My Pinning Ceremony Experience

“I attribute my success to this- I never gave or took any excuse” -Florence Nightingale

I recently got pinned and it was held at our university campus auditorium. Since I transitioned into the accelerated program, our cohort consisted of 16 students and so we were able to bring in as many people as we wanted.

The ceremony was very emotional and exciting at the same time. It felt great to be at the end of the finish line. To be seated on the stage and waiting to get pinned was a dream that I dreamt three years ago and it felt so surreal to be living the dream. It was such a beautiful moment and I was proud of myself and all my classmates. We all shared our joy as we spoke about passing our NCLEX and landing our dream job!

The ceremony started in the afternoon at 2 p.m. We came a little early for rehearsal and then took some group pictures on the campus. When it was time, we walked onto the stage and saw our family sitting in front of us in the auditorium. It was definitely a proud moment for them to see us sitting on the opposite side. There was a slide show running behind us, that showed the group pictures throughout the semesters. As we got called to get pinned, individual pictures, ambitions, future plans and a note to family and friends was displayed on the big projector screen for the audience to see.

Being called your name to get pinned and RN attached next to your name just gave that sense of accomplishment. At that moment, I forgot how stressful nursing school was. It was like giving birth. As soon as you see the baby, you forget about your labor pains. It felt exactly like that. It was definitely worth it going through those 3 years of many sleepless nights and sacrificing special gatherings with family just so I could finish my assignments or study for my exams.

If you’re reading this, I just want to say whatever you’re going through life, just keep going. Don’t look back and don’t give up. It will be worth it at the end!

How to apply for NCLEX

Opportunities don’t happen, you create them!

Applying for NCLEX and nursing license can be tricky. But I am here to help!

Submit an application to your nursing board for your initial license as soon as possible because they take forever to review and also if you were not previously licensed by the consumer affairs for any other profession such as cosmetology, pharmacy technician, etc., then you will need to get your biometrics done in person. This may delay the process due to limited appointment times so make sure you apply to your state consumer affairs at least 2 months before graduation.

Few weeks before graduation, create an account with NCSBN and register for NCLEX. After graduation, wait a week and check on the status of your application with your nursing board. You will not receive your license till you pass your NCLEX, but you want to make sure that all the requirements are completed so you can receive the ATT which is Authorization To Test for NCLEX. Sometimes this step takes longer because your application has not been opened yet or it is somewhere in the pool. I called my nursing board and had to wait on the line for about 30 minutes to get in touch with an operator. After letting them know that it had been a week since I graduated and was still waiting for my ATT, the operator made sure I was put on priority. I received my ATT the next day and was able to schedule my NCLEX right away.

After I passed my NCLEX, I received an email from my state board of nursing requesting fees for the background check. I paid it immediately and I did not have to schedule my biometrics because I already have an active pharmacy technician license. The results of your background check will take around two weeks to complete. Mine were just completed recently and it did take around two weeks and I am still waiting on my license number to be issued. I am hopeful that my license will appear active in a few days. It really is a waiting process and that is why you need to start applying and sometimes you have to call or even visit your nursing board in person to get everything rolling unless you are in no hurry.

So to summarize:
1. Apply for license through your nursing board ahead of graduation
2. Register for NCLEX few weeks before graduation
3. If you do not receive your ATT, within a week and you want to test right away then call or visit your nursing board
4. Take your NCLEX
5. Depending on the results, check your status online
6. Check email for any necessary fees/requirements that may be requested by the board