Preparing for My LAST Semester of Nursing School!

Happy Wednesday! I am officially less than one week away from beginning my last semester¬†of nursing school! It’s an exciting, scary, overwhelming feeling! I am looking forward to making the transition the the role of a new grad RN, but the process to get there is a bit daunting. Christmas break has been super busy for me between work, holidays, family, and a much needed trip to Florida. I still have been keeping the focus on school though and have used the time to also get organized and prepared for this semester. I’m sharing some important things to do to be ready for your last class of nursing school!

Update Your Resume

Obviously the end goal of going to nursing school is to land a job as a nurse! Depending on where you live and what the hospitals and other facilities require you may be applying for jobs during your last semester of nursing school! Some places require you be graduated or even have passed your NCLEX and have a license number before applying. No matter what the situation is you are going to need a resume! I updated mine over break so when I apply it is ready to go. Make sure to include volunteer experience and clinical experience!

Purchase an Interview Outfit

Looking professional when you go in to an interview is so important! Go ahead and find a nice suit now to wear to interviews that way when that first phone call comes in you are ready! I splurged and bought a suit from New York and Company about a year ago. It cost me a little more money but I feel really confident in it and it fits me well. Just make sure whatever you buy is appropriate. It doesn’t hurt to take your mom or a friend along for a second opinion. Walk around and sit down in whatever you plan to buy. You don’t want to go home with a skirt that is to short when you sit or pants that are to tight. Professionalism is key when interviewing! Keep it classy!

Prepare for Practicum

By now I’m sure you are an expert at 4am wake up calls and spending the day at the hospital for clinical. In my program you do a preceptorship the last semester where you are paired with a nurse and work her full time schedule for three weeks. This provides a lot of opportunity to learn and gain hands on experience before going out in to the real world. Before starting it’s a good idea to review any skills you may be rusty on. Look up a Youtube or ATI video on catheterizations, IV, trach care, whatever it may be. Also, may sure your bag is packed and you have everything you need! You want to show up prepared to Practicum just like you do for clinical. Stethoscope, pens, highlighters, bandage scissors, and a notebook are all important!. Also, make sure you bring enough food! You may not have time to make it to the cafeteria for a snack so bring something that you can fit in your scrubs and pop in to the break room to quickly eat- like a granola bar or small bag of trail mix.

Prepare for the NCLEX

Shortly after graduation it will be time for the NCLEX! Practicing questions and learning test strategies is important, but registering for the test is a multi-step process and it is best to go ahead and prepare ahead of time. Your program may provide a timeline to follow so always check with them first! You need to make sure you have all your documentation ready to go- and if you don’t- take care of it asap! Birth certificate, social security card, marriage license and divorce decree are needed to complete the process. You also have to have a background check done and apply to both the state board for your license and Pearson Vue for the actually NCLEX test (I will apply to both of these and have my background check done about a month before graduation.) Another heads up, you need to put back some money! It cost about $360 dollars after it is all said and done to take the NCLEX.

Keep Positive and Keep Pushing

This is it! You are finally to the end of the program! It is bound to come with a mix of emotions. You are happy to be finishing the program and you are looking to the future. It also is easy to become focused on events happening outside of school and after graduation, and to lose focus on the actual work required in the last class. You are tired, burn out, broke, just over it! However, you have to keep focused and finish strong! Make a check list, enlist a buddy, do whatever you have to do to make it to the finish line.

Good luck to everyone who is starting a new semester!

Nursing Students! If you are not to the last class yet or even just beginning the program, check out some of my other posts on nursing school!

Seven Tips for Starting Nursing School

Difficult Nurses in Clinical: How to Deal!

Success in Clinicals