Well, you all know that's not really possible. You either pass on the first time, or you don't. But I sure feel like that's how it was.
My boyfriend and me met 4 years ago, through my brother. What are the chances that we were both busy doing nursing pre-reqs? He finished his, and applied at the local Community College. They lost his application. He waited 6 more months and applied again. He didn't get in. Finally the following January he was accepted for the LPN program. Seeing his frustration, I finished my pre-requisites and applied directly to a private school. We both started at separate schools at the same time. He considered the content challenging, the instructors unmotivated and their enthusiasm underwhelming. Nevertheless, he still managed to get straight A's. I had a program that felt like home; a close-knit group of students and instructors, hands on and flexible clinicals and even field trips. I managed A's and B's as well. He graduated in December and got his Authorization to Test in February. We were both confident in his abilities. I mean, Straight-A's... he had this in the bag. We studied here and there but assumed that his year of hard work would be all he needed. The day came, we held hands in the car and talked about how this was finally all going to pay off for him. I sat in the car trying not to worry while he tested. I had heard through the grapevine that 85 questions is a good indication of passing, so when he walked out with a smile on his face and said "I stopped at 85!" I was thrilled. We went to get something to eat and he then hung out with his friends. The next day he came over and we saw Quick-Results were available! Awesome! We paid the $7 and clicked the button:
He put his head in his hands and didn't budge for nearly an hour. He didn't want to talk about it, and I could tell he was crushed. He said he didn't want to take it again, he wasn't meant to be a nurse, he was stupid, you name it. I felt like I failed too. I talked about the test like it was going to be a piece of cake and how he didn't need to worry too much about studying. It took until the next day for me to be able to talk sense into him. He agreed that he hadn't studied like he should have and that the format of the questions was kind of confusing to him.
I graduated from school the next week.
My school paid for the NCLEX and filed the paperwork for us, so my ATT was there before I knew it. His re-take application was approved also. The plan was to focus on him and I would take mine after his re-take. But that wasn't meant to be. The only afternoon openings were both on the same day, a month away. We made the decision to just take it on the same day. I thought of this as setting ourselves up for heartbreak. Unless we BOTH pass, there wont be a celebration. So I decided to turn drill-sergeant and get serious. 100 NCLEX questions a day, as well as 6 chapters in the book. We took turns reading to each other. We argued over the questions and rationales. Once we got closer to the date, we did some software my school supplied me and made pharmacology flashcards. By the time the test date came up, we had gone through a 70 chapter-nursing book, did 3,000+ questions and memorized endings of drugs. And I was about to see how he felt when he sat in that testing center.
It felt as though none of these questions made sense, and I felt like I didn't know any of it. How could I have read ALL THE WRONG things!? I rested my head on the desk at one point because I just couldn't believe it. My test stopped at 85. I was so unsure of myself. I sat outside the testing center for three unbearable hours waiting. My boyfriend finally walked out, grimacing. "I got all 205 questions," he said. My stomach dropped. I had read that chances are you failed if you got all 205 questions. I hid my anxiety and told him "I'm sure you did fine!" I felt that he had failed, again. I knew he would not try a third time-- he would be too upset. It was going to be a long night. We went to Applebee's and got margaritas. That helped for about an hour. We stayed up all night talking.
The next day I looked at the Board of Nursing site. He was napping so I paid and got my results without telling him. OMG! I passed!
I was thrilled. However, who cares if I passed if he didn't?! I really wanted to check his results behind his back, but the form required a Social Security number. I leaned down next to him and whispered "What's your Social Security number?" he said, "Oh god Kelly, not now, please" I said "I checked mine, I passed" He sat up and said "Okay, lets get it over with" I thought this was the walk of doom. But I smiled and said, "Whatever happens, happens". He put in his information and I told him to turn around. I clicked enter.
I could not believe it. I told him and we jumped up hugged. His face lit up like a kid on Christmas morning. Hard work does pay off. We earned it, and now we could really celebrate.
I just think it's funny how things work out. We joke now about how he failed when most people pass, and passed when most people fail. I can't think of anything that felt as gratifying as May 17th, 2010