I just wanted to write about my cathartic experience that sent me on the biggest roller coaster ride of emotions I have ever been on. Hopefully this brief story will help to alleviate any anxiety you may have if you are about to take the exam or have already taken it and feel like you are going to puke
I was a pretty good student at Rutgers University. I was the President of our Student Nurses Association and graduated with general honors and as a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society of Nursing... but none of that meant a thing when it was time to take the NCLEX!!! I prepared for weeks and weeks by going through my $35 Kaplan review
book (I did not take the course, but I did watch a few of the content review videos online with my friend who had paid for the course, and I practiced taking the Question Trainers 1-5 and 7). I also took a HESI review course which I thought sucked.
A few days before the exam, in early July 2013, my grandma had a stroke. She is on the road to recovery, but at the time she was in a comatose state. Needless to say, I was beyond distracted and could do nothing but pray and do practice questions and content review on the areas I knew I was weaker in- infection control and health promotion.
I have never had a stronger connection with God and all of his angels than I did in the time before, during and after the NCLEX. Without His guidance and the saints looking out for me and giving me the clarity and calmness I needed, I would not be a nurse today.
I passed the NCLEX after sitting in the room in Princeton, NJ for 5 hours and taking all 265 questions. I thought I was going to die. I was the last person in the room by over an hour and a half, but as my grandpa pointed out, that could have been because other people failed and the computer shut off sooner because it decided they were not safe enough to pass (that is not to say that you should worry about failing if your computer turns off sooner, obviously). During the test I frequently stretched in my seat, took deep breaths, took pee breaks and PRAYED. You will have time to take the test, so do not rush through it or worry about running out of time. Your entire college career has led to this moment, so don't blow it because of nerves and a lack of confidence. Go into this thing with an attitude that you are going into war and you are NOT going to be intimidated or go down without a fight. We are God's soldiers and do His work, and this is the final test to prove to ourselves and to the powers that be that we are worthy of sustaining and improving human lives.
IF YOU GRADUATED NURSING SCHOOL, YOU HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE BASE TO PASS THE NCLEX. Please remember that when you get flustered leading up to and on test day.
Now, after I took the exam I had the worst day of my life. At first, I drove home and stared at my computer, afraid to try the Pearson Vue Trick (PVT) because I was afraid that it would go to the credit card screen and my fears of failing would be confirmed. I finally said "f it" and went through the site to try to register for the exam again. I got the good pop-up
I literally broke down and cried. You want a humbling experience? Take the NCLEX and PASS!!!! Even with the good pop-up I thought "well, what if I'm the only one the trick does not work for? What if they are reviewing my results still and it won't work later? What if, what if, what if...?" DON'T DO THAT. I PROMISE YOU THAT IF YOU GET THE GOOD POP-UP YOU WILL PASS. And I KNOW you will NOT believe me if your nerves are as bad as mine were, but once you find out you passed and the trick was correct, you will come on here and tell everyone the exact same thing. The PVT DOES WORK 100% OF THE TIME. It will say "Our records indicate that you have recently scheduled this exam. Please contact your Member Board for further assistance. Another registration cannot be made at this time." You can click OK. So, on with my story...
I drove to the mall to meet up with my mom and sister (family is key) and they helped me to stay somewhat distracted from the feelings of having to projectile vomit across the stores. That night I went to Philly to visit my Grandma and my parents took me to a bar called Moriarty's to get a buzz going so that I would not worry about it so much. Needless to say, it helped a little bit but I was hardly a fun person to be around that night. The morning after, I went on the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing's website at 8am and kept clicking refresh on the license validation page to see if my license would be posted. The PA Board of Nursing is on their game and post new licenses without 48 hours according to the Board employee I called up that morning shortly before getting the good news. I was clicking refresh over and over but had to check my email.. in that 30 seconds my mom (also an RN) ran into my room balling her eyes out and shaking and handed me her phone. MY NAME WAS ON IT WITH RN AFTER IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was just two short weeks ago but it feels like an eternity ago. It was the best moment of my life, and their have been a ton lately with graduating from Rutgers and starting my job right out of school as a transplant unit nurse at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Moral of the story: have faith in yourself and pray to whatever deity you worship. God and His amazing team were in my corner for this exam; I know that I would not have passed without them. You have the tools to succeed. Use them and keep a clear and focused mind and you will do fine. Good luck.
If you already took the exam and got the good pop-up (which works immediately after you take the exam; I know people that went right out to their car to do it), CONGRATULATIONS RN!!! CELEBRATE!!!!!