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    This article is just a release of the frustrations I have had while studying and not passing the NCLEX. If anyone else goes through these things or have a story they would like to share too please comment. It's nice to know you aren't alone in the battle. How to deal with the pressure of the NCLEX while dealing with LIFE in general.


    This is my last resort as an outlet to the frustration that I am having. I wish someone would have stressed how important it was while I was in nursing to school to study for the NCLEX and to take it before school was over.

    So now almost a year out of school and I am still just a graduate nurse. Like many people I need a JOB and so as soon as I finished school I studied for a while, thinking I was prepared for the test, and didn't pass. But let me say I was stressed beyond belief. I think all odds were against me in the moment when I took my test.

    First, I couldn't see well due to me losing my contacts and I didn't have any glasses at the time. Second, the weeks prior there was constant fighting between my mother and I as well as my brother and I. Thirdly, I had just started a new relationship and included the person into my life and goals, not really subsiding any of the pressure that I already had on my back due to the fact that all my family knew when I was going to take the test.

    Once I got to the testing center, I stopped at 165 questions in less than 2 hours. Talk about rushing. I swear, I must have dosed off so many times while taking the test, could barely see, was so anxious, and cold that no wonder I failed.

    I left the center just knowing my faith went home and did the trick and of course, I was able to register again. I just broke down in tears, but I'm not the type of person to just wallow in my sorrows. But now almost eight months after that I still haven't sat for my exam as yet. Every time I'm in the groove of studying something in my LIFE comes up where I have to devote my attention to that! I hate it!

    I just finished a job as a HEALTH COACH and was going to use the money to register for a review course and of course I had to use all the money for something that just came up out of no where!! Talk about perfect timing!

    The pressure is really on my back, not only because I have a son but it's like my whole family is crumbling and I have to be the one to help out because I have a degree that is promising! Although I have such weight on my shoulders I feel I get no help anywhere!!

    I don't know how people with kids were able to study. By the time I'm finished dealing with my son and his hmwk I am so drained that I just want to go to bed! I got offered another job this week, which is only 4 weeks long (what's up with that) but I know the hours will be ridiculous, but I said once I get paid I will sign up for a review course and burst my brains and take my exam! I so want to be a nurse!

    This is my passion and it pains me to not be able to get over this hurdle! I'm disappointed in myself for not focusing more while in school, sometimes when I'm doing the questions and I get so many wrong I'm like *** and I dumb (which I know I'm not) but this test can really shatter someone's spirits.

    I just would like to hear from anyone who has had a similar experience to me and see how you dealt with it. I just really decided to come on here to release my frustrations because I really have no one else to talk to and I am not going to have a nervous breakdown with all the craziness going on in my life, I'm too strong for that. ANYONE HELP!!
    Last edit by Joe V on Oct 29, '13 : Reason: spacing
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    Joined: Oct '13; Posts: 10; Likes: 3

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  3. by   VTach2013
    Take a deep breath! I know how fustrating it is not to pass the NCLEX on the first try as it happened to me. Dont despair. You need to make a study schedule and stick to it. If its between 7pm-9pm monday-wednesday-friday, for example, come hell or highwater you go somewhere where you have peace and quiet (like a library) and study. That time is sacred and you must stick to it. Thats very important. As soon as you can sign up for a review... these are focused on passing the test so thats great! And schedule your test date because without a clear date in sight you will most likely not study as you should. The test date will help you feel the pressure and you will study! Good luck and keep us posted!
  4. by   Kamilah_Coney_SN
    I agree with VTach2013. Try to dedicate at LEAST 3 to 4 days per week (@2 hours per day) studying somewhere quiet with no distractions. You HAVE to sacrifice that time away from family in order to focus. Like you, I didn't really begin to study for the NCLEX until after I graduated. And it was a challenge to find time to study with four home-schooled children at home (talk about NO QUIET TIME). I had to plead with my spouse in order to have a few days a week away from home. If you have to, make your family understand that you need their "give the graduate nurse study time" support so that you can, in-turn, support their needs. And yes, schedule an exam date, that will force you to commit yourself to studying.
  5. by   aladilzaimah
    Thanks so much for the needed advice. I will really follow what you both had to offer.
  6. by   rnwestla
    Just so you know, I got so many wrong on my NCLEX practice tests... but I realized that's okay, you are supposed to get them wrong! It keeps you studying AND it makes you look up the answers! Don't give up! It's hard but so is just about everything that's worthwhile in this life. (Okay, except chocolate. That is not hard.)

