NCLEX Rules - Please Follow Them!

by BloomNurseRN

44,376 Views | 56 Comments

Lately I have read more than one thread on allnurses that includes a poster state they broke or skirted one of the NCLEX rules because they "didn't know." Not knowing is not an excuse. All of the rules are available on the NCSBN website but this article touches on some of the issues coming up regularly. These are all easily preventable and this is just a reminder.

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    NCLEX Rules - Please Follow Them!

    I took the NCLEX-RN on June 10, 2013 and passed. Before I ever sat at the computer I was handed a sheet of rules to read thoroughly and it was expected that I would follow them. I have to say though, sitting in to that room was not the first time I saw the rules. They aren't a secret and they shouldn't be a surprise. They are available on the NCSBN website for everyone to see. Apparently there are some that aren't told this because results are still being put on hold due to issues during testing.

    There have been other articles on allnurses.com but they are older and have been pushed down into the forums so I thought a new list might help. These are rules that apply to the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN.

    Be careful what you bring with you to the testing site.

    All personal items have to be stored in a locker during the exam. Cell phones are placed in a sealed plastic envelope and are NOT to be accessed after you begin your NCLEX. You absolutely cannot be on a cell phone during a break. Also, study materials are NOT to be brought to the testing center. If you feel like you will be tempted to use your cell phone, do NOT bring it with you to the site. Leave it at home or in your glove compartment. Do not set yourself up for failure. These things can absolutely result in an automatic failure and possibly more severe consequences.

    Donít touch your white board until the tutorial is over.

    The tutorial is a quick walk through of what the NCLEX will look like and the types of questions you will encounter. Until the tutorial is complete, absolutely do NOT write anything on the board. Writing on the board (e.g. lab values or acronyms) before the tutorial is complete is considered a form of ďbrain dumpingĒ, which can result in your results being placed on hold or more severe consequences.

    If you need something, raise your hand.

    Once your NCLEX exam has begun do not do anything in the room without raising your hand. If you have filled up your whiteboard, need a break, your computer has locked up, or your test is complete, raise your hand for a testing center employee to come to you. Do not get up on your own and do not talk or your results can be placed on hold or more severe consequences.

    Try to stay calm as you leave.

    Itís easy to be overwhelmed as you complete the NCLEX. All of the nerves, adrenaline, whatever you want to call it may either be coming to a head or you may be exhausted following the exam. You still need to keep a clear head. Raise your hand when the test is over to be escorted out, redo your palm scan, and then retrieve your items from your locker. If you brought your cell phone with you, the envelope it was stored in has to be opened by the staff at the center before you leave. If you leave without finishing these steps (and with your cell phone still in the envelope) your results can be placed on hold or more severe consequences.

    Obviously there is a pattern to this list. These are issues that I have seen on the message boards recently and that are covered very clearly in the NCLEX rules. These are all things that can result in a hold placed on NCLEX results or more severe consequences (failure being one of them).

    My nursing school instructors, as well as my ATI Live Review presenter and Kaplan presenter, all put great emphasis on following the rules (seriously put the fear of God in us Ė I asked both of the monitors if it would be ok to remove my sweatshirt if it got hot just to be on the safe side). There were horror stories of a woman using her cell phone as she left the testing site being spotted by one of the testing center employees. There was a concern that she was calling to relay NCLEX information and her results were placed on hold and an inquiry ensued. You have worked too hard and too long to let something like that happen over a cell phone. There are certainly other issues that come up (e.g. completing the NCLEX quickly, odd testing pattern, perceived odd behavior) but the ones that I have listed above are all controllable and preventable.

    My personal example also involves a cell phone. I did take mine with me to the testing center because I walked from my hotel and I wanted to be able to call my husband should it begin raining while I was testing so he could come and pick me up. I followed all of the procedures, completed my exam, and was allowed to leave by the testing center monitor that was watching us test takers. She did my exit palm scan and wished me a good day. I went to get my wallet and cell phone out of the locker but the person who had been at the front desk was not there. I stood and waited for the other monitor to be available so that she could remove my cell phone from its sealed envelope. I didnít want to take even the remotest chance that it would be realized I had left without someone at the center opening my cell phone.

    The rules are available on the NCSBN website all day, every day. Read them carefully before you go and read them thoroughly the day of the exam. Use it as a moment to take a deep breath and review something you already know. These seem like small things but I highly recommend keeping your wits about you and keeping a cool head so you donít make a silly mistake that could cost you something you have worked so hard for.
    Last edit by Joe V on Jul 15, '13
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  4. About BloomNurseRN

    I am a recent ASN-RN looking for my first nursing position and getting ready to start my higher education goals in the next year.

