I failed again...

  1. Well, I found out today that I failed the boards a second time. I am having a hard time with it this time because my hospital (I am currently a CNA) may have to let me go. The policy is that you get two tries at the test, then after that they don't want you anymore. How crazy is that?? I have to work tomorrow, and if my manager says that she has to let me go, you better belive that I am taking it up with the big wigs. It's ridiculous that an hospital is going to base its hiring new RNs based on how many times it took her/him to pass the damn test. I have test anxiety, and did all through high school and college. The test shows nothing of my ability to be a great nurse. I love what I do and am very passionate about it. The test says nothing except that I am a horrible test taker. Does anyone agree that my place of work should not hold that against me??
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   Sheri257
    I have to disagree with you here. Passing the NCLEX is a condition that many students sign on for at my school, and most hospitals in the area have similar rules. It's a commitment that you make and if you don't fulfill it then, what is the hospital supposed to do? They desperately need RNs (especially out here in California where we have a ratio law) and if that's what they ultimately hired you for, then, it's not necessarily their fault. Two tries isn't exactly unreasonable either.

    I am sorry that things haven't worked out for you but, at the same time, if that's what you signed on for, a deal's a deal. I don't mean to be harsh but, at the same time, your attitude is, to be blunt, out of line. If you don't like their rules then, perhaps, you shouldn't have agreed to them in the first place.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Apr 29, '04
  4. by   Energizer Bunny
    Should've known THAT was coming! You say you are working as a CNA right now...why would they let you go from that job for failing the NCLEX? Can't you still be a CNA until you pass and then find a job somewhere else or don't they even hire CNA's unless they are going for their RN? And a heads up, you're probably going to get a lot of flak about the NCLEX here. There is another thread where it was debated how many times it should be allowed that you can take it.

    I personally know a woman that used to be a nurse (I am unsure of in what capacity) and did wonderful on her HESI exam and has still failed the NCLEX 3 times. She is now taking a Kaplan review course.
  5. by   Sheri257
    Quote from CNM2B
    And a heads up, you're probably going to get a lot of flak about the NCLEX here. There is another thread where it was debated how many times it should be allowed that you can take it.
    Having to take the NCLEX multiple times is one issue. But agreeing to pass within X amount of times as a condition of employment is a separate and different issue. In this case, I'm not debating whether people should be allowed to take the NCLEX multiple times.

    The problem is violating conditions previously agreed upon with the employer. In California, they don't need more CNA's. They need more RN's and deals like this, where you are required to pass within X amount of tries, are not unusual. If you agree to that, and don't fulfill your end of the bargain, then I don't see how you blame the hospital. They have to focus on training and employing people who can pass the NCLEX or they violate the ratio law.

    So, I don't agree with the OP in this case, if these are the conditions of employment that she agreed to. It's no different than violating any other contract or agreement with an employer.

    Once again, a deal's a deal.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Apr 29, '04
  6. by   vjcnurse
    I guess last night when I wrote that I was a little upset. I do understand the policy, and did agree upon it when I started. At the same time, I am just extremely frustrated with myself. I know I am better than what my test scores show. I guess I just needed to vent and get the honest feedback that ya'll have given me. Thanks for being blunt and putting me in my place. Now, any helpful advice on how I can be successful the third time around?
  7. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    A review course that includes practices tests until you get comfortable, would be one idea.

    Another would be to see what accomodations may be made. Sometimes if you need extra time for a demonstrable disability, they can do that. If so, you will probably need to get a doctor's note and some other stuff.

    Some short term therapy to build coping skills to deal with the anxiety might make a big difference!

    How did you pass your exams in school? If it's the computer thing, get comfy on the computer.

    BTW, good response on that last note, OP--you've got class!
  8. by   vjcnurse
    Quote from chris_at_lucas
    A review course that includes practices tests until you get comfortable, would be one idea.

    Another would be to see what accomodations may be made. Sometimes if you need extra time for a demonstrable disability, they can do that. If so, you will probably need to get a doctor's note and some other stuff.

    Some short term therapy to build coping skills to deal with the anxiety might make a big difference!

    How did you pass your exams in school? If it's the computer thing, get comfy on the computer.

    BTW, good response on that last note, OP--you've got class!
    Thank you very much for the advice and confidence. I believe it may be the computers. In college, I had a tutor for testing strategies and a very supportive and smart study group! I have asked on member of my study group to tutor me for the boards and she has agreed. I have also made a doctors appointment to have her check out my anxiety levels and give me either coping strategies, or medication if absolutely necessary. Hopefully something will work this time. Thanks again!!
  9. by   BabyRN2Be
    Quote from chris_at_lucas

    Another would be to see what accomodations may be made. Sometimes if you need extra time for a demonstrable disability, they can do that. If so, you will probably need to get a doctor's note and some other stuff.
    Just wanted to say that accommodations are almost impossible to get. If it's the same group that does the testing for the GRE, you need to demonstrate serious disability, disability that would be incompatible with nursing. If you go to them with "test anxiety", this will not work. This is just a heads up.

