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Am I shooting myself in the foot?

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by libby11 libby11 (Member) Member

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Any feedback, comments or thoughts on the following are welcome.

I'm a nursing student expected to graduate as an ADN in August of 2013 from a small, private college in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I make make mostly Bs. I will have about 1 year of CNA experience upon graduation. I am moving to Dallas (Addison), TX immediately after graduation. As background information, my sister lives there and I will be moving in with her.

From what I've been reading, it seems that I can take my NCLEX in TX and be licensed to practice there right away (WI & TX are in the Nurse Licensure Compact). Anyone believe otherwise?

Will Dallas hospitals look unfavorably upon my decision to move immediately after graduation?

I've been trying to learn more about getting jobs before becoming officially licensed, but need more input on this topic. Some nurses state they started working as 'graduate nurses' before completing their NCLEX (after graduating classes). Some nurses get jobs before graduating classes entirely or before completing the NCLEX, and then begin working once the NCLEX has been passed. So, how common is this? What are the best tips on how to secure employment before graduating/passing the NCLEX? And, is it even realistic to think about doing so being that I'm currently not in the state I wish to work in?

Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!

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2 Followers; 14,620 Posts; 103,785 Profile Views

You can apply for licensure in TX, and take the NCLEX exam anywhere that is convenient for you. You don't have to physically take it in TX. You do have to ask your nursing school to send your documentation to TX; most nursing programs automatically send graduating students' info to their own BON -- they can send it to another state, but you have to let them know that that's what you want them to do.

If you're moving to TX, the NLC (Nurse Licensure Compact) won't really factor into any of this. A license from a "compact state" (member of the NLC) can be used to work in any other compact state (only) as long as you maintain your permanent residence in your "home" state. Unless you're going to maintain a permanent, legal residence in WI, you have to apply for TX licensure when you move there, even though they are both compact states and even if you are already licensed in WI. One of the rules of the NLC is that you're only allowed licensure in one compact state at a time; if you move to another compact state, you have 30 days to apply for licensure in the new state, and then your old license automaticallly becomes void.

Employers will not be particularly put off by your just having moved to the area if you have a good reason (like joining family, your sister, already there) and it doesn't look like some temporary whim on your part. Lots of people go to school someplace that they have no intention of staying in permanently, and relocate when they finish school. As a new graduate, you might be at somewhat of a disadvantage compared to local new graduates of programs the area hospitals/employers are familiar with, but it's not any kind of "fatal flaw."

Whether or not you can work as a GN (graduate nurse) in TX is, first, a legal matter. Fewer and fewer state BONs are offering GN status as time goes on. ("Graduate nurse" status dates back to the days when the boards were only offered twice a year, and it could take as long as two months to get results. Depending on when you graduated, you could be looking at a six or eight month wait to get a license. Now that graduates can schedule the test whenever it suits them and get results very quickly, BONs see less need for a mechanism for new graduates to be able to work before they are formally licensed). Second, even if it is an option legally, more and more employers are choosing not to employ GNs, and only deal with people who have permanent license in hand. If it is an option in TX, you would be able to request GN status when you apply for initial licensure in TX (GN status is done on a state-by-state basis, good only in that state, and you have to have applied for licensure in that state -- just being a nursing school graduate isn't sufficient).

Best wishes for your journey!

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HouTx has 35 years experience as a BSN, MSN, EdD and specializes in Critical Care, Education.

9,051 Posts; 44,936 Profile Views

^^^ this^^^

Texas has a very efficient NCLEX system, so there is really no need for an extended period of time as a GN these days. This is not the case in some other states, where new grads can have loooonnnggg waits before they can sit NCLEX (like La).

Elkpark is absolutely correct -very few employers are hiring GNs these days; they require them to pass NCLEX first. The primary reason is due to the fact that the GN drops off into a "limbo" situation if s/he does not pass NCLEX... cannot work as an RN any longer, so s/he is unable to continue in any sort of RN training program. Figuring out what to do in the interim can be very challenging, particularly for hiring managers that are extremely concerned about productivity and labor budgets these days.

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2 Followers; 14,620 Posts; 103,785 Profile Views

Elkpark is absolutely correct -very few employers are hiring GNs these days; they require them to pass NCLEX first. The primary reason is due to the fact that the GN drops off into a "limbo" situation if s/he does not pass NCLEX... cannot work as an RN any longer, so s/he is unable to continue in any sort of RN training program.

The main reason I heard, back when I worked as hospital surveyor and this would come up in conversation, was that it's much harder to keep track of GNs and their status now. "Back in the day," the nursing administration and HR departments of every hospital knew exactly which day all the new grads took their boards, and roughly (within a few days) when everyone got their licenses (or not, as the case may be :)), and it was v. easy to keep track of who got licensed and who didn't. Now, with everyone taking the NCLEX on a different day and making those arrangements independently, it's just too much trouble for employers to keep track of who gets licensed when, and they're not willing to put in the effort or take the risk of ending up having someone working for them, even briefly, without appropriate licensure.

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