    BloomNurseRN joined Jun '12 - from 'Indiana'. BloomNurseRN has '1' year(s) of experience. Posts: 612 Likes: 298; Learn more about BloomNurseRN by visiting their allnursesPage


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    56 Comments so far...

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    our center had people remove their watches (not digital) and bracelets as well...I left my cell phone in my car - the only thing I brought in was my keys, license and ATT form....

    seriously - its not worth it....I agree!
    phoenixnim, mmc51264, boogalina, and 1 other like this.
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    Quote from Twinmom06
    our center had people remove their watches (not digital) and bracelets as well...I left my cell phone in my car - the only thing I brought in was my keys, license and ATT form....

    seriously - its not worth it....I agree!
    Excellent point! My center also had people remove any wrist watch, bracelets, even a hair tie around the wrist. Then before entering the testing room we had to turn out any pockets that could be turned out to show we weren't carrying anything in. It's easier just not to take anything!
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    Had to take off my earrings as well.
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    I took the NCLEX-PN last year and I was a nervous wreck. I got there 3 hours early, and darn near had a meltdown The woman in the testing center told me "take a deep breath, and relax" twice! Lol. I'm taking the NCLEX-RN soon, and I doubt I'll be as clumsy & panicky as I was last year..at least I'm hoping I won't be lol!
    wheresthatcat and BloomNurseRN like this.
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    what is the reason for waiting to have someone take your cell phone OUT of the bag?? for that matter, why put it in one , in the firstn place??
    DizzyLizzyNurse likes this.
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    Quote from morte
    what is the reason for waiting to have someone take your cell phone OUT of the bag?? for that matter, why put it in one , in the firstn place??
    That's the newest NCLEX RN/PN thing. They require all cell phones be placed in a sealed plastic type thing. (not see through). You hand your phone to the person as you are registered in, they place the phone in the bag and seal it. You then place it in the locker you are assigned to. Once your test is over and you go through the palm scan etc, you go back out to where the lobby area is (where the lockers are and where you first came in) and get your things out, you then have the pearsonvue employee unseal the bag and retrieve your phone.

    The reason? People come up with ingenuious ways to cheat. I'm sure more than one person had their cell phone and used it during a break/bathroom etc to either call someone just to have an innocent chit chat or to use the phone to do a really quick review of info.

    the reason to wait for the person to take the phone out of the sealed bag...because they tell you to. simple as that.
    GrnTea, stewartfamily2010, HMAmara, and 3 others like this.
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    Quote from morte
    what is the reason for waiting to have someone take your cell phone OUT of the bag?? for that matter, why put it in one , in the firstn place??
    It's to prove that it has been secured while you were taking the test and that it has NOT been accessed at any time after you started the test. They place it in the sealed envelope and you place it in your locker. If you have to take a break, you are not allowed to access your cell phone but you are allowed to access your locker. You can get a snack or a drink while on break and then return to the test. Once the test is complete, having the representative at the testing center open the bag is a checkpoint to ensure that you did not open your cell phone at all from the time you started the test to the time you finished. It's all about making sure nothing changed from the moment you walked in to that room.
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    My kaplan coach told a story where a girl went to her locker and checked her phone on break. Not to cheat, just... checking her phone (this was a while ago, before the bags). Out she went. I think they let her re-take later, but she was lucky. As it was, her test was null and void; it was as if she failed. All bcs we're so addicted to our phones.

    I put my phone in the bag and sealed it, but realized afterwards that the woman behind the desk actually wanted to witness me doing so. She let me slide though.

    But I had to bring the sealed bag to her for her to inspect before I opened it. If she hadn't been at the desk, I def would have waited!

    But everyone there was SO nice. I was at a busy testing center, but the staff was very attentive and therapeutic. Thank god, bcs I was close to vomiting the whole time, lol!
    BloomNurseRN likes this.
  13. 0
    Quote from CT Pixie
    That's the newest NCLEX RN/PN thing. They require all cell phones be placed in a sealed plastic type thing. (not see through).
    Yep, this is definitely new. It wasn't started until March 2013 and I think that while many instructors and review presenters know this, there are many that don't. Again, that's why it's SO important to read the rules and be prepared!


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