    I agree with you vjcnurse, that the computer is part of the problem. When you are in school, you typically take your tests using pencil and paper. That's familiar to most students. However, you have the anxiety of having to "pass or else" with the NCLEX, on top of having to take it on an unfamiliar format, it's no wonder why some people have trouble passing it.

    I do feel bad for you. I hope that you will be able to pass it one day. Don't give up... that would be most detrimental right now.
  10. by   Sheri257
    Quote from BabyRN2Be
    I agree with you vjcnurse, that the computer is part of the problem. When you are in school, you typically take your tests using pencil and paper. That's familiar to most students. However, you have the anxiety of having to "pass or else" with the NCLEX, on top of having to take it on an unfamiliar format, it's no wonder why some people have trouble passing it.
    I wonder if we should do a poll on this, just because all of the nursing exams at my school are on computer. Same with a lot of the pre-req courses. I wonder how many schools have it versus those who don't. The teachers love computer tests because they don't have to grade papers anymore, and the school has a separate lab specifically set up for computer testing for all of the health/science programs.

    If you're used to multiple choice exams, I don't see much difference between computer versus paper/pencil, actually. The computer seems a lot easier, at least to me. And it sure beats having to write out essays, which are always a pain.

  11. by   vjcnurse
    Quote from lizz
    I wonder if we should do a poll on this, just because all of the nursing exams at my school are on computer. Same with a lot of the pre-req courses. I wonder how many schools have it versus those who don't. The teachers love computer tests because they don't have to grade papers anymore, and the school has a separate lab specifically set up for computer testing for all of the health/science programs.

    If you're used to multiple choice exams, I don't see much difference between computer versus paper/pencil, actually. The computer seems a lot easier, at least to me. And it sure beats having to write out essays, which are always a pain.

    The difference between computer and paper/pencil tests (to me anyway) is the freedom. With paper/pencil tests (which is all I took in college), I was able to write all over the test, underline key points/words, cross out info that wasn't needed, skip a question and return later, and things of that nature. Since I am not really used to computerized exams, it is difficult for me to get used to not having those abilities. I agree that not having essays is wonderful, but to me that's really the only positive aspect of computerized exams. When I told some of the nurses at work who took the paper/pencil form of the NCLEX that I have failed twice, they said if they had to take it on the computer they wouldn't be able to pass it now. It's all based on what you are accustomed to. Your idea of a poll is great. I'm curious to see what kinds of results we end up with. Since I'm new at this site, I'm not sure how to do a poll...can you help?!
  12. by   Sheri257
    Actually, when you post a new thread, there's a button at the bottom of the page that gives you the option to do a poll. It might be better to post it in the general student section since you might get more results there, but I'll leave it up to you.

    Meanwhile, best of luck to you. :kiss

    :spin:
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Apr 30, '04
  13. by   skanded
    Quote from vjcnurse
    The difference between computer and paper/pencil tests (to me anyway) is the freedom. With paper/pencil tests (which is all I took in college), I was able to write all over the test, underline key points/words, cross out info that wasn't needed, skip a question and return later, and things of that nature. Since I am not really used to computerized exams, it is difficult for me to get used to not having those abilities. I agree that not having essays is wonderful, but to me that's really the only positive aspect of computerized exams. When I told some of the nurses at work who took the paper/pencil form of the NCLEX that I have failed twice, they said if they had to take it on the computer they wouldn't be able to pass it now. It's all based on what you are accustomed to. Your idea of a poll is great. I'm curious to see what kinds of results we end up with. Since I'm new at this site, I'm not sure how to do a poll...can you help?!
    I must agree with you here. All of our exams are pencil/paper and I do the same thing you do. If I do not know an answer, I skip it and come back. With the computer, we do not have that luxury from my understanding. I am also nervous about taking the NCLEX.

    Good luck to you!
  14. by   newgrad04
    That's the advantage of taking NCLEX style test throughout the ADN program. Our school had us take computerized tests all the way through, ever since the hated pharm.:angryfire So, even though the NCLEX is still scary, it's not that bad. (I'm graduating in 2 Weeks!!!!!!) My recommendation - get you a NCLEX review book with practice CD's that include practice tests in NCLEX format (mosby has a good one (comprehensive review of nursing for NCLEX-RN) and practice taking computerized tests. Good luck!
    Quote from skaded
    I must agree with you here. All of our exams are pencil/paper and I do the same thing you do. If I do not know an answer, I skip it and come back. With the computer, we do not have that luxury from my understanding. I am also nervous about taking the NCLEX.

    Good luck to you!

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