Yes! You read it correctly!
I thank the Lord and forever be grateful that i've failed my first NCLEX. I know it sounds ironic but this is how I perceived it. And Here's my take on it.
(caution: its a lengthy post) hehe!
First of all, THANK YOU LORD!!! .
Shout out to the creator of allnurses and to the staff members and all the members here. I've been a member of this site for about 3yrs. and this is my first time to create a thread/post. I want to thank everyone for helping me on my NCLEX journey. It really helped a lot especially when i read those success stories and tips. I appreciate those who took their time to reply on my messages and shared their resources willingly with me and also to jpinay28,i also met her here and she became my friend and study buddy.
Im writing this because I want to inspire everyone like what others did to me. This post composed of my backgrounds, realizations, tips and experiences on my nclex journey.
I failed one of my minor subjects during my second year college and yet i graduated BSN (Oct.2009) at the age of 20
I failed one of the requirements for my school and i didn't reach their quota and yet I passed my RN license on my homeland at the age of 21
When we migrated here, it took a while before I take the state board exam because there are lots of requirement and also im working at that time.
By 2011, I completed all the requirements and yes i took my first NCLEX last Dec 2011,tried pvt, and found out that i failed and yet i passed for the second time Sept 2012.
After a week I got my RN license number and on my 23 years of my life, i can say that the day i received my license was one of the best moments of my existence.
As you can see, I did fail a lot. At first, I see it as unfair but now I see the outcomes and the reasons and the result. Those experiences mold me as who I am today. I thank the Lord for that. For me, I believe that GOD is good all the time. Every opportunities you've missed, every lost time, every turned down moments, GOD will restore and will make up for those lost moments in your life. Keep believing and do not give up on your future.
FIRST TAKE : Dec. 2011 -failed - 94 questions- tried pvt
- I reviewed for 3months
- I only read notes and did practice questions
-i have books but haven't read even a single chapter for my content
-i reviewed the day before my exam and even an hour before i go to bed
-i didn't take my break during the exam
After i found out that i didn't make it. I undergone stages of grieving. Seriously, the DABDA stage! Almost everyday i cried and that was one of the loneliest Christmas for me, I acted happy in front of my family but deep inside im hurting. It took 3-4weeks for me to fully accept the fact that I failed. I gathered my thoughts and asked the Lord to show me the right directions and help me realize what I've done wrong.
First off, I forgave myself on my wrongdoings during the review. Then I started from the basic. I took full responsibility of my own battle and even the financial cost of it. I don't want to bother my family after all of my mistakes; I should be responsible of it.
I realized that i graduated 3 years ago and i didn't review any of my content, biggest mistake. I didn't handle my anxiety during the exam, i kept looking at the number and hours on the screen. I didn't have an organize plan, i just answer questions whenever i feel like doing it. I realized many things not just about nclex but also in life. Because of that learning experience, I thank the Lord that i failed for the first time, im stronger now and im much more closer to Him.
SECOND TAKE: Sept2012- passed-101 questions- did not try pvt
-submitted application forms
-started looking tips here on this website, what books to buy
-i bought books, lots colored pens, post it, colored markers/highlighters (make learning fun)
- I created plan like im doing a Nsg.Care Plan ; it should be S-M-A-R-T
March - April
-started reading Saunders since i am deficient on my content, i said to myself that i will read all the chapters and finish that book, and i did it. I read 5days a week.
-i answered all the chapter questions as well
May (relax mode)
-finally, i received my ATT,
- My mom visited us here and she will only stay here for a month. I gave all my time to her because I really missed my mom and I want her to enjoy her stay here so basically im her tour guide. Haha!
-Actually, i didnt review any materials because i committed my time for my Mom since its her first time here, i want her to be happy and explore different places here. So we went to different states and watched NBA live (celtics vs atlanta).. (advance celebration for my success also,im claiming it) haha!
