Nursing School Graduation Made Easy: Nursing Graduation Checklist

If you're like me, you look through Pinterest to find all the answers for everything. Pinterest has been really good when it comes to providing me with all sorts of ideas and sources to use. When my nursing graduation was right around corner, I looked through Pinterest for some kind of checklist for me to use to keep organized. Surprisingly, there was not a lot of pins regarding nursing graduation. Yes there were a lot of pins that showed different kinds of graduation cap ideas, but I was looking for an actual timeline or checklist when planning a nursing graduation. So I decided to make one for myself with the hopes that you will find it useful for yourself.

Nursing Graduation List:

  1. Apply for graduation/NCLEX (mid-semester)
  2. Purchase cap and gown (mid-late semester)
  3. Make sure you pass! (end of semester)
  4. Buy cap decorations (1 week after finals)
  5. Take grad pics (1 week after finals)
  6. Create & design invites (1 week after finals)
  7. Make an invite list & send invites (1 week after finals)
  8. Party Ideas (can be done whenever)
  9. Purchase dress and shoes (1 week before graduation)
  10. Graduate & Party time! (graduation date)
  • Apply for graduation/NCLEX - Every school usually has their own due date on when to submit an application for graduation. Ours was in the middle of the semester, which was nerve wrecking since we were all still trying to pass this one last class. But make sure to submit yours by their due date and when approved, make sure you get a copy! Some institutions help with the process of applying for the NCLEX. My institution provided us with the Board of Nursing applications, we filled it out and they submitted it for us. This also has a due date before the semester ends. They don't send the applications until after graduation date.
  • Purchase cap and gown - This was also offered early, way before graduation date as well. I'm not sure how early other institutions are, but I know this process can be intimidating to complete. I say that because some people do not want to purchase a cap and gown until they're sure that they passed the class. But during this process, positivity is so important. I would purchase the cap and gown regardless of an unknown outcome, unless you have solid evidence that passing is inevitable. Some institutions may even run out of stock so whenever available, be positive, know you will graduate, and purchase your cap and gown! :)
  • Make sure you pass! - If you don't pass, unfortunately there will be no graduation.
  • Buy cap decorations and decorate - Usually done in the end, when it is definite that you will be graduating. Go on Pinterest for inspiration and start decorating yours!
  • Take grad pics - This is optional. I chose to do it with the help of my brother. It's something fun to do. I used my grad pics for my invitations.
  • Create & design invites - My institution provided cards where we can print our invites with their logo embedded on it. But you can get creative and make your own!
  • Make a list & send invites - start sending!
  • Party ideas - I used Pinterest to help me plan mine. 
  • Purchase dress and shoes
  • Graduate! & Party! - go and walk! Don't forget to party!

You've graduated, so what now?

If you read the first step of the nursing graduation list, you will see that it's NCLEX time. Whether or not you institution helped with the application process, you have to apply to take the NCLEX through the Board of Nursing. You have to fill out the application process and make sure that you have everything you need according to the state that you're applying to. Once submitted, follow up with the Board of Nursing. If your school sent out the applications for you,  follow up with the school and then the Board of Nursing. Once the Board of Nursing has confirmed that they have received it, give them 4-5 days to process the application. Within 1-2 weeks, you will receive your ATT (Authorization To Test) code via e-mail. Once you get this code, follow their directions and schedule your NCLEX date whenever you're ready to take it. Then you're all set! Happy Nursing!

Click here to read my blog: what I did to pass the NCLEX or to read about my NCLEX experience.