New RN June 2017
The PVT worked for me and I passed with 75 questions.
Hello Nurses and future Nurses!
For more than a year, I have been reading articles on this site. Reading success stories here helped me a lot to prepare for the big exam, NCLEX-RN. Now that I have finally achieved that dream USRN license, I would like to share how my journey to the big exam day went. Perhaps a reader might find it helpful.
I am from the Philippines and I graduated with a BSN degree and passed the local NLE in 2009. For the next 5-6 years after that, I did many things except fully embrace my profession. I have been jobless. I worked in a call center. I worked in an office. I could say I almost completely lost my passion for the course and profession I sacrificed so much for and spent 4 years of my life with.
I came to the US in January of 2015. Got married and 10 months later, I got pregnant. To make it short, I became a full time housewife and mom. Household chores, wifey duties, and taking care of my infant - those are my daily priorities and routine after completely giving up tidbits of part time jobs.
Many times while I was stuck at home, taking care of the house and my baby, I felt so down and depressed. I felt like my life became stagnant. My self-esteem went from 100% high to 10% low. I looked at myself in the mirror one day and I cried. I realized, this is not all that I want for myself. This is not what my parents sacrificed working hard and sent me to Nursing school for. That moment, I told myself, I will pull myself back together. Get back to the path I left and see where God will lead me to.
I started reading Nursing books again. I started reviewing. I started watching youtube videos about NCLEX-RN exam. I watched dozens of testimonies from those who failed and passed the exam. I started opening my mind again to learning. I always say "learning" instead of "studying". For some reason, it sounds interesting for my brain and it helps me to have more patience for reading.
I got my ATT and it was valid for 6 months from date of issue. Since being a stay-at-home mom, I became a queen of procrastination. Months flew by fast and I realized, I only have less than 2 months left to take my exam. So, based on the testimonies I watched on youtube, I purchased 30 days of online review from UWorld, bought Saunders Comprehensive Review 7th edition book and borrowed a book from a friend which is LaCharity prioritization and delegation book. I self-reviewed. I finished all 1900+ questions on UWorld plus 2 assessment exams (75 items each) and read all the rationales even if I didn't feel like reading at all. I took 75 questions each time and I was unhappy with my scores. I only scored between 30%-58%. I took the assessment exam and I still didn't reach 60% at least. According to the assessment, my chances of passing the NCLEX-RN exam is borderline - it's a just a less harsh word for "you will fail". I barely used Saunders and LaCharity. I only used them for when I felt tired of answering online practice questions. I scheduled my exam on the 8th of 2017 at 2 pm. My ATT will expire on 23rd of June. I didn't care about my online review scores anymore.
On the day of my exam, my anxiety almost pushed my heart out of my chest. My heart was pounding! I was so anxious! I couldn't wait to get it over with. I reviewed a little bit before I turned in my cellphone to be sealed and placed in the locker. I always cram even in Nursing school it's really bad and it stresses me a lot but I couldn't stop doing it.
Two hours into the exam, I finished 73 questions and I needed to take a break. After taking a quick break, I went back, composed myself again for another round of anxiety. 2 items after, the computer shut down! I was done after 75 questions! I was so devastated. I did think I messed up on a lot of the questions and perhaps the entire exam. I already started accepting I'm gonna have to take the exam again.
The next morning, June 9, my husband noticed my puffy eyes. I wasn't able to sleep at all! I was crying all night. Since my husband is just a happy and positive person, he wanted to prove to me that he is right, that he thinks and feels that I passed. So, he tried the Pearson Vue trick for me since I was too depressed to even get up. He went through all the steps of the registration, entered all the credit card information and clicked submit and poof! Good pop up! The good pop up basically wouldn't allow you to register again if you passed and it would state that you have a pending registration. I was so in disbelief I cried again but this time, it's tears of joy! I then proceeded and checked my BON's license lookup and lo and behold! Next to my name is a new RN license number! Then, I cried again with even more tears of super up in clouds joy!
Recalling that exam day, I had so much doubt on my capabilities which I know I shouldn't do to myself at any given time. But, I never lost faith in GOD. My motto is always 1% knowledge + 99%. I literally called God and asked for His guidance in every question I was about to answer. My scratch pad was filled with nothing but songs of praise. I could hardly believe I passed in 75 items based on my study pattern and attitude towards studying. But, it happend. God is gracious!
I wouldn't suggest any study strategy because every person has his/her own style of learning. Others can relax days before the exam while others, like me, are just fond of cramming. Only you can determine what will work for you. Follow your study strategy. I wouldn't suggest my style of preparation for such a big exam which was just random reading when my baby is asleep or when I have time after cleaning the house. No, don't do that. It's hard and it's frustrating and you will lose your flow of interest in reviewing. Give your brain time to focus on one thing at a time. Do read all the rationales - right or wrong answers. The one I used, UWorld, has really detailed rationales which really helped me recall and even learn things I've never encountered in Nursing school. Read even if you feel like nothing is registering in your brain. Our brain is fantastic. It can recall things which you never even pay attention to. Follow your gut answer when you encounter a question that seems confusing. Your first answer is usually the right one. I could say that because I did that a lot throughout the exam. It is impossible to memorize and recall all the topics under the medical world especially when you are anxious. But, our brain can familiarize on many things. Trust your instinct, trust yourself, and above all trust GOD. Or, if you have a different spiritual belief, there's no problem with that. Use what works for you like meditation or anything at all that will help calm your nerves.
Top of all, never give up on your dreams. If you feel stuck, remember that's not all you are meant to be. You have far more greater mission in life than you think you'll ever have. It's a world full of opportunities and adventures. Keep moving forward, keep learning, and embrace your fullest potential. You are an expression of this abundant Universe. You already are what you are meant to be. All you need to do is claim it.
Jun 20hI, congrats for passing the exam.
I'm a foreign educated nurse myself, with two children and I understand how difficult it is to study and look after your family and your house; I'm currently studying to get ready for the NCLEX. I have used boardvitals, didn't like it at all, kaplan, not too bad but i didn't like the rationales, studied on saunders and now I'm doing all the uworld questions, best questions and rationales so far. My avg is 59% after 1400 questions. haven't done the self assessment yet. I hope that about 60% is enough. I'm waiting for my ATT which, i hope, I will have soon. Again congrats for your achievements.Jun 20Thank you! Oh you will make it! Believe it or not, I was only getting between 38%-58% with UWorld per 75 questions. I took both the assessment exams and I still never scored at least 60% it was frustrating. But, a friend of mine, who also recently passed the exam with 75 questions using UWorld, advised me to focus on reading all the rationales whether I get the answers right or wrong and not focus on my scores. Reading each rationale really helps a lot. I did it and you will make it too! Just remember, the exam is designed for entry-level nurses not for seasoned ones. You got this! Claim it! Cheers RN!
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