- back to Normal, i worked hard on this month to pay for the days that i didn't review.
-i read again Saunders for the second time, but this time only the highlighted words that i marked on my first reading
-after i finished content,i answered questions on Saunders,PDA,3500 (all the chapters)
-what i did is topic by topic for example Monday-all cardio topic
Saunders CD cardio, 3500 cardio,PDA,cardio and read about Cardio Drugs using mosby pharma (visual type reviewer) and kaplan pharma drugs -cardio
-i also kept notebook on my side during practice questions because i wrote all the rationales and topics (just the wrong ones that i've answered)
-i posted normal values, important topics, bible verses and my name with USRN on my room's wall.. And yeah, its all over my room, even on the ceiling so that before i go to sleep and when i get up, it will remind me of my goals..
-im considering to do review course, even though my savings are going down, I thanked my Dad because even though he is kinda broke also, he offered me the money but I refused to take the full payment, I decided to do 50-50, I paid half of it. So i enrolled live review course near our area, its ncna..Its great and it comes 3phases (lecture,q&a and software practice questions).my sched for the review course is MWF(5pm-10pm
- i borrowed hurst book,exam cram ,lippincott alternate type of question and joel osteen's book on our library,since its free, i grabbed another opportunity
-lastweek of aug. I read positive feedbacks about NCSBN,so I decided also to purchased 3wks review for $50, I said to myself, why not? So, I tried it. I didn't read their content, i just did their questions.
- By this time, all the books that I've borrowed, I already finished it except for Joel Osteen and for the exam cram (3 more practice questions to go)
September (Intense Month)
- no tv.. haha! =)
- I did not attend phase 3 of my review course in ncna, I decided to review by myself and practice questions on my own pace.
- For my final coaching, I used Kaplan Qtrainers (floating around the websites), Exam Cram, and I answered again PDA for the second time.
Sept. 1 - read random facts (35 pages) and I continue answering ncsbn since its my last day of purchased
Sept.2 - Its labor day and long weekend.haha! I needed break from the toxic world of reviewing,so I decided to join my cousins and friends in exploring NorCal.. =)
Sept.3 - back to reality. I continue answering Exam Cram Practice questions 3
Sept 4 - read my rationale notes and continue reading "35 pages study guide"
Sept.5 -Exam Cram Practice questions 4
Sept 6- Exam Cram Practice questions 5
Sept.7 - Sept. 12 - Kaplan QT1- QT7 floating around the net
Sept. 13 (Day before the exam)
- morning (read my review notes)
- afternoon to night, I just relax. (Soundtrippin and went to beach near our area to breathe some fresh air
- prepared my ATT,ID,snacks and my clothes
- read bible
- read positive things (success,life, and nclex success stories)
- went to church and I ask Father,the pastor of the church to bless me
- I think its normal when you feel that you are not ready and you did not remember what you've reviewed. I believe it will come out on the day of the exam and that's what happened to me.
Sept. 14 ; 12noon (MY DAY!!)
- I am more relax compared to my first experience. Here's random facts during my test.
- I woke up earlier than my alarm. Excited much.lol. I woke up 7am and I left the house by 915am because im only taking bus and scheduled bus in our area comes every hour therefore I shouldn't miss it. It's a 30mins ride from our house to the final stop, and 5 minutes walk from the bus stop to the testing area. I wore comfortable clothes. (jeans,shirt,cardigan and flat shoes)
-I ate rice and "squid adobo" for my breakfast. It's a dish from my homeland. Its sounds weird huh?! Haha but,yeah. =) For my snacks, I brought granola bar and water
- I arrived on the area by 1030, its too way early so I just listened to music Eminem songs. Haha! And also Casting Crown songs and also Christmas songs. Haha! It calm my nerves and also to kill time because I arrived early.
