NCLEX to job, how long?

  1. Hi there,
    I wanted to see how long it took new grads to get a job after passing the NCLEX? I am currently set to graduate from an ADN program in two weeks. Our school has told us that we can expect to take the NCLEX Feb/March 2019. I am currently working as a CNA & plan to begin applying to jobs at my facility upon graduating. About how long does it take most people to find a job once they have passed the NCLEX? Is 2-3 months after an unrealistic expectation?
    I would like to know your thoughts & experiences.
  2. Visit JyRn18 profile page

    About JyRn18

    Joined: Oct '17; Posts: 5; Likes: 5
    from NY , US

    4 Comments

  3. by   MotoMonkey
    I think that the answer to your question is completely dependent on where you are and the types of jobs you are applying to. In my area most hospitals have new grad programs and they hire for these programs a few times a year. Students will often apply to these programs a month or two before graduation and may have conditional job offers before graduation. These programs do not usually start until about 2 months after graduation so students have time to take their NCLEX.

    I wouldnt imagine that 2 or 3 months after graduation would be unrealistic to find a job, especially if you are applying to jobs near your graduation date, this would give enough time for your school to send the required info to your state board of nursing and for you to take your NCLEX, plus time to interview ect.
  4. by   rzyzzy
    Quote from JyRn18
    Hi there, I wanted to see how long it took new grads to get a job after passing the NCLEX? I am currently set to graduate from an ADN program in two weeks. Our school has told us that we can expect to take the NCLEX Feb/March 2019. I am currently working as a CNA & plan to begin applying to jobs at my facility upon graduating. About how long does it take most people to find a job once they have passed the NCLEX? Is 2-3 months after an unrealistic expectation? I would like to know your thoughts & experiences.
    Well, first things first - taking the nclex requires authorization from your state board.. In my program, finals were done well before Christmas & the state was notified electronically that you passed the program literally within days of getting the grades..

    If you've applied for a license already (like literally a month ago), and you're in the state's system as a license applicant, the state can and will authorize you to take the test right then. So, you could theoretically be in the Pearson testing website looking for a test day before or shortly after New Years.

    The test date selection website will let you pick from the available test dates and test sites. You might be able to take the nclex the day after you get authorization if you want to. Logging out of that website & checking the next day or different testing locations will likely reveal different available dates for testing.

    If you've paid the fees to the state and to Pearson promptly, submitted fingerprints, etc - you can test very quickly.. January 10th or 15th might be possible.. During that time, the state will be running your background check with the FBI- that's the one major uncontrollable variable..

    Sometimes background checks take a week, sometimes they take two months.. Once you've passed the nclex, assuming everything is in order, your only holdup for licensing is the background check, and how quickly your state processes applications. You've got a leg up by graduating in December , because not nearly as many nurses graduate then, so much easier to get a quick test date & less apps should mean faster processing by your state board.

    Once the state turns your license on, getting a job is all on you & the market where you live, where you apply. If you're looking in ltc, your current employer may just change your job title within days of getting the license..

    They might fire you too, nothing personal- but if you're licensed as a nurse, there are responsibilities attached to that license that you can't fulfill working as a cna in many states..

    I graduated from my lpn program in December & had a license in early February & a job at the first place I applied to in person- maybe February 15th or so? Many of my classmates hadn't even tested when I got my first job. I wasted a few days applying online.. If you've got a shiny new license, I'd print some hard copies of that resume & show up in person at the places you want to work.

    i don't think most students know that you can apply for the license before you actually graduate & that it speeds things up with the board of nursing.. You're "in the system", so it makes it easy for the state to give you that authorization to test & they can send your prints out for the background check
    Last edit by rzyzzy on Dec 9
  5. by   shasta13
    I received a job offer 2 months prior to graduation, contingent upon actually graduating and passing the NCLEX, of course. From the time of the job offer to my official first day of work took a span of 4 months. I was one of the first ones in my class to get a job offer; many students weren't looking at the time. Also, many of my classmates didn't start looking until after graduation and we ended up starting jobs at the same time. I would think that would depend greatly on your location.
  6. by   emmjayy
    Totally depends. I had a job offer in March, graduated mid-May, took the NCLEX at the end of May, and then had a nice month off from school/studying/work before I had to start my job.

    Most of the people in my program had jobs lined up prior to graduation, because that's just the way the job market works around here. Hospitals post their new grad positions anywhere from three months to two weeks prior to when schools are set to churn out their next batch of new grads. Not a single hospital waits until after graduation time to start posting positions. Obviously it's different in different parts of the country, though! You would probably be better off asking students who graduated a year ahead of you what it was like.

close