    Good luck! Hang in there!
  7. by   nurseylove25
    I took my NCLEX the first time right out of school and I got to 265 and failed! I had faith that I knew all of the tricks that Kaplan had taught me but ended up not passing. The 2nd time around I studied MY way with content instead of just knowing all the tricks I was taught (Which I know works for people, just not my way of taking tests) Anyways, I drove 2 hours away to a new testing center and took it on my own and when I walked in I told myself that it's only a test. I got through nursing school and I can get through this..And I did! Just don't give up. If you have a passion and love for nursing then it will happen :-)
  8. by   pearlvader
    Hello aladilzaimah, I know how your feeling! I graduated in May 2011, and I just became an RN on the 3rd of this month lol!! I took my test 3 times, so don't give up now. However long it takes--JUST DO IT. That is all u can do, right! Don't be so hard on yourself..we nurses did enough of that in nursing school LOL! What I found worked for me is doing 50-100 ques/day or 2 hours of ques/day at the library or somewhere quiet if possible. You can decide how many days a week-I would recommend no less than 2 days a week. Don't overwhelm yourself with studying every body system--that will stress you out more. Just refer to a particular system/procedure/disease as needed. I wouldn't spend a tremendous amt of money on a study course. I used 2013 / 2014*NCLEX Test Preparation - which was $50 for a year. It has practice quizzes w/rationales and references like peds, cardiac, psych & more stuff to read about as well. Remember to give yourself some down time--very important!! I wish you the best on this challenging journey!! YOU GOT THIS
    Last edit by Esme12 on Nov 1, '13 : Reason: TOS/removed link
  9. by   annewithane
    I'm going to give you some tough love-- stop giving yourself excuses for you why didn't pass. That's not going to help you pass a second time. You didn't pass because you weren't prepared and life threw some stressful curve balls at a bad time. I'm not sure how an adult who is ready to take care of patients loses something as necessary as their ability to see before a big exam--what if this had happened and you were working as a nurse and weren't able to read medication labels? Please don't let that happen again, as unless someone drove you to the testing center and around the whole time you were missing them, you were also putting more than just a test result at risk. Bad things happen and you should have rescheduled if you felt that overwhelmed--don't forget that that is an option. In the weeks before I took my exam, my car broke down, I had a miscarriage which resulted in the dissolution of an 8 year relationship, and I managed to pass because I had to put absolutely everything in life to the side and focus on the test. I understand the need to rant, and I hate to be the one to tell you this, but what you are experiencing is unfortunately not the odds stacked against you, it's merely just life. No matter when you take the test again, or when you get your first job, or any other big event happens, it will always be at the most stressful or inconvenient time, prepare for it and it won't be so bad when something horrible comes up at the wrong moment.

    I would recommend taking a review course, but don't spend too much time obsessing over it. I found the review course did instrumental things for my knowledge in general and I knew every single condition that I saw on the NCLEX and could talk at a great length about the process and general management of it--but it would be the one aspect they were asking about that I'd be a little hazy about or I wasn't quite sure which of two was the most correct. The most important thing you can do is to take as many practice questions as possible. If you get them wrong, understand why you did, and if you get them right, understand why you got them right (I think this is where many people go wrong, not reading and understanding their right answer rationales). Also, prepare for alternate format questions. I didn't do this at all, we never had them on our nursing school tests, so when I started getting 5 and 6 select all that apply in a row I literally almost threw up my hands and just said f it and walked out of the test center. I was horrible at SATA and so I felt like the computer knew this even though logically there is NO WAY, it's just a computer, it doesn't know you, and doesn't know your weaknesses. I ended up with around 40 SATA, so I'm really not sure how I passed. But, it could happen to you so mentally prepare for it.