-By 11:15, I took a deep breath and walk into the building, I said to myself "I will never ever come back to this area to take another nclex exam, this is my last time because I believe that this is my day and I will pass the exam". Even though my scheduled time is 12:00, they started to accompany me. So yeah, I started my exam early.
- the moment I sat down, I prayed and took a deep breath again.
-by number 25,I already consumed one hour!! and I took my first break. Even though I ate full meal on my breakfast, my stomach is growling, its lunchtime though so I took another break and I ate my snacks. At number 75, it didn't stop, I literally experienced tachycardia. I took a deep breath again and took a break at #80.
-during the exam, I prayed a lot especially if im not familiar on the topics being asked.
- After 3 hours, my computer stopped at 101, I don't have many SATA, just around 8-10, I took 3 unscheduled breaks.I did not try PVT, I just wait patiently for the mail.
-After 8 days, I received my license on the mail. Best moment ever! i cried. Literally, I got down on my knees and thank the Lord. I will be forever thankful.
AFTER THE EXAM:
- shocked? undescribable feeling? Unsure of my answers? Ambivalence? That's how I experienced and felt at that time. I think its normal. =)
- I prayed after my exam and I went to church
- Almost everyday I think of my nclex and even in my dreams it popped out.
- Im thinking about my experiences, because im kinda worried because I only have few SATA and my last question is SATA and im NOT sure if answered it correctly and I heard that if you got more sata, more chance of passing. I cried almost every night. But I have more faith on GOD, I never doubted the capabilities of God, I never questioned Him. Eventhough I have few SATA, I trust Him. I just think of positive things and started to claim my victory. Haha!
Oh wait, here are some Random/odd/bizarre moments.haha!
- day before the exam,I went to my dream working place here on our area. I just took a glance on that area and I said to myself, one day I'll be working here soon as an RN
- I deactivated my FB and instagram. I did not hang out with friends and when they contact me, I said "no" and I know they understand.
- yeah! Sometimes we need to distance ourselves and learned to say "no" in order to achieve our goals and success in life.
Go to testing area before your testing date. Trust me, you'll never know what will happen. In my case, 4 days before my exam, I went there and I GOT LOST !! I rode the wrong bus!! But I thank the Lord that I came home safe and I got lost days before my exam and not on the test date. That's my take on it. =)
- When I took my break, I did jumping jacks and stretching on the hallway and on the CR. I talk to myself on the bathroom's mirror (positive affirmations).. Good thing,no one is on the CR. Haha!
- I wrote letter to GOD and I mailed it in the post office. =)
- I searched where is the nearest St. Joseph of Cupertino Church (Saint of test takers). 3 weeks before my exam, I went there.
- I polished my resume day before my exam
- I wrote positive things about myself and my achievements in life. On the day of the exam, I read it.
- I wrote bible verse, mnemonics, lab.values and a big sign "YOU CAN DO THIS" "ALL PRAISE AND GLORY TO LORD" on the white board provided.
- No one knows my exam date even my family. Its just me,myself and I and Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes, I feel guilty when my family asked me when is my exam date. I just say 'oh, I have to check the scheduled slots".. "I dunno, I have to finish the books that I bought", "oh,whenever I feel ready'.. Man!! Its so hard to lie and I felt guilty.
- The day before I received the letter(Sept.21), my sister asked me to come with her because she's planning to buy scrubsuits for her new work and even after the exam, I didn't tell anyone that I took the exam. (i told them when i received the license)
so while she's buying scrubsuits, my mind is still floating about what I did on my exam. Then, she told me, "Go fit some scrubsuits and im gonna buy you, its my advance present".. And I said to myself "oh common, my sister did not know anything about nclex matter and she's giving me this,is it a sign?" haha! I said ok and I thanked her. For this reason I have my scrubsuits for work even though I didn't know the results yet. Yiheee! And then, there's this guy at the mall, randomly gave me a metal circular thingy, at first I did not accept it but he insisted and he said its free and I was like "ok" and he smiled and left. And when I read what on that thingy, OH MY GOSH!! (exopthalmos mode!!), there's a bible verse written on the metal thingy, its Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" . Wow!! Maybe He's my guardian angel. =)
Im not a religious person but I can say that I am a believer of Lord Jesus Christ who loves us, understands and know what deep inside our heart. I can also say that I have a personal relationship with Him. Since I started my review, as in everyday, I read bible and I talk to God on what im going to do, my plans and my personal prayers. I pray novena to saints particularly to St.Jude Thaddeus and St. Joseph of Cupertino (I attached the prayer below
) and every Friday I don't eat meat, it's my way to praise and glorify Him.
