Hey Joy, my fiancee will finish nursing school in a December month. And I know that there are a quite a few schools that start in January. Is it possible to get an ICU job that quickly so she can apply for the January term at schools?
Or does it take a certain amount of time to get that RN license?
And if the ICU experience is 11.5 months because of that, do they not accept the application?
Comments for Post BSN application timeline
Jan 14, 2011
I love your ambition, but….
I appreciate your ambition, and it definitely could be done, but I wouldn’t recommend pushing that much to get into a January program. Whether or not she gets an ICU job right away completely depends on the job market where she lives.
In California, new grad jobs are few and far between. My husband just graduated with an associates in nursing and out of his class of 20, only 5 of them got jobs within 6 months of graduation (and the jobs the other grads got weren’t even in hospitals).
To clarify, yes, there still is a huge nursing shortage, IF you have at least 6 months experience – hospitals are not putting out the money to train new nurses with the economy the way it is. That may change by the time she gets out, and it may not be as big of an issue in the state she lives in.
Passing the NCLEX? About 80% pass the first time. You become eligible to take the test the day you graduate school – most students take it within a month of graduation (your chances of passing it are much better the sooner you take it). If you fail, you have to wait a while before you can take it again.
ALSO, though the minimum requirement is one year ICU experience, many schools want you to have completed that by the time you apply (a whole year before the program starts). If she only has 11.5 months by the time she applies, I’m sure it will be fine. The more competitive the school is, the more stringent their requirements.
There are a few less competitive schools that will accept your application after only 2 or 3 months ICU experience (and your acceptance to their program is contingent on successful completion of 1 full year ICU). When this is the case with a school, I specify it in their requirement section (it’s quite rare). As for the RN license, most hospitals will hire you as a new grad as long as you take the NCLEX (and pass) within 3 months of hire.
Jan 14, 2011
Any disadvantages to applying early?
Thanks for the reply Joy. Very informative.
Got a couple more questions for you… is there any con to start applying to schools as soon as you meet the min requirement of experience besides the cost of application?
I guess the ICU experience would help in CRNA school as well too. But, at this point, being a 2nd career for her (currently a doctor of chiropractic) the sooner the better. So, does it hurt to apply?
Also, speaking of her 1st career, do you think that garners any extra edge to get into CRNA schools since it’s a patient care field and technically a doctorate degree (where she was valedictorian)? Thanks in advance for your reply!
Jan 14, 2011
It never hurts to apply
Her grades will make her a very competitive applicant, and I think it will definitely give her an edge in the application process. Because this is a second career for her, and time is money, I think it’s a great idea to apply early.
No, the only con is the cost of applications (and the time it takes to fill them out). When applicants don’t meet a schools requirements, the applications are immediately thrown in the trash without further review (though some schools will keep them on file for a year or two). You may find exceptions to this if you call the program contact person ahead of time and ask about your specific situation. Some directors I’ve called have been extremely helpful and accommodating (and it seemed as if they’d make exceptions for people in a situation like yours), while others have seemed cold and rude and couldn’t wait to get me off the phone.
If you have a bad experience, keep trying. If I remember right, Rosalind Franklin and Fransiscan Skemp contact people were the most helpful and accommodating I’ve talked to so far. I also heard from a student at Virginia Commonwealth University that it was an amazing program, and also that one of their students applied after only 3 months ICU experience and was accepted (she had a very high GPA and was competitive in other ways).