failed nclex-rn

  1. 0
    Feeling a little discouraged. I've been reading a lot of posts on allnurses and have given me more motivation. I have failed the nclex-rn. I did the PVT. I walked out balling in tears and not knowing how I felt. I have done kaplan. Finished all their qtrainers and qbanks. It didn't work for me. I read content i was unsure of. Did nclex4000. I was nervous taking the exam. I tried to stay calm and relaxed but I don't know what happened. What else would you guys recommend? Comprehensive-saunders? NCLEX-RN CRAM? any help would be appreciated. thank you!

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  2. 13 Comments...

  3. 0
    This is going to sound horrible on my part, as I passed NCLEX-RN on the first try. But I think the first thing you should do is take a few days and do not do anything NCLEX related. Spend some time with your family and/or friends. Enjoy your pets (if you have them) and just decompress. There is no need to stress about it right now because if you did fail, there is nothing you can do to fix that at this point. In a few days you look at the requirements to re-apply for licensure in your state and you submit all the paperwork that's needed for your state/re-apply with PearsonVue and wait for the state to process everything and re-issue an ATT for you.

    I (apparently I lived under a rock as a new grad) did not know about the PVT prior to or immediately following my taking the NCLEX. I tested on a Saturday afternoon because if I had waited for a weekday day slot I would have had to wait for 3+ weeks at that time. BIG mistake. So I got to stew about it for Saturday evening, all day Sunday and part of the day Monday - until I happened to check online with my BON (Ohio is the state I was originally licensed in), and my license was posted. In many ways NCLEX is a big test. But at the same time - the world will not end if you don't make it the first time. It may complicate things but it's a test. I'm not saying you shouldn't be upset - you are entitled to your feelings about the situation. So often, as nurses we put so much pressure on ourselves because we want everything to be perfect and we don't want to make mistakes. But the thing is - every situation is a learning opportunity. It certainly sounds as if you have spent a good deal of time preparing. Are you someone who has test anxiety? (I'm just saying this could be part of your problem - in my graduating class, one of the others in the top 5 of my class failed and she admits she was anxious and stressed and allowed herself to 'get stuck' by that stuff). I've found it is totally possible to 'over-prepare' and over think things (school taught me that). If you can - look at the situation for the day you took boards and determine where the wheels came off the wagon for you. Did you get stuck on a question you didn't like? Something you weren't comfortable with?

    As for prep - I got my hands on as many prep books as I could (I lived in a major metropolitan area and the public library had a selection of current NCLEX books). Plus I can still use the library at my university/the state's inter-university library network. I wanted to see each author's perspective. There's valuable hints there. I studied some of the stuff from my review course (lab values, so on and so forth - things that could be memorized). I worked mostly out of the Pearson NCLEX RN prep book, the Incredibly Easy NCLEX RN book and the Kaplan NCLEX RN book. I also had a Mosby book (required for school). The Kaplan book was awesome because I feel like the test taking strategies part / psychology of the test type stuff was the most helpful. I got to a point where I was getting most of my practice questions right. So I sat down and forced myself to do each book's practice test(s). Some of the books are hard cause they have the questions in one column and the answers in another, but I wanted to keep trucking on through doing at minimum 150 questions without stopping to check my accuracy - to help myself get used to not knowing if I was right or wrong. The Pearson book I had came with a CD that had a computer test mode that allowed you to do quizzes or a "mock" test mode - having to sit at a computer and do 150+ questions without the answers right away REALLY helped me I think. Obviously with the software you can review for correct answers at the end. Look at what you are getting right and what you are missing. And get in the habit of matching the words on the page/screen in the question to the answers. Even on my licensure exam - there were many questions I did not like the best of the answers ... I would do something different (still within my scope of practice but the best answer on the exam might not be my best answer - I had to learn to focus on my situation and options given).

