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A Canadian student's NCLEX-RN experience!

NCLEX   (214 Views 1 Comments)
by ThatCanadianRN055 ThatCanadianRN055 (New Member) New Member

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Hello everyone!

I wanna start off by saying I loved reading posts on this site as I was preparing for my NCLEX. However, I did come across very little information on Canadian NCLEX test takers so I decided I would write about my experience along with some tips.

I completed my last shift of my pre-grad November 2018 and bought UWorld a few days later. I absolutely loved studying UWorld. I would write down every single rationale/piece of information I didn't know. That is certainly the key and I think the most important tip anyone can give you. The reason why you need to understand the rationale is because it becomes a tool to guide you in answering future questions. I made the mistake of creating tests with all the topics but I would strongly recommend creating a plan where you focus on one topic (ex maternity) for one week and then another topic the following (ex. pharm). Of course, you should tailor your time to what your weakness and strengths are. You should also focus on your weakest topics at the beginning of your studying because thats likely when people have themes motivation and energy to study. I know it was like that for me because a week before my exam, I didn't really feel like studying as hard as I already had and my confidence had improved. So although I had already bought UWorld but no exam date set yet, I did about 50-75 questions per day.

I finally got my ATT beginning of January 2019 and set my exam date Feb 19. That's when the gloves came off!! I had made a detailed 1 month schedule for myself which included topics to cover for each day as well as how many questions of UWorld I should do. Why I love detailed calendars is the feeling I get when I've completed the task and I cross it out. It makes me feel reassured that I tried my best for the day and decreased stress levels. I was also using Saunder's to guide my studying but I found it to be too detailed and dry so I did a lot of skimming. 

I devoted the last week to review everything I had and I spoke to myself about teaching/interventions to help me remember. I googled Mark Klimek's lectures and found these to be incredibly helpful. I would highly recommend it because Mark made me feel more confident and not just in how to understand concepts but also about the exam in general. One of the most important thing I've learned is educating yourself on the NCLEX. What's the purpose? How it works? You should have an idea of what to expect because this can certainly help with anxiety. For instance, he talks about the NCLEX purposely giving difficult questions that your average new grad does not know the answer to so it's okay to get it wrong. Whats not okay is you get hung up over it and make yourself believe you don't know anything as you continue on to the next question. With that said, I went into the exam knowing that its okay if I don't know the answer to a question. I will try my best to choose the best answer and then move on. 

I know almost everyone said to not study the day before your exam but of course that is not possible for everyone. I think you should do what you're comfortable with. I didn't do intense studying that day, mostly reviewing last minute information including lab values and patient positions. I also watched two movies and had a glass of wine. 

Exam day came by very quickly. Quicker than you think. I went there about 45 mins before my scheduled exam, went through their process, and got seated in front of the computer surrounded by cubicles. I started and my heart was pounding the first 20 questions. I reached 75, submitted my answer, and the computer shut down. I felt so relieved that it was over. I did not leave there feeling confident but I knew this was expected so I didn't let it ruin my day. It all becomes a blur once you're out of there but I did get plenty SATA, priority, maternity, and patient teaching. I left feeling like I overstudied. 

In Canada, we don't have the 48 hour quick results so I received an email from my board the next day at 4:01 AM. I had my phone beside me so the vibration woke me up and reading that message generated a feeling like no other. I was sooooo happy!

You can do it! I know it may feel like an uphill battle that lacks structure and clarity and makes you feel so terrified but there is a beautiful light at the end of the tunnel. Dwell into it like it's the only thing you ever want to do. By that I mean learn about the exam, learn about how to answer the questions, learn what certain type of questions are asking, and make learning easy. Look online for resources (check out what I posted below). 

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate!

 

NCLEX-Study-Guide (35 pages).pdf

nurseslabs-cram-sheet-2.pdf

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