I graduate in December, when should I start applying to New Grad positions?
First you should focus on passing your NCLEX. Not all new grad programs require it before interviewing, but a lot do. And even if they don’t, you would need to pass before starting and there’s a lot of other things to focus on once you’re accepted.
Look at the times of year that the hospital you want to work for does their application period. Some do it twice a year, but some do it four times a year, and some only once. It depends.
If you are graduating in December, I would give yourself until January for a vacation and then start setting for your NCLEX. Give yourself 6 to 8 weeks to study for the exam, and then once you pass, start applying.
You should begin looking for new grad training programs now. Look at hospital HR websites to see what the requirements are.
Look for “Talent Tuesdays” or Open Houses on Facebook pages and LinkedIn of places you’d consider working. Pass the NCLEX and then start going to these. Honestly, most nurse managers will know within the first five minutes if they think you’d fit in on their units. Most of my graduating class- 2019- got our first jobs by showing up to one of these events. Unless you know someone and have an “in” just practice your questions. You can’t work until you have that license. Without it, your resume goes in the trash pile. Not all hospitals will hire a new grad. You may have to take the job you can get in order to get the job you want! Good luck!