    After that - after studying and working on test taking strategies, I planned out my night before my exam. I got a 2pm slot (ugh). I planned to do dinner with my family and then go to a movie or putt putt /mini golf with some friends. I came home, watched some of one of my favorite TV shows on DVD on my computer and fell asleep. I set my alarm for around 11a to give time to leisurely get up, shower, get dressed, eat and go to the center (I was living at home and my parents house was about a 15 minute drive from one...). All through nursing school, I'd worked as a nursing assistant working part time 3rd shift - so I had gotten used to modifying my sleep schedule some... The extra time I had that morning, I took my dog for a walk and enjoyed how nice it was outside. I packed a snack and water, made sure I had everything and left. I knew if I did any questions the night before or day of and if by chance I got one or more wrong I would dwell on that / allow it to bother me instead of being positive because of the many many many questions I'd gotten right throughout studying. For me, part of it was the mental game with myself.

    Hopefully some of this helps some (even if it's just taking some pressure off yourself). Things really will get better!
  4. 1
    It sounds like you are a little overworked. RELAX! Take a deep breath, a nice walk, or treat yourself to a bubble bath. Give your body and mind a break from everything. There is no shame in taking a step back when things get hectic. In fact, it's healthy. Your brain is working overtime and is filled with nursing knowledge, practice questions, and crammed material on top of stress from failing the first time and worrying about failing again. It needs time to relax and rejuvenate!
    I would advise against using multiple NCLEX review course material. Too many can get overwhelming and, in some cases, can become conflicting. It is impossible to remember everything they offer. However, I do suggest choosing one NCLEX source and sticking to it. This allows you to focus on the details of one path and eliminates conflicting sources. When I was preparing to take my test, Kaplan's NCLEX-RN Strategies, Practice, and Review book was the source that I decided to focus on. My biggest flaw was test anxiety and so I chose a review course that was most beneficial for me. The book provides step-by-step instructions on how to read a question and how to select the correct answer. It completely changed my normal testing habits and I strongly believe that the book is the reason that I passed. The key is choosing the one that is right for you!
    While taking the NCLEX, it is important to stay calm. Take it one question at a time. There is no need to rush. If you don't know the answer, relax and read the question again. Choose the answer you think is best and move on. Don't look back! Don't get upset! There is no room for any feelings or thoughts other than the ones that relate to the question on the screen.
    I hope this helps you out and I wish you the best of luck!
    Godismyangel likes this.
  5. 0
    Oh im so sorry to hear that. Nclex is such a emotional test for me. It makes us go crazy and scared and nervous! My tip for you is to keep practicing questions...How was your questions in KAPLAN? are they above 60s? because that's the good indicator that you pass even though you did everything in kaplan, if your scores are less than 50s==its really not going to work..

    relax, don't think about that test for couple of days. Then start working again. Read saunders (your weakest areas). My weakest were GI and Musculoskeletal. so I skimmed through them and made notes etc. etc.


    this too shall pass...

    xoxo VNICKOR.
  6. 0
    Very sorry to hear that. It is a learning experience, you will get there...a lil late may be but you will get there. I want to ask you that did you take enough time during the test? Because my test was so hard and required lots of critical thinking and for that I had to take time to answer each question. I even changed my answers lots of them after thinking for a while and I passed with 75 questions. Now, I don't mean that you should change answers or take 10 mins each question, but allow urself good amount of time to really think next time you take it because I am sure every question requires critical thinking.
    For now, give yourself time to gather yourself.....start with your weakness when you are ready...
    Goodluck!
  7. 0
    Quote from DesireeRN2011
    This is going to sound horrible on my part, as I passed NCLEX-RN on the first try. But I think the first thing you should do is take a few days and do not do anything NCLEX related. Spend some time with your family and/or friends. Enjoy your pets (if you have them) and just decompress. There is no need to stress about it right now because if you did fail, there is nothing you can do to fix that at this point. In a few days you look at the requirements to re-apply for licensure in your state and you submit all the paperwork that's needed for your state/re-apply with PearsonVue and wait for the state to process everything and re-issue an ATT for you.

