Preparing For NCLEX
If you are reading this post, you will not find any new hidden secret on how to pass the NCLEX. Nursing schools throughout America are designed to make good nurses who will pass the NCLEX and become great nurses. The messages here are more about the motivation you need to prepare for this monstrous and life-changing test.
If you are still in nursing school, you will have heard NCLEX anywhere from 1000 to 10 trillion times already! Your teachers have been preparing you constantly to take this test. Nursing schools in America are graded on the percentage of students who pass the schools nursing program, and then pass or fail the NCLEX. The higher the schools NCLEX pass rate, the better standing the school has and is sometimes even used to encourage new students to the program.
Before your program, you might remember somebody telling you that the school had a 95% NCLEX pass rate. This probably made you feel like as long as you pass the program you will have a 95% chance of passing the NCLEX. The problem with this type of thinking is first you need to focus on passing your nursing program, which is not easy to do. After this, you need to keep studying. You may or may not have a 95% chance of passing the NCLEX, and you do not want to rely on luck or chance when it comes to your career.
When you have finished your nursing program, take a step back and give yourself the recognition you deserve. Nursing school is not easy. Every nursing student has different challenges. Whether the challenges are from the actual nursing program, or from an outside stress, all nursing students that graduate, receive their nursing pin, say the Nightingale pledge, and get their affidavit to take the NCLEX have achieved an insane accomplishment.
So take a short time to let yourself decompress after the rigors of nursing school. Be with your family and friends, watch some shows and movies you haven't seen because you were so busy studying. Take some time out for you. While you need to remember that you are not a licensed nurse yet, the process for taking the NCLEX takes time. It will take some time for your affidavit to be released from your school. It will also take some time scheduling your NCLEX. You might need to travel to a testing center in order to take the test, in which case the time might be lengthened further.
When you graduate from your program, and you have a foreseeable time of when you will be able to take the NCLEX, this will be the time where you can develop a plan. As a graduate nurse, you will have written a lot of care plans, and you will know that a plan needs to be well written with a time of achievement. Make the plan and then get back to studying.
Use the tools that worked for you in nursing school. Many programs will have online programs that stay with you after you graduate. Use these programs and study study study! As a graduate nurse, you have worked so hard to get to the point where you are able to sit in a testing center and prove that you have the comprehensive knowledge to be a nurse and walk into any nursing role and provide your knowledge and skills for the benefit of other people.
Do not think that the NCLEX is an easy test and that you learned enough in your program. You need to keep studying. Review the parts you feel you know. Study the topics you don't understand. Read more about what you fear will be on the test, because it just might show up.
The NCLEX is a computerized exam that has thousands of available questions in its test bank. If you talk to other nurses about what kind of questions they saw, every nurse's response will be different because as you learned in your program, the questions are not the same for everybody.
When the time comes closer for you to take the NCLEX, do the things that help you feel at ease. Remember that you have worked very hard for this moment. Understand that it will be stressful. There are nurses that might say they weren't, but that was most likely a lie. This is a stressful test, that doesn't even show you if you passed or failed until days later! So remember that it is normal to be stressed, but if so many thousands of other students have passed it and began their careers as nurses so can you.
If you have done everything you can to study hard, you passed your program, and you continued to do your best to pass the NCLEX, you should not have anything to fear. Regardless of how your results come back, you will know you at least gave it your best effort.
If your results come back with a failed attempt. Take a step back and reevaluate your performance. Did you do well in your program? Could you have studied more in school? Could you have studied harder after you graduated, but you slacked off and just thought you would pass the NCLEX because of how well you did in school? When you have answered these questions, get help. Go to your nursing instructors. Ask them about things that you can do to study and improve. If available sign up for an NCLEX prep class that will help you find your weaknesses, and find ways to help you take the NCLEX again and pass.
Remember to study hard, do your best, and become a great nurse!