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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Nursing School Graduation Checklist

Nursing school, Graduation, Nursing student, New nurse, Checklist, Nursing graduation, NCLEX, Resume, Boards

Nursing School Graduation Checklist

Congratulations on being in your last semester of nursing school!!!! Whoooo hoooo!!! You're almost there!! There are just a few more things that you need to do before you graduate. I'm including a list of popular things that nursing schools will require before graduation in a handy dandy list that you can use to stay organized!

OK. I'm about to graduate in less than 90 days. SQUEAL!!

I've almost forgotten to fill out a form (twice!) this semester for graduation. So I decided I needed a checklist. Because I love lists. And I love marking through things... Seriously. That's a better feeling than popping bubble wrap. Which popping bubble wrap is already ridiculously satisfying.

In case you didn't know already, graduating nursing school is EXPENSIVE. I sincerely hope that you were able to save up some money because you will be spending a lot on fees and tests.

  • Apply for Graduation- this is usually earlier in the semester. First couple weeks of the semester. I suggest looking this up on week one though. My entire class missed the deadline because no one noticed it. Whoops. Don't let that happen to you!
  • RSVP to Graduation- some schools make you do this, some schools don't. You'll need to reserve seats for those that will be coming to your ceremony. This may or may not cost money for each seat you reserve for graduation.
  • Join Honor Societies- If you've been invited and wish to join some honor societies, such as Sigma Theta Tau, now is the time to do so. This could also be a multiple step process... and also cost money. $100 give or take dependent on the society. 
  • Order Cap and Gowns- You might also want to order some invites (although I'll make my own using Picmonkey and Microsoft Publisher) or you might want a pin. They'll have lots of cool, cute, expensive things for you to buy for graduation. $75 ish ball park. 
  • Apply for Your State Boards- Each state will be different. I'm in about week 8 of school and I just filled out information for my state boards. I also had to request a transcript be mailed to the state department after I graduate. So each state will be different. Make sure to read up on the requirements of your state. Also, you'll probably fork out about 50 bucks.
  • Get Another Background Check- I need to do this for my state license. I imagine nearly every state requires this. Mine I can't do until about 2 months before graduation. If I got it a day earlier it would be voided. So be sure to look into that fine print. This will also cost some money. $50-75.
  • Sign up for Kaplan- Or any other test taking strategy courses that you'd like to take before taking your NCLEX exam. My school uses Kaplan, I believe a lot of other schools do as well. This is an expensive booger. About $400. So Save up!!
  • Sign up for Other Certifications- I'm going back and forth on whether or not I want to take any other certifications. I'm thinking about Clinical Nurse Leader, but there's not too big of a market out there for it, and that's a whopper at around $350 to just potentially throw out the window. So this bullet point is completely optional.
  • Sign up to take your NCLEX- I can sign up and pay for my NCLEX before graduation, but I will have to wait about 2 weeks after graduation before I get my authorization code from my state so that I can apply to a testing center and set up a time. Be patient when you graduate because the school will need to send your transcripts to your states capitol to get them approved so that you can sit for boards. It's not a very fast process. States vary in times from each other. My state takes around 2-3 weeks. I've heard of some taking longer. Sorry!
  • Create Your Resume- You might start applying for jobs a couple months away from graduation. So make sure you have a killer resume, and cover letter. I'm also including my Linked In information on my resume so that interested parties can look into my background more in depth. I've kept my resume short and sweet. It's just one page. But I'm a new nurse, so my experience is very limited. As my career grows, so shall my resume.

That's pretty much it folks. Just make sure to keep studying for tests. Finish out your preceptorships. You're so ridiculously close.

Also, thanks for being patient with me. I have a large midterm tomorrow and my posts have greatly diminished this week. Thanks for the continued support!

Is there anything else you can think to add to this list?? Leave me a comment below!!



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