Where do I start?!!!

  1. I think I have a pretty unique situation here...

    I am a Canadian-educated nurse who came to the states at a time (1995) when Texas did not require us to take the NCLEX, but instead just looked at our Canadian Board exam (CNATS). I had my first child in 1999 and chose to stay at home since Aug. of that year. Since that time, we have moved around a little and are currently in California. I have kept my TX license current through CEU's. I was hoping CA would grant me my license based on recipricity and then I could take a refresher course and return to work. However, when they see that I was educated in Canada, they require me to take the NCLEX!!!!
    So... after graduating in 1994 and not working for 8 years, I now have to take the NCLEX exam (which, ofcourse, I would have struggled with straight out of college!!)!!!!
    Where do I start? How can I possibly do this? I have a 6yo & an 8yo. I work 30 hours a week at their elementary school as a Health Technician. (It's a good job, but not nursing and the pay is bad.) Any advice would ne appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Oz2
    Why don't you just buy Saunders NCLEX prep book with CD and study your butt off?
  4. by   Shantas
    Quote from canadaincali
    I think I have a pretty unique situation here...

    I am a Canadian-educated nurse who came to the states at a time (1995) when Texas did not require us to take the NCLEX, but instead just looked at our Canadian Board exam (CNATS).
    Where do I start? How can I possibly do this? I have a 6yo & an 8yo. I work 30 hours a week at their elementary school as a Health Technician. (It's a good job, but not nursing and the pay is bad.) Any advice would ne appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Hello There:
    I am also a Canadian graduate RN and came to California in 2004
    I know NCLEX is different than our exam in Canada. I studied NCLEX made incredibly easy and also the Kaplan. I know you can take online courses from Kaplan.
    The Canadian exam focuses on the psycho social aspects wherese in NCLEX they are more theory based. You need to focus on the labs (memorize them!!), symptoms, delegating work, also prioritizing...
    Its a computerized exam, so try to get used to doing the exam in a computer. You can use a CD.
    I hope it will help you....and good luck
  5. by   canadaincali
    Did you have to take any additional courses after the board evaluated your schooling Shantas? How long was it after graduating when you took the exam?

    I'm really concerned about the length of time since college and since leaving work!!!!! I feel like I'm starting all over. Too bad there isn't some mini-nursing class to redo my education (more extensive than a refresher course but shorter and cheaper then actually redoing it!) Then again, some people say it isn't about learning everything, but focusing on some important areas and learning critical thinking skills so that I may apply that knowledge to various situations. What do you think?!!
  6. by   Shantas
    Quote from canadaincali
    Did you have to take any additional courses after the board evaluated your schooling Shantas? How long was it after graduating when you took the exam?

    I'm really concerned about the length of time since college and since leaving work!!!!! I feel like I'm starting all over. Too bad there isn't some mini-nursing class to redo my education (more extensive than a refresher course but shorter and cheaper then actually redoing it!) Then again, some people say it isn't about learning everything, but focusing on some important areas and learning critical thinking skills so that I may apply that knowledge to various situations. What do you think?!!
    I graduated in 2003. They also evaluated all my courses. Its called Visa Screening. But if you are a permenant residence here you wont need it. Many people challange NCLEX....have you tried doing that?? That way you may not required to take refresher. yes they are very specific, situational.
  7. by   CHATSDALE
    ncles may be easier now that you have some experience than it would be for a new grad
    what ever you chose it is doable..good luck
  8. by   military girl
    You can do it. It is going to take a little creative planning, but you can do it.
    When I was an LPN going back to school for my RN, I had just gotten a divorce. I worked full time and went to school full time. Was it hard, yes and very tiring, but it was thorough the grace of the Lord that I made it. I do look back and wonder how it was done, it was grace. Yes, there was times that I feel asleep in class and nodded all the time, but in the end it's worth it.
    Remember, you just studying for the NCLEX which is alot easier than going back to nursing school. There are several study books out there, I used the NCLEX review book from the "Incrediably Easy" series and it was good. Also, Kaplan offers NCLEX review classes at several locations and they too also have a review book.
    Keep me posted on how things go.
  9. by   Shantas
    Also one more thing you write NCLEX in a room where bunch of cameras are watching you!! I was very intimidated by those cameras....I dont know why....lol
    Just relax and make sure you get good rest before you write your exam.
    Nclex made incredibly easy was my fav. I think the Kaplan on line courses are a bit costly. They will give you different senarios with different patients you have to priorotize whom you are going to take care first. I read in another post where the writer mentioned about ABC and taking care of "sickest patient" I think it was Military girl....that was a great advise.
    Most of the nclex questions will be like that.
    Dont worry too much. If I can do it you can too
  10. by   morte
    if you live close enough to a college with a nursing program, perhaps you could "audit" a course or two....especially one on "critical thinking"
    yes, you would have to pay, but it wouldnt show up as a pass or fail.....good luck
  11. by   JessicRN
    Quote from Shantas
    Hello There:
    I am also a Canadian graduate RN and came to California in 2004
    I know NCLEX is different than our exam in Canada. I studied NCLEX made incredibly easy and also the Kaplan. I know you can take online courses from Kaplan.
    The Canadian exam focuses on the psycho social aspects wherese in NCLEX they are more theory based. You need to focus on the labs (memorize them!!), symptoms, delegating work, also prioritizing...
    Its a computerized exam, so try to get used to doing the exam in a computer. You can use a CD.
    I hope it will help you....and good luck
    I went to texas in 1990 and yes I was in the same boat as you except I graduated in 1980 and took the exam 2004. I took the exam after having gone through two books the Kaplan review (use this as a bible if you follow the rules you will be fine) and lipincott nclex review the 2 nd book was good for questions. The best thing to remember is you are in nclex world when answering the questions not the real world which is tough to do but absolutly essential. (The is always enough time and tons of staff to help.) Learn Maslows hierarchy of needs because you answer the questions exactly that way. Erikson is also important Know your ABC(airway breathing and circulation priorities) and know the nursing care plandiagnosis plan
    and remember you can't act before you assess. It sounds silly but you have the knowledge and the skill you just have to learn the NCLEX way. They are designed to trick you and Kaplans shows you the tricks. You can know everything and still fail if you do not get the kaplan book ior at least learn the nclex world and use all the rules tp achieve an answer.
    Good luck, I passed . I am sure you will do the same thing. Your canadian boards and canadian education will pull you through I promise.

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