FREEEEDOOOOOMMMM!!! You hear yourself say. Finally, after all the struggles and sacrifices, you survived nursing school. Can you believe that? All those nights spent on drug studies, all the Friday night-outs you said “NO” to just to study for next week’s exams, all the occasions you missed for clinical duties, all the hours of sleep you lost. I know you get the picture.
Nursing school wasn’t exactly easy. In fact, it was so challenging it made you question why you ever wanted to be a nurse in the first place and yet you survived! Here you are with diploma in hand and a bright smile plastered on your face. Then came the nagging questions. Have you really done it? Is it really over? What’s next for you? What should you do next?
Pass the nursing board
First things first. You have to prepare yourself and pass the nursing board. That meant additional sleepless nights of studying, but once you get to hold your license, it would all be worth it. After all, with both your diploma and nursing license in hand, you can now conquer the (nursing) world. Opportunities await so let’s go!
What do you really want for your career?
Settle down from all the excitement and nerves. Sit down, reflect. What do you want to do? Think, think, think. Consider you passion, what do you like to do best? Are you patient? Do you like children? Then you might want to consider a career in pediatric nursing. Or are you fond of technology and applications? Then nursing informatics might just be the one for you.
At present, the nursing profession houses dozens of specializations to choose from. Nursing is not anymore limited to providing bedside care. Choose the one which is closes to your heart. Choose the job which you feel will make you the happiest and is most rewarding for you. Nursing is a long and challenging journey, make it worth it.
Vamp up your CV and resume
Fix your CV and resume, make it appealing to employers. However, the problem here is that as a fresh graduate there’s not so much to include in them. Do not worry, we all started from there. Just be confident of all the skills and knowledge you have acquired in nursing school. And hey, there’s still time to attend nursing related seminars and trainings to gain experience.
Looking for a job can be very stressful. It will lead to a lot of disappointments and frustrations that would discourage you and even push you to quit, which you shouldn’t do. You’ve come this far, my friend. Now is not the time to quit, but the time to conquer. Keep an eye on hospital and agency websites as lots of jobs are posted there. Fuel yourself with determination to go on and surround yourself with people who encourage you to do things.
Take care of your health
Yes, you want to be successful and all that, but hey don’t overwork yourself. Take things easy. What you need to learn in order to survive in this profession is that when taking care of others, you also have to take good care of yourself. How exactly can you help a sick patient recover, when you are sick, too? Get enough rest, eat healthy food, exercise and stay feet. Practice what you preach, live the healthy lifestyle that you keep telling your patients to observe.
And oh, you might want to get complete vaccines and screenings since as nurse we are exposed to a lot of health threats. Congratulations, new graduate and good luck! A bright future awaits.