Advice for a new RN.

Nurses General Nursing


I'll be graduating on this friday and I feel nervous about taking the boards. Does anyone have any questions or advice to give me about preparing for the boards?


109 Posts

If your school offers it, take a review course. If not, buy a NCLEX review book and make it your best friend until you take your boards.

Above all, the night before your boards, stop all reviews or studying around 5pm, have a nice dinner, have a quiet, relaxing night without thinking about nursing (but no drinkie!), and go to bed early. I fould it helped to not stay up til the wee hours over my review book cramming details in.

No matter what, you'll be nervous as heck taking your boards. So take it very easy the night before. You made it this far, you can pass the boards! :)


208 Posts

I agree with everything Shark said... absolutely everything.

Some things that helped me before I took my test were these two statements:

"If you don't know it by now, there's no way you can cram it in."

"NCLEX tests for minimum competency, not perfection... it's like having to make a C on the test instead of an A+."

The test is one to make sure you are SAFE to practice. If you did well in school and don't have especially bad problems with test anxiety, you should do just fine.

A bunch of us from my class took a Kaplan Review and had a great time together. It was a great refresher for me and since I'm not the best at making myself take time to study, the refersher was terrific. Whatever you do, do not study the night before the test! Get lots of rest, don't drink, and be sure to have a good breakfast before the test.

Good luck!!! You'll do just fine!!!!


6 Posts

Thank you for both of your responses. My school does have an NCLEX review course that I'll be taking next week. So that will help. I'll remember to relax the night before, even though it's going to really hard. And I'll save the drinkin for afterwards.:)

Specializes in Med-surg; OB/Well baby; pulmonology; RTS.

Ditto what SharkLPN and Tiki_Torch said...

Good Luck :balloons:

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

I'll be graduating on this friday and I feel nervous about taking the boards. Does anyone have any questions or advice to give me about preparing for the boards?

Have you tried doing any of the questions from the study guide CDs?

These will help you quite a bit. I highly recommend Saunders, as well as Mosby.

Goo dluck..................... :balloons:


44 Posts

My suggestions are to take the NCLEX as soon as you can after school. Its been shown that the longer GNs wait to take boards the percentage of successful candidates decreases.

I didn't take a review course. I really feel like you shouldn't have to, if you did fairly well in school, but I see you're already planning to and that's fine. Try to be calm (I know, I know... trust me, I remember what it was like), read and understand each question before selecting an answer, don't cram the night before.

I agree, if you don't know it by now, you won't learn it before your test date.

Oh, and I respectfully disagree with Shark. I had a few beers the night before and still did fine. You will, too.

Good luck!


109 Posts

Tis OK to disagree about having a few potent potables the night before. I've known a few people who, when nervous or ahead of a big day, will still imbibe too much and suffer a whopping hangover the next day. It's all about how you personally respond to stress, and let me tell ya, I would have been carried out of the bar the night before my boards had I gone out. :D

Definitely agree to take your boards as soon as possible; while the test-taking mindset and knowledge is still ripe. Good point!


587 Posts


I graduated last May and took the boards July 7th.

I used the NCLEX site computer review -- I got the same questions over and over again. I also used the Mosby and Saunders review books.

Since I'm always running 3 minutes behind, I made sure I knew exactly where the test was, left with more than 20 minutes of spare time (a true rarity for me!) and got to the testing center about 1/2 hour early. That way I could store my stuff, go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, etc. to calm my nerves and relax.

You'll do great.

tsgarman, RN

53 Posts

I agree with everybody study study study and yes do take a review course. I have to admit that I did do all of those things and still failed my first time through. I beleive my problem was I became to nervous while taking the test and frustrated that it did not stop at 75 questions and I gave up at some point during the test. I did pass my second time. The one thing I do recommend that everybody else has said is the day before the test do not study don't even think about it. Relax have some fun, (but not to much). It will be over before you know it and you will have the wonderful title of RN behind your name.



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