NCLEX RN 2016 Advice

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    Preparing for the NCLEX can be a daunting experience. Relax, take a few deep breaths, and envision yourself in your future nursing career. You made it through nursing school and now is your time to shine. Here you will find a raw account of what the test prep was like for me that brought me success!

    NCLEX RN 2016 Advice

    Hi there! I told myself after taking the NCLEX-RN exam that I would come back here (like many have) and discuss my experience, results, etc. because I spent countless evenings and hours on this site looking for comfort throughout my nursing school journey and especially after I graduated waiting to take the NCLEX. I took the NCLEX RN yesterday (1/6/16) at 8:00 am and completed the exam in approximately 1 hour with 75 questions. I will post my results in the morning when I get them. I have done the PVT and gotten "the good pop up" and my state (Texas) BON has not removed my graduate nurse license, which is supposed to be a good sign. My boss said that if you fail, the BON will immediately remove your GN license from the site. Anyways....here is what I did.

    I graduated 12/10/15. I got my ATT on 1/16/15. I signed up to take the NCLEX for 1/6/16, giving myself exactly 3 weeks to study.

    For the first week, I really got down to business on re-watching my Hurst Review videos. The Hurst has 27 videos total, anywhere from 16 minutes to 1 hour and 24 minutes long.The videos average around 45 minutes. I had already taken the live review the week of graduation with my class (It was mandatory, $300). I had 9 videos left to watch by the time I stopped studying for the NCLEX. (So I did not complete the review all the way through). The Hurst Review online also has 6 practice tests "Q Trainers" that are 125 questions each. I completed all of these before I took the NCLEX.

    I purchased the Kaplan-Q Bank for one month. It was $49. I aimed to answer 100-200 questions a day and to review all of the rationales. I bought a spiral notebook and wrote down the rationales to questions I got wrong. I also wrote down unfamiliar topics and looked them up after the fact.

    I purchased the LaCharity: Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment book. It is a thin, workbook-style book that Barnes and Noble carries. It was $50. I completed about half of the work book.

    After my first week of studying, I went out of town for Christmas to visit family for 2 days. When I came back, it was very hard for me to get back to 8 hour study days. I could not focus on any more videos. I stopped watching videos and decided to just answer as much questions as I could stand every day. I ended up doing about 150-200 questions a day until the day before my test date. Before I took my test I had ended up doing 1,350 questions and reading rationales. (Yes, I added it up). My bestie from nursing school and I got together each day for 3 days before the test. What we did was take 1 Hurst Q-Trainer test (125 questions each) together each day. We took turns reading questions out loud to each other and working through the answers. Then, we would go back and read all of the rationales out loud together also. We both felt like this was extremely helpful. We only disagreed on about 10% of the test. We obviously scored better together, so we subtracted about 10 questions from our final score for accuracy as to where we really stood.

    What were my Kaplan Q Bank scores like?
    Test 1: 57%
    Test 2: 57%
    Test 3: 63%
    Test 4: 59%
    Test 5: 44% (I think I was tired of studying this day
    Test 6: 65%
    Test 7: 55%
    Test 8: 64%

    I took 75 question tests in "timed mode" not "tutor mode". I never recycled any questions and I always checked "select all" for content of questions.

    What were my Hurst Q Trainer Scores? This is questions correct out of 125. They also give you percentages. I did not feel like going through the trouble of looking at the percentages in each test, sorry

    Test 1: 75
    Test 2: 77
    Test 3: 82
    Test 4: 84 (With my friend)
    Test 5: 93 (With my friend)
    Test 6: 85

    I felt that I was more than prepared for my NCLEX exam (after the fact). My advice for anyone taking the NCLEX would be as follows:


    1. Sign Up ASAP After Graduation.

    Do not wait.
    Give yourself 1 maybe 2 weeks to study. I feel that trying to learn and memorize content right after graduation is counter productive. You JUST graduated nursing school. You know at least 70% of the information that you need to know for the NCLEX if you passed your program. There is no way of knowing what content-related information will be on your test because everyone's test is so different. DO NOT waste your time trying to memorize and learn new content. Just stop and trust yourself. If you are doing something such as Hurst review, I would recommend watching videos on subjects that you are not strong in. For instance, I am not great at Fluids and Electrolytes or ACID/BASE. If I could go back, I would have just watched these videos. Do not waste time and energy. Maybe look over lab values daily. That is the only memorizing I recommend. I know how some of you feel that you HAVE to do content. If you have Hurst access, look through their "5th Day Material" handouts. They have great reviews on meds by class if you are pharmacology weak. If you do not have Hurst access, maybe try purchasing the Picmonic package. This seems to be a great site to help learn content, meds, etc. and it is cheap. ($10 I believe).

