recently passed nclex-rn on the 3rd try after 90 minutes & 75 questions. loads of priority, infection control, 18 sata, a couple delegation, 4 meds, 2 diagrams, 1 audio, 1 drag-n-drop, no math.
graduated from an accelerated bsn program in december 2008. first took the test in february 2009, failed with the full 265. already had a job lined up. fortunately, they let me stay on in a support role so i was still exposed to the hospital environment. was pressured to take it again (before i felt ready) in july 2009, failed with 135. took the next year and a half to figure out that nursing is what i really wanted because i saw some really shoddy nursing when i was in the hospital.
decided finally that this is what i want after realizing that there are people in every profession who have no business being in that profession. and don't get me wrong, there are a lot of phenomenal nurses. i just happened to see my fair share of non-phenomenal nurses.
so anyway, i didn't really change up my study plan. that is, i didn't have a structured study plan. i've read all the books/posts saying give yourself 3 hrs. a day for a couple months and stick to it, yada, yada, yada. that's merely a suggestion. you have to find what works for you. i just answered questions and reviewed ones i got wrong. i would set aside at least an hour a day and if i went extra great, if i didn't go extra, great. and it obviously worked.
that being said, my study material consisted of 2010 davis q&a, pda by linda lacharity (the best!), and the infection control pneumonic on this website. i took kaplan the first time and i hated it! the strategies are good, but the class portion is a joke! unfortunately i chose to repeat the course instead of getting my money back and still failed. most people swear by it, but i swear at it! again, find what works for you!
i want to say one final thing: please do not ignore the power of prayer. i'm conflicted about this because i do not adhere to any organized religion. i absolutely believe in a higher power, but i don't go to church nor do i even pray everyday. however, i certainly prayed this time around (something i didn't do the first two times). i prayed to god and st. joseph of cupertino to watch over me and keep me calm. i did that the night before the test and in the hallway after check-in at pearsonvue. i kid you not, i was so calm throughout the test and i was breathing so well that when the screen went blue after 75 i knew i had passed. i also got questions that i knew--something that is referenced in the prayers...coincidence??? i prayed again after i left and thanked them both for watching over me. i copied this from the february 2011 test takers thread (pg 10, i think):
this powerful prayer is very effective in examinations. it has to be said before appearing in the examination. there are two variants to this prayer. both the prayers are equally effective. you can choose any one of these:-
first prayer o great st. joseph of cupertino who while on earth did obtain from god the grace to be asked at your examination only the questions you knew, obtain for me a like favour in the examinations for which i am now preparing. in return i promise to make you known and cause you to be invoked.
through christ our lord.
st. joseph of cupertino, pray for us.
second prayer o st. joseph of cupertino who by your prayer obtained from god to be asked at your examination, the only preposition you knew. grant that i may like you succeed in the (here mention the name of examination) examination.
in return i promise to make you known and cause you to be invoked.
o st. joseph of cupertino pray for me
o holy ghost enlighten me
our lady of good studies pray for me
sacred head of jesus, seat of divine wisdom, enlighten me.
and here's an extra one for good measure: prayer to st. joseph of cupertino for success in examinations o humble st. joseph of cupertino, singularly favored by god in overcoming the difficulties of study and the worries of examinations, implore the holy spirit to enlighten my mind and strengthen my memory in the search of his truth and wisdom. help me especially in the decisive moments of this examination, protecting me from that forgetfulness and disturbing anxiety which often affect me. may i succeed in offering god my finest work and may i grow in knowledge, understanding, humility and charity. may everything that i attempt to learn in life be offered in faithful service to god, from whom flows that wisdom which leads to eternal life. amen. st. joseph of cupertino, pray for me. our lady of good studies, pray for me. holy spirit, enlighten me!
in closing, i must thank the members of this wonderful website for their insight into preparing for the nclex and offering their support and non-judgmental attitudes toward everyone who will be taking it. and for those of you repeat test-takers, take comfort in the fact that everyone gets to that goal (rn) in the end...we all take different routes to get there. remember, you got through school. you have the knowledge. apply it and conquer this beast! start soaring in nursing