    ALSO, (if you've made it this long into my novel!), TAKE YOUR TIME. Single. Most. Important. Piece. Of. Advice. Do not rush yourself. If it takes you all 6 hours to take 75 questions that is fine. Even if you haven't been cut off yet, and don't finish all the questions, there's no requirement you do. You can still pass. Take your time and reason out each one. Can't tell you how many questions I KNEW the moment I got the question, but forced myself to take a minute and go through the reasoning process anyways for good measure and it turns out the question was asking something totally different. Take your time, take lots of questions, and regardless of how stressed you are the morning of the test, you just have to leave it outside the testing center. Also, wear long sleeves. They won't let you wear hoodies, and you are right, facilities are freezing. And that is pretty distracting. You got this and you'll be able to pass, and as every said, a test date and scheduled study times are great tools as well. Best of luck!
  10. by   MAKimsey
    With compassion for your frustrations, I must agree with annewithane. There is wisdom in accepting that life happens, and when life intervenes in our plans we need to adjust and be as prepared as possible. My favorite quote from the Clint Eastwood Movie "Heartbreak Ridge" is "Adjust, Adapt, Improvise." This works for life as well as those patient care situations that can change in an instant.

    The NCLEX is testing your ability to reason and use the knowledge you have to come to a logically correct response to the question presented. You can do this. The advice to put yourself and your studies first and make this a priority is true. In order to pass you must be selfish with regard to study time. Likewise, the advice to take your time. Annewithane's experience of thinking she knew the correct answer until she actually looked at the question is what frequently causes mistakes on the exam. Better to spend 6 hours getting 75 questions correct and passing, than to take 3 hours and answer all the questions the test will allow before mathematically concluding you do not know enough to pass. (It is a computer program designed to determine your level of knowledge.) You have the ability, and you have the knowledge. Now, take the time to focus your learning on honing your testing skills - it is not about the testing "tricks" it is about your reasoning skills. Read the reasoning for all questions - know why your are correct and know why you were not correct. By doing this you will learn the method of thinking and reasoning that is successful for passing the exam and will gain insights that will help later in your nursing career.

    You are a smart woman. You graduated nursing school with a lot on your plate. You can do this! Best wishes for a successful exam and career
  11. by   Heisallineed
    [COLOR=#003366]aladilzaimah, in addition to what others have said, let me add that you need to try to get a good night's sleep the night before the test. Next, eat well, and hydrate your body the day of the test. After you sit down to take the test, take some slow, deep breaths to help to calm your nerves. Remember the questions are not about facts in the text books, or facts about class lectures, but the NCLEX exam is about problems. You will now be required to identify what thequestion is asking, what action to take, and prioritize. You will also need to use theprocess of elimination (use the ABC's - airway, breathing and circulation for the best choice). You will do well. You already know the material, apply it!
  12. by   Heisallineed
    In addition to what others have said, let me add that you need to try to get a good night's sleep the night before the test. Next, eat well, and hydrate your body the day of the test. After you sit down to take the test, take some slow, deep breaths to help to calm your nerves. Remember the questions are not about facts in the text books, or facts about class lectures, but the NCLEX exam is about problems. You will now be required to identify what thequestion is asking, what action to take, and prioritize. You will also need to use theprocess of elimination (use the ABC's - airway, breathing and circulation for the best choice). You will do well. You already know the material, apply it!
  13. by   SpringLPNtoRN
    I have one suggestion... I didnt have alot of private study time either, so what I did was section everything out onto index cards, large ones, small ones separated by category.. maternity, geriatrics..etc you get the jist.. Then post them everywhere, kitchen-on the cabinets...on the fridge, in the bathroom on the mirror etc.. then everytime let say you have to do the dishes or perhaps cooking or even helping your son (or in the bathroom) these cards will be right there no matter what and you can read them...Do it for meds too! Remember - CRITICAL THINKING! answer the question given to you in the present, what do you need to do NOW, not what should have been and not "if i do this, then this is what will happen" . Also, try thinking of the answer before you chose one, then if the answer if one of the choices, it's probably correct... Hopefully this will help some... I had so many note cards made from my NCLEX book all over my house it was CRAZY... but it did help, I couldnt turn around with out a nursing question right in my face! GOOD LUCK!!
  14. by   riya_patel
    hi how r u? recently took nlex failed 4 times i really need help