Did you just graduate from nursing school and want to take a vacation before you start working as a nurse?

Maybe you graduated a long time ago and are now finally looking at applying to jobs.

Regardless of which camp you’re in, it’s important to know when you’re no longer considered a new grad nurse.

*Disclosure: This article on what is considered a new grad nurse may contain affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. For more info, please see my disclaimer.

When Are You Not Considered a New Grad Nurse?

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You’re no longer considered a new grad nurse when you’ve worked 1 to 2 years of paid experience or when you’ve held your nursing license for more than 1 year without ever working as a nurse. Different facilities will have additional rules, so check with the facility you’re considering applying to.

Find Your Next Nursing Job

Use our nursing job board to start looking for and applying to great nursing jobs near you.

When You’re No Longer a New Graduate Nurse

Here are three things to keep in mind as you’re navigating this:

  1. If you’ve been working at least a year in a paid nursing position you’re no longer a new grad nurse.
  2. You’re still a new grad nurse if you’ve been working but you don’t have at least 1 year of experience by the time of your 1 year anniversary you recieved your license.
  3. You’re still a new grad if you’ve had your license for more than a year, but you don’t have any paid nursing experience.

Keep in mind that different hospitals will have additional requirements. This isn’t a hard and fast rule but more or less some loose guidelines to keep in mind.

Why is it Important to Know What’s Considered a New Grad Nurse?

There are several good reasons it’s important to know when your status as a new grad nurse ends.

1. To know Which Job to Apply to

If you’re a recent graduate, it’s a no-brainer which job application you should apply to. You’re going to apply to the entry-level nursing positions or the nurse residency positions.

If you’ve taken some time off after graduating from nursing school, it becomes a little more difficult to know which jobs you should apply to.

As mentioned above, a good rule of thumb is that one to two years of nursing experience is usually enough for you to no longer be concerned a new grad nurse.

2. You Want to Leave Your Current Nursing Job

Another good reason you might want to know the definition of a new grad nurse is when it comes to you wanting to quit your current nursing job and apply to another nursing job.

This is both a straightforward situation and a not so straightforward decision based on where you fall into.

As a whole, if you look at nursing job applications, they’ll typically tell you how much experience they want the applicant to have. Go to my nursing job board and search for a job, and you’ll see what I mean.

Many of those jobs will require one to two years of experience, though some may want a nurse with at least three years of experience.

Pro-Tip
If the goal is to leave your nursing job as soon as possible, you’re usually safe to do that after about 1-2 years of experience.

Avoid the New Grad Nurse Limbo

Avoid leaving your job before you have at least one year of nursing experience. The reason for this is that you put yourself in the “new grad nurse limbo.” Fyi, if you were wondering, yes, I did just make that up.

But this is where you have too much experience to apply to new grad nurse positions but not enough experience to apply to experienced nursing positions.

If you must leave, I would encourage you to make sure one of two things happens.

  1. You have at least one (preferably) two years of nursing experience.
  2. Don’t leave until you have secured the other nursing job.

Find Your Next Nursing Job

Use our nursing job board to start looking for and applying to great nursing jobs near you.

The Year Will Go By Quick

You’ll be surprised how quickly the year goes by as a new nurse. If you haven’t started applying to jobs, make sure to go to my job board. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.

Have You Read Any of These Yet?

Frequently Asked Questions

A new grad nurse is a nurse that recently graduated from a nursing program and has not yet worked under the capacity of a licensed nurse.

A new grad nurse can work in a clinic. Depending on your long-term goals, clinic nursing can be a great position for a brand new nurse.

I started applying for nursing positions a the end of my last semester of nursing school. I was already in communication with a nursing manager, so it was almost a sure thing I would be accepted.