NCLEX Disability Accommodations

  1. Hi everyone out there in almost-nurse or new-nurse land,

    I want to hear about other peoples' experiences with trying to get disability accommodations for taking NCLEX. One of my classmates and I both had bad experiences with this that amount to discrimination - it's messed up!

    What have other people's experiences been?

    Were you granted accommodations to bring essential medications or supplies into the exam with you (rather than locked up in another room), such as asthma inhalers, glucose tablets, insulin pumps, etc.?

    If you applied for accommodations, did you have trouble scheduling your exam? Trouble reaching Pearson or getting called back? Much longer waits and fewer date options than your classmates?

    Has anyone been granted any accommodations other than 9 hours to take the exam?
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    About diabeticalmostnurse

    Joined: Jul '11; Posts: 5


  3. by   Coolbean12
    Very interesting post, I look forward to the responses that you may receive. I have yet to take my Nclex but I have A.D.D. and I have been told that you have a locker that you have access to on breaks but I am not sure if this is true or not. For instance if you bring a water bottle? I have ever heard that you can leave to smoke a cig (sort of unbelievable to me but that is what I have been told)... So although I did not apply for any special accommodations, as I usually do not have a problem with time (distractions YES!! but time is not usually an issue, well hopefully 6 hours will be enough.. I pray that it is..) I just hope that I will be able to access my medication on break if need be.. I will def take my adderal beforehand but if it goes past 3-4 hours I will most likely need another pill.. So, I too am curious if anyone has experienced this.... (without putting a disability down.. obviously the pills would be in my name,if they needed to check that or anything)

    Thanks everyone and congrats to all of those who pased.
  4. by   diabeticalmostnurse
    My experience:
    I turned in all the accommodations paperwork including letter from my doctor and nursing school dean, with very clear request to
    1) be allowed to bring in food/glucose tablets, water, my insulin pump, and blood test meter to the exam with me
    2) be allowed additional unscheduled breaks to use the washroom or for a low blood sugar

    When I received my ATT, the accommodations I & my Dr. asked for were not granted. Instead I was granted 9 hours to take the exam (which I do not need). I found out everyone is allowed unscheduled breaks. When I asked Pearson about the problem with my insulin pump & glucose tablets they said, "If it is not on your accommodations, we can't allow you to bring it in. But don't worry! There are locked lockers in another room where you can safely keep your insulin pump. If you need it, you can just let the proctor know, sign out, and go use it." I then had trouble scheduling because there were very few 9 hour slots, and I told them I didn't need a 9 hour slot, but they said they were forced to schedule me for that with my accommodation.

    When I call the BRN (California), they said that I would be allowed to bring my insulin pump in - but they won't give me written documentation of this for Pearson. They said they don't allow anyone to bring food in, ever, not even glucose tablets (couldn't this be considered a medication not food anyways?). When I said that was discrimination, my Dr. signed forms saying I needed to, they said, it's not our fault, it's the national (NCBSN) rule, that they are not allowed to grant accommodations to bring food in. I told them it was a safety issue and I needed to not rely on another person to access glucose tablets, and that if I was hypoglycemic I shouldn't have to walk to another place and unlock a locker. I said it's unsafe for me to be without them so I will have to bring glucose tablets in anyways. She then said, "If you are caught bringing those in, your exam will be invalidated and further action may be taken against you in accordance with the consequences listed on page 7 of the NCLEX bulletin." That includes possibly not being allowed to take it again.

    I also asked to reject the 9 hour test time since that was not an accommodation I had requested. She told me that to do that, I would have to start all over again and apply for a new ATT (I don't know if I would have to pay again or not, but I didn't want to wait another 4-6 weeks since the reason I wanted to reject it in the first place was to schedule earlier).

    So, I am definitely not allowed to bring glucose tablets in. And the BRN says I'll be able to bring in my insulin pump but won't put it in writing... and Pearson thinks it's just fine if I take it off, lock it up, and can go get it if I need it. Ha. Too bad I always need it!


    My classmate had extreme difficulty getting someone from Pearson to call her back, and once they did she had extremely limited options for when to take it (and one of our classmates without a disability scheduled hers the same day and basically had a choice of nearly any weekday that month)
  5. by   diabeticalmostnurse
    hey coolbean,
    you definitely have access to a locker on breaks and can leave water and medication in there.
  6. by   caliotter3
    What a headache. They seem to be contradicting the entire purpose of having special accommodations. When all is said and done, I would consider writing a formal letter of complaint.