I had a former CE to train me based on the then-current CPNE study guide. She insists that the study guide is brought to the sessions. However, I found that my comfort zone IS at the patient's bedside in a hospital setting. Being a nurse for more than 20 years prior to the CPNE made me very comfortable with people looking over my shoulders and watching EVERYTHING that I do. I also had much experience explaining procedures to patients so that is how I communicated with the CE indirectly.....not just doing but explaining what I was doing as I was doing it. I was right at home with the CPNE....just another day at work...without getting paid, of course. But even still, the CPNE weekend had to be done precisely the EC way. Acute care experience only helped with the area of a person's comfort zone. The PCS/CPNE was no place to show how skilled a nurse I felt I already was. It was to show that I could follow simple directions based on their study guide and the EC assigned areas of care. As far as the care plans, before Excelsior College, I had never written a care plan in my entire career. If it is harder now, that's because EC made it that way.....just as I may have believed that it was harder at the time I took it as opposed to those who went in before me. It is all about reading the current study guide, following THEIR instructions, and keeping those nerves in check. Who knows.....the students next year will probably be thinking that you guys have it easier than they have it, especially if EC revises the study guide like they always do.
For me, if I focus on something too long, I begin to get the information twisted in my head. That's why when I KNOW that I know the information, I go ahead and test. I don't hold it there until I wake up in a panic because I felt I completely drew a blank. The CPNE is NOT bad if you can follow simple directions. And all of us can do that if we don't let nerves get the best of us. We learn to remain calm in nursing....our patients are depending on it. So learn to remain calm at the CPNE....your CAREER is depending on it. If you can do it for strangers (patients), do it for yourself.