Can I work as a graduate nurse prior to taking the NCLEX?

Nurses New Nurse


Hi Everyone,

I'll be graduating in December, probably won't take boards until February. In the meantime, can I work/train as an RN in a medical setting? I will have my diploma, just not my boards yet. I'm in the state of Florida. I already have a job lined up and they are really eager for me to get started asap and I'm anxious to train. Please help me out with this one, I did a google search to no avail and will probably have to call the BON, but I thought you guys might know. Thanks!!


38,333 Posts

If you are hired that way. Often people get interim permits that are good for a certain length of time until the exam is taken. But it depends on your state. You need to inquire with your state Board to see if they issue interim permits.

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

4 Articles; 7,907 Posts

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

Also, keep in mind that should you fail NCLEX, in most states you would immediately be ineligible to keep practicing as a graduate nurse until you do pass the test.

This means that if you're working as a graduate nurse, you may be demoted to nurse tech/aide/etc...or you may find yourself out of a job if the employer needs to fill that position immediately with an RN. I'm not trying to discourage you, but wanted to be sure you were aware of that. Hopefully you won't fail :)


887 Posts

I don't think you'll be able to start as an RN persay. You would have to be hired as a nursing extern and still be shadowed by a RN but you would be able to practice the skills learned in clinicals. Some hospitals have special programs for students that have graduated and not passed boards and sometimes they will give you a time limit to pass them.

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