Your First Day on the Job After an LPN to RN Program
After graduating your LPN to RN program, passing the NCLEX, job hunting, and negotiating a salary – you’re finally about to start your first day on the job! Becoming an RN isn’t easy. This year, only 71% of NCLEX candidates passed their exam. If you've gotten this far we sincerely congratulate you. Try not to focus on worrying about your first day, and instead celebrate your achievements so far! After that, you can follow some of these steps to get a head start at your new job.
Preparing for your first day on the job as an RN is pretty straightforward. You will need to…
- Study all of the information that they sent you on the position. Memorize all of the important parts so that you are entirely sure of what you will be doing for your orientation.
- Schedule any physical exams or drug tests that they require.
- Purchase any scrubs, stethoscopes, or shoes that you need to be comfortable and in uniform. Some hospitals require that your scrubs be a certain color – so you may not be able to wear the ones you used in your LPN to RN program.
- Purchase compression socks to help your feet during the long shifts ahead.
- Fill a folder with information to take on your first day. This includes orientation information, any usernames or passwords, and any documents they asked you to bring.
After you’ve done all of this, you will be completely prepared for your first day on the job!
All About an RN Job Orientation
Nursing job orientations can last anywhere from a couple weeks to 7 or 8 months. The length of a nursing job orientation depends on where you work. During an orientation, you will be assigned a preceptor or mentor to guide you through the process. Some programs assign you to only one preceptor/mentor, and others give you several. They will be responsible for teaching you directly, and guide you through the orientation process.
The orientation will cover a lot of information in a short amount of time, so it’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed. You will go over your job benefits, facility procedures, the computer system, incident reporting, and more. You may think that the length of your orientation is enough to learn all of this. For most new nurses, this is not the case. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources out there to help. You can use these websites and articles to get started…
- 50 Things New Nurses Need to Know About Orientation is a great resource at AllNurses written by an experienced RN.
- NurseTogether wrote a similar resource with 10 tips on being successful during a new nurse orientation.
- This article by a nurse at the Lippincott NursingCenter really showcases the struggles and feelings of a new nurse.
How to Renew Your RN License
Immediately after getting your RN license, the renewal clock starts ticking down. Eventually, your time will be up and you will need to renew your license. The period of time you have before you need to renew your nursing license depends entirely on the state you are licensed in. You will need to check with your state’s board of nursing to find this information. Usually, you can renew your license online with your state’s board of nursing website.
Every state’s renewal policies are different, but most of them require three things…
- That you have no delinquent student loans.
- That you’ve completed your Continuing Nurse Education credits.
- That your license is not currently in delinquent or inactive status.
If you fit all of these criteria, it’s very likely that you can simply submit an online renewal and pay the fee right from the comfort of home.
The Basics of Continuing Nurse Education (CNE)
As mentioned above, to renew your RN license you will usually need to complete continuing education requirements. Sometimes the hospital you work for will also legally be required to have you take continuing education depending on your position. These credits can be gained in one of two ways…
- Workplace benefits will sometimes cover continuing education for you. They may train you themselves or instead reimburse you.
- You can take continuing education courses online.
There are many websites that offer continuing nurse education courses. By far, the best website to get your continuing education with is at Nurse.com.
What to Do After an LPN to RN Program
There are many career options on the table after getting an RN license. Whether you got an ADN or a BSN will usually determine what you can do next. We created this helpful infographic to guide you through the many options you have in your career.
- Your LPN Career: The BIG Guide - July 27, 2015
- ADN VS BSN Degrees [InfoGraphic] - July 20, 2015
- Is it worth it to get an LPN before nursing school? - July 1, 2015