    2. QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS!!!

    Do as many questions as you can. Buy the Kaplan Q Bank. Buy the LaCharity PDA book. Buy one other question source such as NCLEX 4000. This is the MOST EFFECTIVE way to study for NCLEX if you are a new grad. This will be enough!!! Try to go through 1500-2000 questions and rationales before your test. You know the minimum competency for content. You need to learn how to answer the questions.

    In short...this is what you should purchase: (~150$ total)

    1. Kaplan Q Bank- $49 for 1 month access
    2. LaCharity PDA book- $50
    3. Alternate question source such as "NCLEX RN Mastery" which costs about $35 for a month of access. My school also recommended "UWorld" question bank. It costs $60 for one month of access. I had another friend recommend the NCSBN study plan/question bank. She passed in 75 questions her first try in June 2015. If you have the Hurst Review, use their Q Tests plus one other source for questions. That will be sufficient.

    There is a 35 page review floating around on here that is also really helpful. It was VERY accurate on the need-to-know content. I would read over this a few times. I can e-mail you this if you need it, just ask

    This will be more than enough for someone who has just passed an RN program to pass the NCLEX.

    If you have been out of nursing school for a while and are trying to prepare, I would recommend purchasing the online version of the Hurst Review for 300$ and going through all of the content videos. Take their Q Trainer tests AFTER you watch ALL of the content videos- they will not give you more time in the event that you end up failing the NCLEX if you do any of the Q Trainers BEFORE you watch ALL of the videos. Just read all of the directions so you don't screw yourself out of more review in the event of failing (but you WON'T FAIL!)

    What type of student was I? I was very strong in clinicals and found most of my nursing school exams difficult. I have never been extremely competent in my "book smart" abilities, but have always been pleasantly surprised by my outcomes and grades. I am a "B" student. I made 2 "C's" and 2 "A's" in nursing school, with the rest being "B". There were times that I did study a LOT, but I still felt that I was able to have a social life in nursing school. Our school did ATI testing. I averaged level 2's for ATI. I was weak in pharmacology ATI. I also passed my ATI comprehensive exit exam on the first try with a 96% prediction that I would pass NCLEX on my first try.

    What was my exam like? Well..It was 75 questions. I had a lot of SATA...probably about 30. That is all I can say about my actual exam. The content and style was very comparable to Hurst Review questions and also Kaplan Q Bank questions.

    Remember these things when taking the NCLEX:

    1. This is a SAFETY TEST. The Board of Nursing wants to make sure that you have the minimum competency to practice safely without harming anyone.

    2. With questions, ask yourself:

    • Who would die FIRST if I did not see them?
    • What would keep my patient the safest?
    • If I can only do ONE of these things.....which thing will help my patient the most?
    • What will fix the problem the FASTEST?
    • If it is a delegation question: What patient is the most stable and predictable (for the LVN/LPN)? For the UAP: Can I EAT (Evaluate, Assess, or Teach) it? Then I will not delegate it! I am hungry! :P
    • If the question is SATA: Read each statement individually. Treat each statement as a true or false as it pertains to the question. Breathe through these! YOU CAN do it!

    You Passed Nursing School. You Got This!

    Believe in your abilities and practice practice practice answering questions. No negative self talk. When you get tired of studying, take breaks! Be gentle on yourself. Pray Pray Pray (to God, the universe, whatever you believe in...!) GOOD VIBES ONLY! Good luck future RN's!

    Check Out The Following '5 Tips to Prep For NCLEX RN' Video

    Last edit by Joe V on Dec 20, '16
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    About merzielynn, ADN, RN

    Joined Sep '13; Posts: 21; Likes: 80.

