I wanted to share my NCLEX-PN journey for anyone who is wondering what it was like, what to expect, and to share tips/advice.
I graduated my PN program mid July of 2017. I submitted my application to the NH BON and patiently waited for my ATT. When I finally received my ATT, I automatically jumped on and secured a test date 3 weeks away. During those 3 weeks I religiously studied monday-friday at least 6 hours a day. I used Exam-Cram PN (with the CD and online resource) and purchased a comprehensive review directly from the NCSBN website. Both correlated directly with the NCLEX-PN 2017 test plan. In my opinion, the Exam-Cram book questions were very similar to what I saw on the NCLEX. I would say that the NCSBN review was time consuming and the review questions were much more difficult but nonetheless provided detailed rationales and helped me reinforce important information.
The day before I sat for my exam I was a nervous wreck. I did not tell anyone that I was sitting for NCLEX due to fear of failure. I honestly felt sick to my stomach. I tried to relax but found myself nose deep in my Exam-Cram book. I do not recommend that. I wish I took the time to rest and relax.
During the exam, I received AT LEAST 30 SATA!, 10 med math, and many prioritization & delegation questions. My computer shut off at 85. I was so nervous! I was told that my results would be available within a few days. I could not do the PVT trick because I had a voucher from my school so that was out of the question
When I got home about an hour later, I jumped on the NH BON website and typed my name into the license verification and...... my PN license was already ACTIVE! I had to call them and verify that I was not crazy. and indeed my PN license was ACTIVE!
Yes, the NCLEX was very challenging. I had to take a deep breath and remind myself that I knew the information. I took my time with every question, reading it over and over before I even looked at the options. I recommend training your brain to look for what exactly the question is asking. Look for key words and know the scope of practice. This helped me more than once during my exam.
For tips remembering lab values- For some reason we remember things that are dumb, right? This was my dumb memorization...
(Ranges will differ from source to source)
Calcium: Range 9-11. Think: CAL
Potassium: Range 3.5-5.5. Think : Buying bananas (which are high in potassium) There are 3-5 bananas in a bunch and you buy them 1/2 ripe
Chloride: Range 98-106 Think: Chlorine in a pool- you go swimming when its 98-106 degrees outside
Sodium: Range 135-145. Think: Buying a bottle of coke (high in sodium) Prices will range from $1.35-$1.45 per bottle
BUN: Range 10-20. Think: Buying a burger at a restaurant- the price will range from $10 - $20
You CAN do it! You will be SUCCESSFUL! You are going to be a GREAT nurse! Simply believe in yourself and trust that you have the knowledge and power to prevail!
Best of luck!