CPNE Failure

  1. I failed this past weekend. I failed 2 labs the first night (IV push and SQ) primarily on nerves. PCS's went ok Saturday, failed the IV push station again because I ran out of time (played with the bubbles in the syringe too long).

    I plan to re-test as soon as I can, but in a different location. I don't want to forget all of the material! Chancellors careplan lab was great preparation, my grid was 100% memorized. I can't believe I failed on something so stupid!

    Any advice from prior CPNE-ers is quite welcome. I am afraid to go again because there are no guarentees. I felt well prepared this time and didn't make it! How do you manage the nerves?
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  2. 59 Comments

  3. by   tgb3rn
    Don't like hearing that info, waiting on my test date now. Could you tell me where you tested? If you are going somewhere else---why?
    Tom
  4. by   EricJRN
    I'm sorry to hear about that. It's a stressful experience to be sure. There's a sticky that's just getting started at the top of this forum, but it might have some helpful hints for you.

    If you have problems getting the air out of the syringe with your finger, our EC workshop instructors suggested using a pen to hit the syringe instead.
  5. by   anticoagulationurse
    I'm sorry to hear that you failed. The stress is such a big deal, even if you feel prepared. I did and I was an absolute mess! Honestly, I prayed and asked other Christians to pray for me too. And I called loved ones while I was away testing, for pep talks. I think the most intimidating part of it for me was the MONEY the whole ordeal cost! Plus the white ocats all the CEs were wearing, even though I was wearing one too. SOmething about that white coat HTN. Oh it was so bad.

    Just think, now you're totally prepared for next time and you know EXACTLY what to expect. Hang in there and get it done.
  6. by   Mudwoman
    I'm waiting for my test date now. I did purchase the recommended skills book and I'm amazed at how different the information is compared to my old nursing text books. I got mine used on amazon. This book recommends leaving the syringe needle in the vial to remove the air. Something about the pressure in the vial helps pull the air out when you tap the syringe with your finger. I didn't know that, but I tried it and couldn't believe how much better it works.

    Clinical Nursing SKills: Basic to Advanced by Sandra Smith, Donna Duell and Barbara Martin.

    I know it is a lot of money for this test and coming up with more is even harder. But getting this degree is worth it. This is your future and if you have to invest some additional money to get there, just do it. You will figure out how to pay the money back later. Right now concentrate on getting that degree!!! I am sick to my stomach everytime I think about the coming VISA bill with all this on there. And the thought of charging another $2K if I don't pass is equally sickening for me. So, I don't think about the money. If my Dh and I had an emergency with one of our kids, I wouldn't think twice about the money----I'd worry about that later. So, that is how I'm thinking of this. This is our future and that makes it important enough to do what ever I have to do and spend whatever I have to spend to get there.

    You have come this far, don't give up.

    Quote from My Cousin Vinny "Vinny, you've been out of school for 6 years, what have you been doing?" Vinny says "Studying for the bar" The conversation goes on and no, Vinny didn't pass the 1st time, or the 2nd or 3rd........For Vinny 6 times was the charm. Perserverance!
  7. by   Ronnie22
    Hi Medic,

    This may be stating the obvious, but the way I clear 'bubbles' from the syringe is to pull the plunger away from the neddle, then push the plunger back in direction of the needle. Works every time; no thumping needed.

    BTW, where did you take your CPNE?

    Ronnie
  8. by   Medic2RN2B
    Thanks for all of the advice. I have never had so many problems with bubbles in my life. I was told that we were not allowed to bang the syringe with a pen. l am planning to practice those labs and get ready to go again. The CPNE was just as difficult as advertised!
  9. by   robfall
    Sorry to hear about your CPNE outcome; I failed the first time as well. In terms of practical advice:

    Apply for a new date as soon as possible.

    Take a day or two for yourself, and de-stress.

    Invest in the Excelsior Lab practice bag; then practice until it's second nature.

    If you haven't already; take one of the private CPNE workshops (Tina or Lynn).

    Have faith, it's easier the second time!
  10. by   steelerfannurse
    Where did you take your CPNE? Hang in there. Being nervous is the worst. Sounds like you are a very smart individual with a bad case of nerves. I have only just enrolled to EC. I'm scared straight after reading all these kinds of posts! Best of luck to you.
  11. by   Medic2RN
    Sorry to hear about your experience with the CPNE. Keep practicing while you wait for your new date. I was told that champagne bubbles were okay to have in the syringe - just not the large bubbles.
    Best of luck to you!
  12. by   Spazzy Nurse
    I'm so sorry it was a rough weekend for you. I've been there so I understand completely.

    You know exactly what you did wrong and you will not do those things again. You have come so far and worked SO hard---- please don't give up. You can do it. You are one step away from being done.
  13. by   sungoddess
    I did the Excelsior LPN-RN program, and also did not pass the first CPNE....... it is OK other than a lot of $$$$ to do it again. Think this way; now you know exactly what is expected of you....... Until you actually do it you are not really sure how this works, so you now have an advanage....
    Get yourself prepared. Make a grid that you will use for patient care and stick to it, do NOTHING extra, ( you dont get points for it and it just takes up that time). as far as labs you know know how that works also, practice at home..... get an IV bag, hang it on your curtain rod and use that, get a syringe and use an orange for your push, dont forget to practice pushing 1-3ml over 1 minute , just keep doing it. when you draw up the med draw extra you can squirt it out in that trash can in front of you, and give that syringe a HARD flick with your pen or on the table to get the air to the top. YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO NOW, and you can do it the second time.... Anxiety was the worse enemy.... I re tested in PLANO TX and they were super, really wanting us to do well. I feel for you, been there did that. I could tell you a more stressfull experience , but thats another story...good luck Bellaluna
  14. by   traumahawk99
    i also flubbed my first cpne on pcs's, then took it again two months later and passed. i realize it's disappointing to fail on labs, but there is just no excuse for that. the labs are where you have complete control.

    i came up with very long and detailed pneumonics that worked like a charm. of the 8 of us testing, i was the only one who passed all the labs on the first try. and yes, it made it much easier. my advice to everyone is to make up your own long and detailed pneumonics.

    you've just got to practice those suckers till the cows come home. sounds like you're going to surely make it the second time around.

    when i draw up anything, i draw a bit, then press the plunger slowly back in all the way, and draw it again. helps a lot on the bubbles. and the bubbles don't have to be perfect... just no big bubbles.

    good luck. keep the faith. i did, and now i'm making $36 an hour with shift differential. the reward is definitely there, so it is worth the investment of however many hours it takes to pass the cpne.

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