Ep #2. The 5 Things I Wish I Knew RIGHT After I Graduated Nursing School

What the heck do you do in the transition phase from being in nursing school to being a new grad nurse? I have decided to share the five things that I wish I knew when I was in this phase so that I can help you feel more confident and get that dang job!


The very first thing that I wish I did right out of nursing school is take a vacation. Taking a vacation can be very challenging once you jump into the process of preparing for your first nursing job, accepting that job offer, and working through orientation. Right now is the perfect time to congratulate yourself for completing nursing school and take some time to rest


After you have taken this much needed break, the second thing you should do is make sure that you have your ATT number, which is the number you need in order to test for the NCLEX. Some universities/colleges will help you with this, but for many you are on your own with figuring out the details. Determine what it is you need to have in to the State of Nursing ASAP and get it done!

Determine the tools that are most helpful for YOU to start planning your study plan. Take an online test to determine what type of learner you are and give yourself 4-6 weeks of study time. The main study tool that I used was UWorld, which was beneficial for my visual learning style, because it gave me a visual representation and understanding of every single rationale for both the correct and incorrect answers.

Be sure to set up your study environment in a similar way to that of the NCLEX. I recommend doing mixed review questions where you are alone, your phone is set aside, and no other tabs are open on your computer.


Build your resume NOW so that it is relevant and appropriate for the nursing jobs you are applying to. Your resume needs to be a concise, one page document that includes relevant certifications. Also, make sure to include nursing related experiences, such as clinicals or nursing assistant positions, and leave out burger flipping or babysitting jobs. If you are in the New Grad Master Class you have access to my resume from when I applied to my very first nursing job!


The fourth thing that I wish I knew, was to begin looking for my dream job prior to passing my NCLEX. There is this old-school mindset that you have to start on a generalized floor such as Med-surg in order to be a successful nurse, which is not true AT ALL. So many specialized floors love new grads because they can mold you into the nurse that they NEED you to be. In my New Grad Master Class, we go over what jobs you should be looking for as a new grad versus somebody who has experience.


It is so important to prepare for your interview BEFORE it happens. At the interview, you want to have an idea of what job you applied for and questions for the interviewer such as “what do you expect of me if I am to be a nurse on this floor?” Make a list of a few potential questions and have a friend or family member mock interview you! My New Grad Master Class has sample interview questions, but I also recommend asking your school about mock interview opportunities.

Success happens when you PREPARE! You may feel overwhelmed and alone through this process but remember that we all have gone through it. FOLLOW THE TIPS OF THOSE BEFORE YOU, use them as your guide to success!

If you are a new grad nurse and still have questions or need additional help, check out my New Grad Master Class. In the course we  go over how to build your resume, prepare for your interview, apply for the appropriate jobs, rock your orientation, speak to physicians, ensure that you have a great relationship with the nurses on your unit, and confidently be prepared as an independent nurse while you’re on orientation with a preceptor.


The New Graduate Master Class Information can be found HERE!

Show notes written by Maddie Walker