Passing the NCLEX RN on my first try

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    Hello.. I have justtaken the NCLEX RN today and found out that I passed in 150 questions. I'm aforeign grad and took the exam for Nevada, though I applied for Californiafirst hand and got denied. I hope this post of mine can help anyone who has thesame questions in mind as I did when I was reviewing for the exam.

    Answering thequestion of whether the exam was easy or hard, as we all know involves asubjective answer. But for anyone looking for an objective answer, I hope thiscould also help.

    I graduated lastApril 2011 and waited for all the processing in order to be issued the ATTuntil Sept 2012. I took the exam 11/30/12 and found out I passed through the NVBON website also the same day.

    I didn't enroll inany review course online or in person. My review time involved review contentand practice questions. I used Saunders Comprehensive Review 5th edition(around $50); Prioritization, Delegation and Assignment by La Charity (usedbook for around $20); Mosby's Review Questions 6th Ed (given to us by ourschool); Kaplan Strategies (borrowed from the library); various practice examsoftwares (Mosbys, Saunders, Illustrated Review for the NCLEX RN).

    So how was the exam?I can say that I should have not studied by cramming. The exam is easy I shouldsay, if you know your content by heart and also if you know how to talk toyourself. By that I mean, you should analyze the choices carefully and debate whichanswer choice is appropriate for the question being asked. I'm saying its easyfor one more reason, its because in my exam, I haven't been asked for anythingthat is not basic knowledge. I can't remember a question asking me aboutWernicke's, Allen's, Monroe's, that ecg wave starting with W for which I can'tremember now and etc. Based on these reasons, it is easy, but for me, I supposeI know the content by heart for only about 60% and analyzed my way out for theremaining or missing 40%. You know the result its 150 questions. Hehe. I'm also not good in memorizing, so I was alsoworried that a SATA will pop out and ask me about s/sx of this specific diseaseor something related to normal values of ALT, AST, T3 or T4. Luckily thatdidn't happen. But must know the normal CBC values, electrolytes and commonstuff.

    For pharma, though,my weakness, sad to say, I donít know exactly what those meds are for, youshould have asked that for pharma students. Well, not too good advice on this.Just keep answering pharma practice questions, and that might help. Oh thesuffixes, study that.

    The exam can ask youanything under the sun with regards to nursing interventions, some pharma, easycomputation, positions, infection control, immunization, etc. This makes theexam preparation, for me, harder to study for, especially if you cant disciplineyourself and make a plan. Laziness is a problem too, but if you have that goal,forget the wasted time you just used for watching koreanovelas and focus onwhat you still have. I'm guilty about this thatís why.

    The exam is hard ifyou don't know the content by heart. There are just too many content to understand and know by heart though,but remember, the exam will not ask you for any isolated content, it asks aboutsomething always tested and common for nursing (as far as I believe).

    After the exam, Iwas telling to myself that I should have not reviewed coz I can't remember athing (content), that I have reviewed that was asked on the exam; or maybe I'mjust too anxious to realize. Also the free online event that Kaplan has helpedme with regards to realizing when or if the questions being asked to you isabove the passing line or minimum line of competency. The pyramid they callBloom's taxonomy. So meaning, you kind of feel if you are passing or not, soyou can be more aware and not anxious if the computer is giving you harderquestions.

    There are variousSATA questions, and prioritization, some delegation, I believe those mostly arethe passing questions as they call it. If you are slipping away from those hardquestions, then focus more and pray and pray and pray that you'll get the passingquestions.

    Also practicingquestion exams is good, for it enhances your analytical thinking, which reallyhelps too, but you can't analyze without basic content. My exam is really anursing exam, most or a lot of questions are with regards to nursinginterventions and what you should know you should or must be doing if you arein that situation. Anyways, the Saunders I think helped, and the PDA helped more. Your nursing content is important big time, what you have learned from nursing school will make it or break it. hehe

    Keep studying, makea timeline, have a plan, work on that plan, and remember you can't knoweverything, but you can analyze your way out with what you know, pray, pray,pray, pray, pray.
    And think that youwon't be able to finish nursing school, if you are not for nursing. Anythingthat you have studied in the past 4 yrs or less is compressed into this exam,you deserve to PASS. Go get that license.

    Ooh this is way toolong.. If you have any questions, just ask. Always have a probing mind, butdonít over analyze.
    Last edit by konoha on Dec 1, '12
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  3. 14 Comments so far...

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    Congratulation! passing on 1st try.
    Good luck on your job hunting.
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    Your post is such a big help! Congratulations! I'm taking mine a few days from now. Any advice on what i should do? And regarding the SATA questions, did any of yours ask s/sx coz i usually fall back on that :/
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    And kudos for self-reviewing!
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    Congrats and thank so much for your post
    Last edit by Esme12 on Dec 6, '12 : Reason: TOS/txt speak
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    congratulations! Thanks for the great tips! Good luck on looking the job and I hope you find one soon.
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    Congratulations, RN!
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    will take mine in a few days..sometimes I feel I don't know anything at all anyways congrats to you you deserve it and thanks for the tips
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    Thank you guys..

    About the sata type, I didn't get those type of qs that ask you to choose whether this s/sx can be manifested in this and that disease. But instead, the choices were nursing interventions to this kind of condition, that kind of situation, and the situation itself really happens on the bedside.. its kind of common sense type supposed to be, but to dig down deeper, it just means you should know what that situation or circumstance of the pt is showing and which intervention is really appropriate. There will be no choice that jumps out in front of you saying I'm wrong and you are incompetent nurse doing this. The choices will all be correct and you, the nurse carefully discern if it is applicable. So yeah.. there's a lot about GI in my exam btw, but it always depends. Case to case basis it is.

    Again best of luck.. and do what u need to do in order to gain confidence that you'll pass. There will be no other person who can make you believe you can, unless you do yourself..
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    My exam is fast approaching and I think this is the 5th time that i reread this post. I'm getting anxious by the minute and reading this calms me down a bit.


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