Here's my story:
I graduated and got my BSN degree in 2004 and worked for 5 years in my home country until 2010 when I migrated to North America. Yes, 2004 was a long time ago and I thought my brain was kinda rusty somehow. But I told myself to just do it. I applied for the NCLEX on May 17th and didn't get my ATT until end of June. But I started to study anyway while waiting for it. When I got my ATT, I scheduled my test right away on July 25th.
I read the Saunders 5th Edition to brush up on my content knowledge. I focused first on Adult Nursing because I knew it was one of my weaknesses. Before I read content, I answered questions on the cd-rom to prepare my brain of what to absorb when I start reading the chapters. I did that per system. When I'm traveling on the bus or train, I listened to SAUNDERS audio reviews on drugs, fluids and electrolytes, and ABG's. Again, they were very helpful.
When the test date was 3 weeks away, I enrolled online for the NCSBN learning extension. It had a lot of content in it but I disregarded reading everything. I just didn't want information overload and get myself confused so I trusted my number one brand... SAUNDERS. I did a lot of the practice tests in the learning extension and I got frustrated and discouraged here and there because I got scores from 50%-60%. That was not good enough for me. However, I still practiced some more and even took some of the tests twice. My scores improved and I have to say that the questions were similar, and closest to the ones that were on the actual test. I practiced my critical thinking skills through the tests on the NCSBN.
A week before the test, I read the KAPLAN 2011-2012 edition. The tips and strategies were so helpful especially on priorities and delegation. I took the practice test in the book (didn't have much time to answer the test in the cd-rom) and scored a 67%. I still didn't think I was good enough.
Few days before the test, I was a wreck. I panicked almost everyday. I unscheduled and rescheduled my test 3 days before the test. I was just worrying too much that I thought I didn't have enough time. To add to all the pressure that I was going through, me and my fiance were visiting his parents to celebrate his birthday. Yes, I scheduled the test on his birthday. And his whole family knew I was taking the test.
My fiance dropped me off at the testing center in Newport News, Virginia and I took the test at 8am. Whenever I got a hard question, I closed my eyes and prayed to God to help me pick the right answer. Then I continued. I had 7 SATAs, 2 diagrams, approximately 10-15 about drugs and the rest were multiple choice questions. At 75, I prayed to God again to extend my test to 100 just to allow me to prove myself... Then it just turned blue after I answered the 75th question. I finished the test in 1 hour and 45 minutes.
We drove to the nearest Starbucks coffee shop and did the pearson vue trick...and I got the good pop up! I cried and gave my fiance a hug. He told me it was the best birthday gift he received that day.
Then, today, the 8th day since I took the test, my name was officially listed on the website of Virginia Board of Nursing. I give God all the glory for all this. We did it together! US-RN!