For those who are sad or are discouraged about not passing their first time, do not worry it just means that your journey to becoming a nurse has been "delayed". I recently graduated on May with a high probability of passing the boards (around 90th percentile according to ATI). With that "assurance" I took the boards too lightly and casually studied Hurst (1-2 hours a day for 2.5 weeks prior to taking the exam). Throughout my time in nursing school, never did I take the time to practice studying NCLEX style questions. I managed to get by with just the content alone and neglected the critical thinking part of nursing (BIG MISTAKE).
Test time came, I was in for an AWAKENING. I was thrown lots of SATA questions, Click and Drags and Priority questions. I was thinking to myself, "Where are the content based questions that I'm looking for? Give me lab work type questions, Give me signs and symptoms of Hyperthyroidism type questions!!!" But to my own stubbornness for not prepping myself, I completely blanked out on the majority of the questions on the screen. When I hit submit at the 265th question, I knew that I was done for. It was so bad for me, that I actually stood up without raising my hand and walked away (DUMB MISTAKE). The auditor had to report this incident and all I could say was that my head was about to explode and I needed fresh air. This caused my test to be put on "Hold", and doing the PVT wouldn't matter because the higher ups would have to review the tapes I should say. It took about a week for me to finally get the PVT thing to work and as I expected it, it led me to the CC screen.
I became completely saddened with my failure to passing the exam. I let my family, friends and most importantly myself down. I took a couple of days off to get my mind off of things and enjoy what's in front of me. Spending time with my infant, going on road trips with my wife and enjoying what life had to offer, I took advantage of it. It was only until the final day of my vacation, I realized that I AM GOING TO PASS NEXT TIME.
Immediately when I got home, I put away all the unnecessary distracters in my life (Xbox, FB deactivation, IPAD, and the biggest of all, my social life). I looked online and read reviews as to which was best for prepping for the NCLEX, I couldn't decide so I ended up using Kaplan, NCSBN Learning Ext. and Saunders. For 3 weeks, I would plant myself on my chair for 8-10 hours of nonstop studying everyday, only to take breaks to eat or play with my son for about 30 minutes and then to go at it again. I filled about 130 pages of notes I'd constructed after completing the whole Saunders book and gradually increasing my scores on Kaplan's Qbanks, QT 1-7, and NCSBN Post-Tests.
Although I cannot say I was READY for the test, but I can safely say that I did all I could to prep myself for the exam. I know that it is completely inadvisable, but I studied and practice "light" questions for about 3-4 hours on the day before the exam. On exam day, I repeatedly tell myself, If I don't know what the question asks, just think ABC's, Maslow and treat every SATA question as True/False. Throughout the whole time during testing, I felt a little more at ease as compared to my first time. When I clicked submit on my 75th question, I was completely blank when the screen shut off. I was thinking, did I do well enough to have the screen shut off on me early? Or is it the complete opposite?
When I go home, I told my wife about how I felt about the test and she told me regardless of what the outcome may be, she was proud of me for the sacrifices I'd made during my hours of studying. I gave her the "honor" to do the PVT
, and when my wife hit that submit button, she immediately gave me a kiss and a hug. She showed me that infamous popup and told me that I DID IT, I PASSED!!! Of course I was like most other nursing students who received the popup, was still a little in doubt because it still isn't "Official". So, I paid the extra "Quick Result" just to make sure and indeed I DID PASS.
For those of you who are on the same situation and did not pass the first, second, third or thousandth time, It is not the end. The NCLEX is an enemy that we must defeat in order to live our dreams as a Registered Nurse. No matter how powerful the enemy may be, if you fully prepare yourself for battle, YOU WILL DEFEAT IT.