study plan. I personally used the Saunders Comprehensive NCLEX Review book and UWorld. Here’s why:
    • I used the Saunders book throughout nursing school, along with Adaptive Quizzing, in order to prepare for exams in nursing school. Practice questions are key in school. It is nice to use a physical textbook with Saunders because I can annotate when answering questions and  reviewing content.
    • UWorld was very helpful. I used the package with two practice tests. I took one of the tests very early on, and completed all of the questions in the bank. However, I completed the second test a couple of days before the NCLEX. I did about 100 questions a day - sometimes 100 in the morning and 100 in the evening. UWorld has an app so I would answer questions on the go instead of scrolling through social media 

I hope you have learned something from my tips. Continue to work hard on your goal, and I’m sure you will reach it. Best of luck, #futurenurses!