Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Finished Nursing School, Now What?

It’s that feeling you have when you are on summer break: “What do I do now?”  After months of studying and cramming, your body and brain now have to adjust to your new normal. Do you fill this space with more studying for the next step, or do you allow yourself this break to spend time with family and friends and have a little “me” time?  

Whether you have recently graduated from nursing school, or are just on a summer break, I don’t think that there is a right or a wrong answer.

However, if you are looking for a few suggestions on how you might spend your time this summer, consider this short list:

1. Get a summer job. Spend your time this summer either volunteering, working as a nurse’s aide, or in a clinic setting. These skills will help you professionally and look great on a résumé. This applies to those of you who are looking for a nursing job right after school, as well.  Don’t be afraid to get a summer job until you land that great job as a registered nurse.

2. Work on your résumé. Have an expert review your résumé and make sure it stays current. It is easy to lose track of all of the great things you are doing! Don’t sell yourself short.

3. Study. Nobody wants to study on break, but if you are done with school, this is the time to be studying for boards or taking classes to make you a confident tester. If you are just on break, you may want to take this time to review some of the subjects you had difficulty with over the year.

4. Be social. We are social creatures and nursing school sometimes has a way of stealing that from us.  Remind your family that you are still around and spend some quality time with friends. It may be awhile before they see you again come fall!

5. Re-certify. Is it time to renew your Basic Life Support?  Do you want to get a certification that may help you with a job or clinical placement in the future, such as NRP or ACLS?  Now is the time to do it.

6. Relax! There is something to be said about stepping away from all things nursing and focusing on yourself. Go outside and get some Vitamin D. Start yoga or another healthy exercise habit. Eat healthy and detox your body from the year of stress you have had. Start working on building healthy habits for this coming year that you can sustain.

What do you anticipate doing for the remainder of this summer? Will it be a nice, relaxing summer or will you be busy the whole time? What other suggestions would you add to this list? Thank you for sharing any thoughts!

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