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    193 Comments

  3. by   L&DAthleteNurseBSN
    You mentioned that the GN on the website disappears immediately if you Pass the NCLEX. Just wanted to add that it disappears regardless of if you pass or fail so that is not an accurate indicator of passing or failing. I, too, got the "Good Pop-up" and upon searching for my GN permit I noticed it was gone from the TBON.
  4. by   merzielynn
    I actually stated that if you fail they will take it down. I was told that due to the fact that some people have jobs already as GNs and may have work the following day, this is done to prevent unlawful practice. Nothing is really for sure until you get the official results from the BON. Sorry for the confusion.
  5. by   merzielynn
    Also it does not disappear regardless, or else mine would not be up. I took the test at 8 am yesterday and it is still up (:
  6. by   callmewoof
    Overall, great advice! I especially agree on the ask yourself stuff like "if I could only do 1 thing what would it be". I graduated spring of 2014, failed the NCLEX 3 times (depression, life stuff, lack of study). I took it Jan 5th and got the pass today (in 77 Q's)! The computer flashed screens when I was done on #75 and I was so happy... until it said to take a break. Ugh! Took a break, restroom, snack, calm down. Got back to the test, calmed down some more, answered 2 questions, BAM computer blanks out and gives me an exit survey! What a heart attack!

    Personally, what got me through this time, besides factors such as fixing up some issues in life, was uworld. I had only tried ATI before and the Saunders books, but read so much about uworld here. I'm not trying to endorse it, because tons of people pass all the time without it. It just worked for me, specifically. Either way, it's just another Q-bank. I took all my practice tests non-tutor, 75 at a time, and untimed. To me, the timing didn't matter as long as I was working the problem out in my head.

    You are spot on with that list of stuff to remember. I literally wrote down on my little erase board almost all of those tips; I knew my lab values and what-not, but it can be hard to ask yourself all those things for every question, unless you go down that list! Helped me, anyway).

    I'd add that you should try to remember Acute vs. Chronic, and Critical vs. Stable. And don't forget Maslow! You'd swear that it's "obvious" or wouldn't come up, but you'd be surprised how that can hide in the questions/answers. One or two little words can change everything. And for the love of god, don't play out a full scenario in your head! Or rather to say, your test question environment is in a perfect little world where you'd never have to do anything beyond what the question is asking. Again probably obvious, but if you start to imagine the problem play out in your head it can be too easy to 'assume in' extra details that'll screw you up.

    Well, hope the best for you! Thanks for sharing your experiences, thought I'd share mine too but your post is too good so I'd just rather contribute to it. Nursing! Woot!
  7. by   L&DAthleteNurseBSN
    Quote from merzielynn
    Also it does not disappear regardless, or else mine would not be up. I took the test at 8 am yesterday and it is still up (:
    You're right! I was wrong! My GN is still on the BON. For some reason I looked under "Temporary licenses" and not "Nurse permits". You were right though. Thankyou for a great post
  8. by   merzielynn
    @callmewoof I agree with your additions! That is great. I am so happy that you passed! Sometimes life just gets in the way, I hope people will not get discouraged if they do not pass first try.

    @Athlete2bNurseBSN I am glad yours is still there and the confusion was cleared! I know nothing is absolute until we get official results but the signs so far are good! ::Fingers crossed::!! I was like man I hope this person doesn't think I am trying to be rude!
  9. by   onigiri06
    Congratulations on passing! I am hoping to take the clex-rn early veb, would you kindly email me the 34 page review please? my email is cheska_onigiri at yahoo .com .ph

    Thank you and congratulations again
  10. by   Debra1980
    Hello people I took my Nclex-RN yesterday 5 minutes after I got in the car I did the PVT it took my $200 I got all the 265 questions 4.5 hrs heart break did I check it too early or it mean I don't pass please say some things nice
  11. by   merzielynn
    Hi there! You may have done the PVT trick too soon. Supposedly you are to use a card that is valid, but with less than 200 dollars on it, such as a visa gift card. This way, they cannot charge your card. I have heard that it is most valid 24 hours later but I know that you are supposed to get an error message that states "Our records indicate that you have recently scheduled this exam. Another registration cannot be made at this time" once you submit the order. You will only know if you passed or failed when the results come in so do not lose faith, however I have heard of this being a sign of failure to be honest. I have had a friend fail with 265 and pass with 265 on her second try. IF you did fail, they will give you a new ATT almost immediately I believe is what she told me. Sign up for the SOONEST date possible and really hit your weak points hard, while doing lots and lots of practice questions. Do not give up and do not be hard on yourself! Best of luck to you!
  12. by   merzielynn
    Passed my NCLEX-RN! My NCLEX Review Material Tips

    I tried to email you but it came back with a delivery failure notice. If you go to the link above, it will take you to another users post (also worth reading!) that has the review attached at the bottom. Hope this helps!
  13. by   merzielynn
    I received my results and I passed (: My results came exactly 48 hours from scheduled start time (8:00 am). So, for me the PVT worked and also my GN license stayed up.
  14. by   callmewoof
    Yes! Congrats!!

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