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Do’s and Don’ts After Graduation

NP Graduates

Do’s and Don’ts After Graduation

graduating nurse title image

The details after graduation can seem overwhelming, but they are necessary for you to practice.

I have discovered that most nurse practitioner (NP) students have the same questions about employment and role transitioning. Here are a few things to consider after graduation:


  • Celebrate

    Congratulations on your graduation from NP school! Do celebrate completing your rigorous program. Now is the time to have a party, go on a vacation, or simply read a book for leisure. Enjoy the fruits of your hardwork!

  • Rest

    Do dive into self-care. We take care of patients for a living and we do it well. Often, we neglect to take the time to sleep, hydrate, and eat nutritious foods. Take some time off to pamper yourself. Guys, you too!

  • Study

    Do decide which certification exam, *AANP or ANCC, you will take and develop a study plan. Set a schedule that accommodates a combination of reviews: books, live reviews, and study groups.

  • Prepare

    Do prepare your documents before graduation. First, request your transcript to be released to AANP or ANCC once your degree is conferred. Second, apply for the certification of your choice. Third, set a date for your certification exam. Once you pass your exam, apply for your state’s NP licensure. You got this!

  • Apply

    Do prepare your resume and portfolio for your job search. Some schools include resume building, negotiating, and interviewing in their curriculum. If not, a great resource is John Hopkins’ Resume Guide or your school’s career services.


  • Don’t Settle

    Don’t settle for the first job that is offered without exploring your options and the current pay rate for your specialty. Yes, new graduates can negotiate their salary and benefits. Know your worth!

  • Don’t Sign Until You Read

    Don’t sign a contract before reading it in its entirety. Always ask for clarification when you come across an expectation you do not understand.

  • Don’t Tolerate Inactivity

    Don’t tolerate incivility just because you are new to the role. Every NP has had a learning curve when transitioning from taking orders to giving orders. Consider connecting with a mentor to encourage you until you gain confidence in your new role.

  • Don’t Forget to Get Insurance

    Don’t forget to carry malpractice insurance whether your employer provides it or not. Some policies under your employer may not include coverage after resignation or outcomes that have occurred as a result of care provided outside of your scope of practice.

  • Don’t Forget to Network

    Don’t forget to connect with a professional organization for networking, support, and continuing education. It’s important to stay up-to-date in the ever-changing field of healthcare.

Kadia Prospere, MSN, FNP-C

Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Profession of Georgia State University Class of 2017

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