Hello all! In this post, I wanted to share ways one can prepare for their last semester of nursing school. These are some things I thing every nursing student should know. These tips are great if you will be entering your last semester soon or even if you are in the middle of your last semester. Keep reading if you are interested!
THE LAST STRETCH
First of all, congratulations for making it to your final semester of nursing school! You may feel a sense of relief but also feel overwhelmed with the looming tasks like applying for your license, NCLEX and job interviews/applications. There are a lot of things that people don’t share about the last semester of nursing school. When I was in nursing school, I joined my school’s chapter of the Student Nurses Association and received great advice from senior students. Some of that advice wil be intertwined in this post.
1. Get your resume together.
I cannot stress the importance of this! I am a firm believer that a college student should update their resume before EVERY semester, but for the sake of this post let’s focus on the last semester of nursing school. If you are like most rising final semester students, you are planning on obtaining your first nursing job. You cannot do that without a solid resume and cover letter. Do your research and write a strong resume and cover letter that can be easily altered to fit the specialty you are applying to. (I can write another blog post on this later).
2. Obtain references.
Prior to your semester beginning make sure you have at least 2-4 references. Your best obtain is to have one personal and one professional. The perfect example for a “personal” would be a volunteer coordinator and a “professional” a clinical instructor. Giving your references a “heads up” allows them enough time to write recommendations for you. Another helpful trick is to let them know what jobs you will be applying to. This gives them an idea of how to write your recommendation for better results.
3. ORGANIZE YOUR PAPERWORK.
This last semester you will spend an increased amount of time in clinicals. In order to avoid any hiccups, make sure you have your BLS certification on file. If you alredy have your ACLS and PALS as well, make sure you have those certificates ready to submit if needed. If your program requires a TB test make sure yours is current. I strongly suggest obtaining a copy of your vaccination records from your doctor’s office as well. Your program may ask for it.
4. SAVE MONEY!
This may seem strange, but this is so important. There are a lot of fees that people don’t tell you about the last semester of nursing school. If your program uses ATI, you will pay almost $500.00 for this last semester. You will also have to pay to apply for your RN license. Not to mention you have supplies, tuition/fees, textbook rentals, graduation/diploma fees, stole/cord fees, NCLEX-RN review material… I highly recommend working prior to your last semester and saving up at least $1,000 to feel comfortable with the fees.
Those are my quick tips I would give to anyone entering their last semester of nusing school. I hope these were helpful!