I wanted to take a moment to let everyone know a little bit about my journey to passing the NCLEX. I had to take the NCLEX three times before I passed! I was always a good student in nursing school and I got all A's and B's in my classes. After I graduated in Sept of 2010, our class was given unlimited study time with the ATI program until we passed the NCLEX. Our director and assistant director of nursing told us that they had gone ahead and purchased the program for all of the nursing students at no cost to us. As far as I knew, this sounded like a great deal! I started going through the online program and took the tests, studied, and got advice from my coach when I needed it. When I ended the program the first time around, I was told to take a predictor test and I got a 94% chance of passing the NCLEX on my first try! My coach told me I was ready for the NCLEX so I scheduled it and took it about 2 weeks later. I got 108 questions, and I FAILED!! I walked out feeling horrible about it and I was in tears! Two days later, I found out that I had for sure failed! I was so upset I took it out on my ATI coach. She said she felt really bad and that we would figure out where I went wrong and she assured me I would pass the second time. After I took a few days to sulk and be upset, I moved forward and I was determined to pass and I knew I would never give up until I passed this stupid test!! I decided to do the ATI one more time since I could not see myself spending anymore money on NCLEX prep material, especially since the NCLEX itself is $200! I went through the whole program again, took some different tests, focused on my weak areas like pharm and contact precautions for certain diseases and then I took the predictor test again and was told that I had a 93% chance of passing the NCLEX the second time. After the "go-ahead" from my coach I scheduled the NCLEX again and this time I got ALL 265 questions!! I was there for 5 and a half hours!! I walked out crying (again) and I had the worst headache ever! My Mom came to pick me up and I told her how it went and that I just knew I didn't get the last question right, but I still tried to hold on to the little bit of faith that I had that maybe I had passed this time. Two days later, I found out that once again my gut instinct was right and that I had AGAIN FAILED!! I couldn't believe it! I had lost all hope that day and a little piece of me just wanted to give up but I didn't! I knew that God had a plan for me and it just wasn't in my plan to be a RN at that time. After I found out, I stopped all studying for about 2 weeks and I let my ATI coach know that I would no longer be needing her assistance and that I was going to go in a different direction as far as studying was concerned (this was my nice way of telling her to f*&k off!!). After the two weeks had passed, I decided (along with my parents) to make the big investment with Kaplan. I had heard great reviews and all of my friends that had taken it passed the first time. $500 later I found myself in a week long class and taking a WHOLE LOT of questions from the online qbank and question trainers. BEST INVESTEMENT I HAVE EVER MADE!!!! The in-class part didn't give us new material to study but a new way of understanding how to critically think and disect the questions in order to answer them. The decision tree became my new best friend!! I used it every time I answered a question. I was getting questions right even when I didn't really understand some of words/diseases in the question! I was feeling a lot more confident and relaxed about taking the NCLEX! After I had gotten good scores on my question trainers and finished 95% of the qbank, I felt I was ready to once again take on the NCLEX! I scheduled it and took it on June 8, 2011. I went through every question using the decision tree and taking my time. I got to number 75, which was a select all that apply and after I answered it the screen went blue!!! I couldn't believe it! I walked out feeling neither happy nor sad, I just felt unsure of how I did. The whole ride home by myself from Denver to Colorado Springs, I was in a daze. I was so anxious to know how I did that I had my Dad to the PVT for me as soon as I got home. I couldn't even look at the computer! And then...there it was....the good pop-up!! I was in such shock and I just started jumping up and down screaming and balling my eyes out! Sure enough, two days later I had found out that I had for sure PASSED!!! It was the best feeling in the world!!
The main reason for me telling you all this is because I know that if I, an average nursing student, can pass, you can too!! Take the Kaplan course and do all of the online questions and most of all DON'T EVER GIVE UP!! Nobody will care how many times it took you to pass....all they care about is that you are a Registered Nurse!! Hope this helps for all of you who are in the same boat that I was in and I wish you all the very very best!! GOOD LUCK!!