The longest forty eight hours The longest forty eight hours | allnurses

The longest forty eight hours

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    A story about my personal experiences with NCLEX and waiting. No breaking of NCLEX rules. Just about test anxiety and impatience written with the hope of helping someone manage theirs.

    The longest forty eight hours

    I was a decent nursing student. I could have studied more, but I did study. I could have been more involved, but I was involved. I loved helping my classmates. I have a decent GPA which is going to help with getting into a BSN program, and later for grad school, if I want it. It never really stopped me from feeling a bit like I wasn’t doing enough. I’m just a little bit of a stress prone person like that. Thankfully, I seem to lose some of it when I hit the floor and can physically do things.

    I knew that the plan was to take the NCLEX as soon as I could possibly get a testing date. Originally that day was about 3 weeks out from graduation. I kept an eye out on the website for openings before then. About a week after graduation, one such opening appeared, for two days later. I jumped at the chance and then immediately panicked that I would not be ready.

    For the first day, I buried myself in my NCLEX study materials that I had. By the second day, I realized that this was unsustainable, especially if I was to not drive myself into something stupid. I went to a Christmas party with my cohort. I offered to pick my roommate up from work. Went to a holiday party with him and some of his coworkers. Anything to keep my mind off the test. Then I went home and turned in early in hopes of getting a good night sleep.

    As if I could get a good night sleep with something so important to me the next day. I woke up at 0300, unable to get back to sleep. My cat, bless his furry little soul tried. He crawled up on the pillow, snuggled into my shoulder, and started to purr with all his might. He kneaded my shoulder and nuzzled my hair. It was calming but not enough for sleep.

    Finally, I just got up and got ready. I went through all my morning pre-test rituals I knew could help. All of them. Picking out a favorite outfit that makes me feel good. Styling my hair and putting on makeup. Waking up the poor roommate to get a ride. Going to the coffee shop for my favorite peppermint mocha and a sandwich as a treat. Just kept building up on the good experiences to make sure I got off to the right start.

    Then it was time. I went into the testing center, got my handprint scanned, picture taken. I was so stressed I accidently put my ID into the sealed bag with my phone. Once that was corrected, though, it was into the testing room, all cameras on me.
    I can’t, of course, go into details about the questions, other than to say that they got progressively harder. Everyone knows that. The worst part is when they get hard enough that you know that you don’t know the answers anymore. It will happen, I was told early on to expect that, and I am grateful I was warned. It was an uncomfortable feeling, but since I expected it, it couldn’t throw me off as much.

    I got to 75 questions and it kept going. I had to take a few deep breaths. Reminded myself that going past isn’t a bad thing. It at least means I haven’t failed yet. Finally, it shut off at 88 questions. I raised my hand and was ushered out. There was some surprise that I had finished already. I checked the time, and I had been there for about an hour. I got more worried I would end up with my test on a hold.

    Gathered my stuff and headed out. My first call was to one of my nursing mentors to let him know I was done. He told me to relax, that I did fine. Then I called the roommate to let them know to come get me. I went home and immediately went back to bed to sleep it off.

    The next forty-eight hours, I spent distracting myself. I slept, I went to friend’s houses, I went to work. I occasionally checked the BoN website but knew that it was unlikely that they would have the results up because they didn’t get my transcripts yet.

    I live in a quick result state, so at 48 hours, I decided that it was well worth the eight dollars to put myself out of my misery. I think I knew all along that I had likely passed. I had spent so much time telling myself that my HESI scores were good, my school had great pass rates, and that nursing school should have prepared me, that the test itself was almost anticlimactic by comparison to the whole. Still the sense of relief that washed over me when I saw that “Pass” on my receipt… made all of the stress worth it.
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  2. Visit jaycam profile page

    About jaycam, ASN, RN

    New grad nurse

    From 'Kirkland, WA, US'; 36 Years Old; Joined Dec '13; Posts: 464; Likes: 1,166.

    Read My Articles

    9 Comments

  3. Visit  LunaTunaPineapple profile page
    #1 3
    Congrats! Big Up Nurse JayCam
  4. Visit  jaycam profile page
    #2 3
    Quote from LunaTunaPineapple
    Congrats! Big Up Nurse JayCam
    Thanks, Luna. Still waiting for the BoN to get my transcripts to make it official but I did start my training at my hospital this week. I know that most new grads have the shiny eyed happy at first, but I really love it there. I can't wait to be able to hit the floor and start learning more.
  5. Visit  LunaTunaPineapple profile page
    #3 3
    It's a start of a new chapter , so as long as you stay eager, it'll always be interesting. Hope your training is going well!
  6. Visit  al3x117 profile page
    #4 3
    Congratulations on passing! That will be me in two years!!! So happy you made it. Keep on working hard to be the best nurse you can be.
  7. Visit  DeeAngel profile page
    #5 3
    Too many people don't get that to prepare for the NCLEX, that process actually starts when you start nursing school. There is no last minute hail mary remedy for those that didn't get the basics down.
  8. Visit  rcabbott49 profile page
    #6 1
    When I took my boards it was two days of testing and then a 6 week wait to find out if you passed. I never did any test preparation, I just figured if I didn't know the subject material there was no amount of preparation that would help. Each State determined what the passing score should be. California had the highest score to pass.
    The test was divided into 5 sections. If you failed one section but passed all the others you did not receive your license. However you had to only retake the section that you failed on.
    My passing score was high enough to allow me to receive my liscense in California,
  9. Visit  jaycam profile page
    #7 0
    Quote from DeeAngel
    Too many people don't get that to prepare for the NCLEX, that process actually starts when you start nursing school. There is no last minute hail mary remedy for those that didn't get the basics down.
    True. I took a lot of comfort in knowing my school has superb pass rates. They must be doing something right. It's not an end all be all of course, but it sat a really good base.
  10. Visit  jaycam profile page
    #8 0
    Quote from rcabbott49
    When I took my boards it was two days of testing and then a 6 week wait to find out if you passed. I never did any test preparation, I just figured if I didn't know the subject material there was no amount of preparation that would help. Each State determined what the passing score should be. California had the highest score to pass.
    The test was divided into 5 sections. If you failed one section but passed all the others you did not receive your license. However you had to only retake the section that you failed on.
    My passing score was high enough to allow me to receive my liscense in California,
    It's certainly very different now. I had a professor who told me about her state boards exam, having to rent a hotel room with classmates because it was in another city. Tech advances really do spoil us to some extent. They can also hinder us too, but that's a story for another day.
  11. Visit  la_chica_suerte85 profile page
    #9 0
    Quote from DeeAngel
    Too many people don't get that to prepare for the NCLEX, that process actually starts when you start nursing school. There is no last minute hail mary remedy for those that didn't get the basics down.
    Yeah, I was so intimidated by the test that I started ASAP. What was particularly helpful was that the Saunders book I had used the same textbooks that my school used and it ended up being a helpful adjunct to studying for class exams.

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