    I (apparently I lived under a rock as a new grad) did not know about the PVT prior to or immediately following my taking the NCLEX. I tested on a Saturday afternoon because if I had waited for a weekday day slot I would have had to wait for 3+ weeks at that time. BIG mistake. So I got to stew about it for Saturday evening, all day Sunday and part of the day Monday - until I happened to check online with my BON (Ohio is the state I was originally licensed in), and my license was posted. In many ways NCLEX is a big test. But at the same time - the world will not end if you don't make it the first time. It may complicate things but it's a test. I'm not saying you shouldn't be upset - you are entitled to your feelings about the situation. So often, as nurses we put so much pressure on ourselves because we want everything to be perfect and we don't want to make mistakes. But the thing is - every situation is a learning opportunity. It certainly sounds as if you have spent a good deal of time preparing. Are you someone who has test anxiety? (I'm just saying this could be part of your problem - in my graduating class, one of the others in the top 5 of my class failed and she admits she was anxious and stressed and allowed herself to 'get stuck' by that stuff). I've found it is totally possible to 'over-prepare' and over think things (school taught me that). If you can - look at the situation for the day you took boards and determine where the wheels came off the wagon for you. Did you get stuck on a question you didn't like? Something you weren't comfortable with?

    As for prep - I got my hands on as many prep books as I could (I lived in a major metropolitan area and the public library had a selection of current NCLEX books). Plus I can still use the library at my university/the state's inter-university library network. I wanted to see each author's perspective. There's valuable hints there. I studied some of the stuff from my review course (lab values, so on and so forth - things that could be memorized). I worked mostly out of the Pearson NCLEX RN prep book, the Incredibly Easy NCLEX RN book and the Kaplan NCLEX RN book. I also had a Mosby book (required for school). The Kaplan book was awesome because I feel like the test taking strategies part / psychology of the test type stuff was the most helpful. I got to a point where I was getting most of my practice questions right. So I sat down and forced myself to do each book's practice test(s). Some of the books are hard cause they have the questions in one column and the answers in another, but I wanted to keep trucking on through doing at minimum 150 questions without stopping to check my accuracy - to help myself get used to not knowing if I was right or wrong. The Pearson book I had came with a CD that had a computer test mode that allowed you to do quizzes or a "mock" test mode - having to sit at a computer and do 150+ questions without the answers right away REALLY helped me I think. Obviously with the software you can review for correct answers at the end. Look at what you are getting right and what you are missing. And get in the habit of matching the words on the page/screen in the question to the answers. Even on my licensure exam - there were many questions I did not like the best of the answers ... I would do something different (still within my scope of practice but the best answer on the exam might not be my best answer - I had to learn to focus on my situation and options given).

    After that - after studying and working on test taking strategies, I planned out my night before my exam. I got a 2pm slot (ugh). I planned to do dinner with my family and then go to a movie or putt putt /mini golf with some friends. I came home, watched some of one of my favorite TV shows on DVD on my computer and fell asleep. I set my alarm for around 11a to give time to leisurely get up, shower, get dressed, eat and go to the center (I was living at home and my parents house was about a 15 minute drive from one...). All through nursing school, I'd worked as a nursing assistant working part time 3rd shift - so I had gotten used to modifying my sleep schedule some... The extra time I had that morning, I took my dog for a walk and enjoyed how nice it was outside. I packed a snack and water, made sure I had everything and left. I knew if I did any questions the night before or day of and if by chance I got one or more wrong I would dwell on that / allow it to bother me instead of being positive because of the many many many questions I'd gotten right throughout studying. For me, part of it was the mental game with myself.

