Summer is a great time of year to do some of the tasks that often get pushed to the backburner during the regular school year. Things usually slow down during the hot summer months and that gives nursing students some time to do those important, but not critical, tasks that will help advance their nursing career.

Here are 5 things you can do this summer to advance your nursing career.

1. Study for the NCLEX

Even if you’re not taking summer courses, it’s still a great idea to hit the books during the summer and study for the NCLEX exam. Set a weekly review schedule to keep the material top of mind throughout the summer. Carving out some summer hours to study will pay off down the line when you have a full course load during the regular semester.

Check out this post for some additional tips on how to prepare for (and ultimately pass) the NCLEX.

2. Network

Take some time to research nursing associations in your area and attend a meeting or two this summer. This is a great way to gain industry contacts and learn more about the nursing profession. Deepen your involvement by volunteering for a committee or service project this summer.

There are many nursing associations for minority nurses including Black Nurses Rock, the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, and the Asian American/Pacific Islander Nurses Association.

3. Informational Interviews

Joining a nursing association and researching potential employers will yield some new nursing industry contacts. Ask your new colleagues for informational interviews for insights into life as a practicing nurse. These connections can offer valuable information about employers and day-to-day life as a nurse.

4. Research Employers

Graduation day will come soon enough, so it’s a great idea to research your local job market. Make a list of all of the potential employers you may be interested in working for in the future and read through any job openings they have posted. Make note of the key qualifications and skills each employer is seeking and create a plan for how you will develop those skills in your own career.

5. Relax

Finally, don’t forget to relax this summer. Rest and self-care will provide the restoration needed to hit the ground running when classes start again the fall.

Denene Brox

Denene Brox is a freelance writer based in Kansas City.

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