As you can see, I finished all the books that I've bought and borrowed from library, I avail those different resources and answered all the practice questions. That's how I wanted this so bad. I also completed it because of patience, determination, and faith and I followed my plans religiously. I gave all my time to NCLEX. In my case, I have different resources; I can say that find what suits for you, some used only one reviewer and some used 2 or more. Go what is comfortable and works for you. While im reviewing, I wrote my scores and I do my own assessment, my strengths and weakness on the different topics. I don't focus on the number of questions and number of hours, I believe that the important thing is the quality and the way you really understand it. For the scores, my scores are around 50-80% and for the PDA I scored badly, I got 33% - 50% and my highest is 60%, for the QT trainers my scores are 50-60.
(qt6-56 and qt7-58)
Now that I passed, I decided to look back on my paraphernalias and count it. Haha! And its 11,758 questions for 5months from Hurst book, Saunders, Kaplan, 3500, PDA, NCSBN, Lippincott alternate-type and Exam Cram. I just counted it right now, (time check: Sept. 29,2012),
wooah! I did not know that I answered thousands of that. My estimate is just around 5k.
I also quitted my job, I really devoted my time for this NCLEX because I cant afford to lose this battle again. Like on one of the Eminem songs "Success is my only motherf******g option, failure's not". NCLEX got on my nerves financially and emotionally (I'm a cry baby whenever I think of it) because I really want this so bad and this is what I want in my life. I want to continue with my life working as an RN and pursue my dreams and I don't want to experience again the feeling when I failed the first time.
Basically, in 5months, my life is just house, review center and church. I studied 5-6 days a week, minimum of 4hours and maximum of 9 hours and ITS ALL WORTH IT
I just want you to know that YOU CAN CONQUER AND YOU WILL PASS NCLEX
. Just believe on yourself, be patient, be determined, focus on your goals, be prepared be consistent and have faith.
Do deep breathing exercises and when your computer did not shut off at 75, just relax, take a deep breath, you are still on the ball game. Don't focus on the number of questions, don't analyze the questions as a high level or low level, that's my mistake on my first take. Just analyze what the question is asking you and do the power of eliminations.
To those who didn't make it for the first time like me, trust me, I've been on your shoes before, I understand and I just want to say and I dare you not to give up on your dreams. They said, "The only real failure in life is the failure to try". You can do this, I know and I believe that you guyz are strong and a fighter.
Before I end this, I want to share this as well:
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you." -Joshua 1:9
"Our way is a way of sacrifice and bearing pain in order to relieve the pain of others. When you study now, when you want to stop and rest, do not rest. Each moment of pain you experience is consciously undertaken in an attempt to improve yourself so you are skilled to take care of others. When you take on this pain, you are helping to dispel the suffering of the world" -Dr. Conrad Fischer
"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer" - Matthew 21:22
If you need help, feel free to message me, ok?. I'll be more than happy to help you, assist and lend a hand as much as I can. Thanks for taking your time to read my long post. GODbless!
Each and every one of us has its own way of learning. Posted are purely based on experiences. This may or may not apply to everyone. Books that are mentioned are bought by my own money and borrowed from library. I am not affiliated to any review course and review centers. On a spiritual note, I respect different religions and also their way of worshipping/practice.