September 12th, 2008 | The Blog
As an old veteran, graduate nurses who are entering into the profession frequently ask me for advice. A newly minted graduate nurse asked the following question on NursingVoices:
“I am about to graduate in December from an ADN program and now I am beginning to wonder if it is wise to take a position as a Graduate Nurse and then take the boards. Or, should I take the boards and pass before I take a position anywhere?“
There is nothing like old fashion experience to help a new graduate nurse get ready for their nursing NCLEX. I advise new nurses to immediately line up a nursing job so they can jump right into nursing after they get out of school. Most hospitals offer extended hospital orientation programs for new graduate nurses, as well as other opportunities, such as nursing intern. Nursing internship programs provide the novice nurse with the knowledge base and skill sets needed to transition into the real world of nursing. This helps new graduates gain nursing competence in a clinical setting while preparing for their state boards. Nursing internship programs also teach new nurses how to work collaboratively within a multidisciplinary team. The programs serve as a bridge that fills the gap between undergraduate education and real life professional nursing practice. Working as a nurse is stressful, and hospitals are doing whatever they can to help new graduates avoid real-world culture shock and burnout.
Good hospital orientation and nursing internship programs last at least 6- to 12-months. These programs are designed to help new nurses feel less overwhelmed as they enter the real world of nursing. A preceptor and a new nurse work in a buddy system. This allows the new nurse to gain experience while building his or her confidence in the workplace. The ultimate goal of the preceptor is to teach their partner how to apply nursing theory at the patient bedside. This experience is invaluable to anyone who is preparing to take his or her state boards. Nurses who work in hospitals also get many other benefits such as tuition reimbursement for academic advancement, tuition for CPR, PALS, and other certification programs, and monetary rewards for receiving specialty certification or academic advancement.
The best way to prepare for the nursing boards is to dive right into nursing. If you’re still looking for your first job, check out NursingJobs.org. Moreover, if you’re a new graduate nurse who needs some advice, come talk to the nurses at NursingVoices. You can always find someone there who understands what you’re going through. We want to hear from you.