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I started applying for jobs about 4 months before i graduated. Most places i applied to (both hospitals and long term care facilities) were very willing to hire me with out having taken the boards yet, as long as i had my temp to practice permit. Most places that are willing to hire w/o license will have stipulations that you must take and pass boards within 4-6 months of hire, if you take and fail then you may no longer keep your job. My first job after graduation was at a hospital and i had 6 months to take and pass boards. Hope this helps.