- includes information about another person that you have posted without that person's consent;
- violates the privacy rights, publicity rights, copyrights, trademark rights, contract rights or any other rights of any person....
- constitutes or promotes an illegal or unauthorized copy of another person's copyrighted work;"
Source: Terms of Service | Quizlet
So yes, it can be considered cheating even if you did not realize that the questions you were using from an online open source were in fact from a test bank that happened to be the one your school used. (Ignorance of the law is not always a valid defense)
How did they know that you were previously aware of the questions? Did you tell another student that the questions were the same you studied from an online source? Are they just basing this on your grade vs. grades of other students?
As far as the questions that match the NCLEX books. You could bring in the books that show that the questions on the exam happen to be duplicates of published resources that you had obtained through honest means (purchased, borrowed, etc.).
(rather than focus on the online material from Quizlet) It is not uncommon for nursing students to use NCLEX prep guides to prepare for exams during school, in fact many schools encourage this practice. You may be able to appeal one
time based upon the fact that you were not aware that questions/flash cards posted on quizlet by others were from test banks or other copyrighted sources, but you might be more successful bringing in the NCLEX prep books that show the similar questions.
Its tough to be in this position when you were trying to use multiple sources to try and best prepare yourself for your exam. I will agree though, it seems a bit ridiculous to be considered guilty just because you are accused of academic dishonesty. I'd suggest you review your school handbook/policy manual on the subject to ensure you are well versed in their policies and discipline. If you have the opportunity for student representation before the board, consider availing yourself of such an opportunity.
In the future, you might do better to stick with original sources to prepare for your exams (though yes, there is a cost to access some of them) such as Kaplan, Saunders, NCLEX made incredibly easy, La Charity PDA. You can get some of the prep books from your school or local library. You can use any online resources included with your textbook or study guide. This is a risk when using "free resources", that you may be using material that is not intended for public use, copyrighted, or was intended to be paid access (such as Kaplan QBank). (Think napster lawsuits from a few years ago where the lawyers didn't only go after those that uploaded copyrighted material but those who downloaded the copyrighted material)
As an aside, in nursing school we were required to complete our study guide workbooks for credit by the end of the course. It was encouraged to complete the material as you went along as it was good companion to the classroom and textbook work. In one class we had an open book exam that we were permitted to use both our text and study guide/workbook. Many of the questions were taken right from our workbooks. Those that had completed the workbook in preparation for the exam finished quickly and scored very high. Those that never opened their workbooks spent the maximum allotted time on the exam, did not score as well, and complained that the questions were "so hard". It was an interesting experiment in sociology, especially since our instructor strongly emphasized that we "might want to complete the workbook pages that coincide with the chapter being studied/tested on". Of course those that did poorly called "unfair". (not the same as your situation but just to show that some use multiple sources to prepare and be successful, and others do the bare minimum.)