    Hopefully some of this helps some (even if it's just taking some pressure off yourself). Things really will get better!
    I do have testing anxiety. Maybe it was that. I was too nervous and maybe just got mentally tired. I think I did overstudy and didn't relax at the same time.
  8. 0
    Quote from vnickor
    Oh im so sorry to hear that. Nclex is such a emotional test for me. It makes us go crazy and scared and nervous! My tip for you is to keep practicing questions...How was your questions in KAPLAN? are they above 60s? because that's the good indicator that you pass even though you did everything in kaplan, if your scores are less than 50s==its really not going to work..

    relax, don't think about that test for couple of days. Then start working again. Read saunders (your weakest areas). My weakest were GI and Musculoskeletal. so I skimmed through them and made notes etc. etc.


    this too shall pass...

    xoxo VNICKOR.
    My scores were about 60s. sometimes 50s. I should get that book and review topics i'm unsure of. Have u tried nclex4000? I want to keep kaplan for their qbanks, but i'm not sure?
  9. 1
    I too didn't past the first time I took "the test". I only had 95 questions and I look back and I feel the bad things I did was stayed up the night before and crammed, took the test Dec 19, and I do have test anxiety. The next time I only told my husband I was retaking it and I thought positive and I do remember the test is given to see if you are safe to practice. So I did study in a different way, I thought safe safe safe , I do not remember the book I studied with but it was the only one I studied from the second time and it did have practice questions and after you answered the question it gave the reasons why you would answer that way and almost always it came down to safety. When I went into the test I was thinking after each question what is the safety issue here. I only had 75 questions and felt like I did good but since I failed before I didnt want to get over you know what, the next am before the kids went off to school I looked up the site and I had a number with Rn so I knew I passed. I screamed and all thought something bad happened lol then I called my husband on his way home from worked and was so excited I forgot to tell him what the call was about. So this was my experience hope it helped and no matter what take the test until you past. You can do it and I do know a student that it took 6 times to past and she is a great nurse. Good luck!!!!
    simonsmom likes this.
  10. 1
    I graduated yearssss ago and initially took the exam way back then and failed. Due to family and real-life events, I didn't sit for NCLEX RN until June 2010 and failed again. During that time, I knew I was somewhat prepared but wanted to explore the "new" CAT system. I was doing well because I was getting SATA's, exhibits, drag & drop. Then...I encountered a med calc question that did not have answer choices and I panicked! I must have not come upon med calc where there were NO answer choices while studying or I may have just had test anxiety. I swear the computer KNEW and capitalized on my med calc weakness and I went downhill from there.

    Now I've decided to put forth the effort into preparing and studying smarter. In addition, I did an in-depth self assessment to determine my weak areas. This time around, I am sticking with 1 book as my primary NCLEX RN resource (MaryAnn Hogan's Comprehensive Review for NCLEX RN $51). After taking the diagnostic test online (1 year access with this book purchase), it provided me with a structured study plan and additional tests after each client need category. I also utilize PDA and NCLEX 10,000 (similar to NCLEX 4,000). My other books such as Saunders, Exam Cram, etc...I use as a back up for clarification or if I need a more in-depth explanation.

    Don't give up. Yes, its frustrating and at times, lowers our self-esteem. With prayers, perseverance and hard work...nothing is impossible.
    simonsmom likes this.
  11. 0
    Quote from confettirose
    I too didn't past the first time I took "the test". I only had 95 questions and I look back and I feel the bad things I did was stayed up the night before and crammed, took the test Dec 19, and I do have test anxiety. The next time I only told my husband I was retaking it and I thought positive and I do remember the test is given to see if you are safe to practice. So I did study in a different way, I thought safe safe safe , I do not remember the book I studied with but it was the only one I studied from the second time and it did have practice questions and after you answered the question it gave the reasons why you would answer that way and almost always it came down to safety. When I went into the test I was thinking after each question what is the safety issue here. I only had 75 questions and felt like I did good but since I failed before I didnt want to get over you know what, the next am before the kids went off to school I looked up the site and I had a number with Rn so I knew I passed. I screamed and all thought something bad happened lol then I called my husband on his way home from worked and was so excited I forgot to tell him what the call was about. So this was my experience hope it helped and no matter what take the test until you past. You can do it and I do know a student that it took 6 times to past and she is a great nurse. Good luck!!!!
    thank u! i know I can do it! I have major test anxiety so I plan on seeing my doctor about it. If you can remember what study tool you used please let me know. Thank u! I know I can do this. I won't know everything but i can do it!


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