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After the longest 49 hours ever, I'm now an RN!

twiglette twiglette (New) New

I've been lurking on this forum for the past 2 years and I feel like I can finally breathe and post something helpful here! Thank you for all the advice, support, and resources you guys have [unknowingly] given me throughout my journey :shy:!!

Here are the details of my exam:

  • Computer shut off at 76 questions
  • 13 SATA, a bunch of meds (I'd only heard of half of them), a lot of "which patient would you see first," "which statement indicates need further teaching," delegation, and community health.
  • Tried Pearson Vue Trick and got the "good pop-up"
  • Paid $8 for Quick Result at 49 hour mark

Exam review/things that helped me:

  • I was broke from being on leave and paying for school, so I decided not to pay the $300-$600 for a review course and just wing it. I had heard great things about various reviews (Hurst, Kaplan, Lacharity to be specific), but it seemed to me that what these companies were offering were things that I could do myself, for free. Note: I do not thrive on structure. I can't study from 8-3 for 4 days in a row. Never have, so I stuck with what worked for me. Know thyself!
  • Volunteer/work at a hospital. I am so grateful to the nurses on my unit for teaching me when they didn't have to. I found that clinical hours weren't sufficient so I found a nursing assistant job part-time. It cuts down so much time later on when you have nursing responsibilities when you can perform tasks like bed baths, toileting, blood sugars, and vitals like a boss. You'll also get to hone your bedside manners!
  • With the power of the internet, I found the following resources that helped me the most:
    • Kaplan Decision Tree. Just Google it and you'll see several charts. This is the only resource I used from Kaplan, unbeknownst to them. It's very basic, but gets to the point.
    • NCLEX RN Mastery App (Android). I tried the Lite free version, then upgraded to full for $30 after my classmates+coworkers raved about it. 1600 questions, GREAT rationales, list of lab values, and visual graph showing you your strengths/weaknesses. Good for small breaks during the day!
    • ATI. My school required us to pay for ATI and I continued using it after grad. Overall, good questions and rationales but not sure if I'd purchase it if I didn't already own it.

    [*]I purchased Saunders Comprehensive NCLEX-RN Review 5e last summer. I thought it was an excellent review book - the content is very straight-forward and I should've used it during school too! However, I found the rationales to be severely lacking, so I didn't utilize many of the questions in the book/CD.

    [*]Finally, what carried me through nursing school and even the NCLEX was my strength in Anatomy & Physiology. I wasn't good at test-taking strategies, "thinking like a nurse," or even developing hardcore study habits. This isn't everyone's strength and I certainly wouldn't suggest that you don't develop hardcore study habits, but make sure you have your A&P down pat. The cascade of signs and symptoms are not magical - internalize the biological processes early on so if you forget a list of side effects, symptoms, or interventions, use your A&P to reason it out. It will make learning disease processes and meds a lot easier!

**One last thing - sometimes it helps to just not talk about it. For some people, the sense of community can reduce anxiety and benefit you. For me, I was off of social media almost the whole 2 years of nursing school. I found that it was distracting and any school-related talk was almost always negative ("Nursing school sucks; why did I do this to myself; I hate my professor!"), so I tried not to participate and I felt so much better!

Good luck to everyone taking it and to those still waiting for results. Be confident in your abilities, save the freaking out for post-test, and don't eat anything weird before the exam!

congrats, inspiring story and so true like your views:yes:

CONGRATULATIONS NURSE!! I love how you are straight to the point!!! Thank you for your awesome tips!!!!!! I appreciate it so much :)

Congrats! Your story sounds very similar to mine! :)

Thanks for the congrats everyone. Now on to finding a job out of state 😀.

Congrats!! I am 6 months in and not sure how I can make it through - but I will.

I do have a few questions for you, which I am guessing I will learn eventually but would like to know now.

What is SATA? What is the Pearson Vue trick? Can you give an example of a questions in "Which patient would you see first?" I haven't seen this format yet and would just like a better understanding. I will be buying the Saunders Comprehensive book as I have now heard from several RNs that it is a good book to buy.

Thanks so much for all the help.

Congrats!! I am 6 months in and not sure how I can make it through - but I will.

I do have a few questions for you, which I am guessing I will learn eventually but would like to know now.

What is SATA? What is the Pearson Vue trick? Can you give an example of a questions in "Which patient would you see first?" I haven't seen this format yet and would just like a better understanding. I will be buying the Saunders Comprehensive book as I have now heard from several RNs that it is a good book to buy.

Thanks so much for all the help.

Thanks! You'll probably come across these terms as you progress, but here's some info:

  • SATA - These are "select all that apply" questions. You'll be given a question such as:
    • Your client was just admitted with aspiration pneumonia. Which of the following interventions would you include in her plan of care? Select all that apply. Then you check off the interventions you would include - this could mean checking off every intervention given or just one.
    • *Note that the NCSBN [National Council of State Boards of Nursing] says the NCLEX does not give partial credit for any questions. You need to select all and only the correct items.

    [*]You can use the Pearson Vue "Trick" to try to check your NCLEX results. Because some states take forever to send results, some students try to find their results out early by trying to re-register for the NCLEX a couple hours after taking it.

    • If the test distributor, Pearson Vue, lets you pay for the test again, you may have failed. If Pearson Vue does NOT let you pay again, you probably passed. Please search for "Pearson Vue Trick" or "PVT" on the forum to find out more.
    • This is just a "trick" - kind of like a loophole for getting results. It is NOT 100% accurate, so don't put all your money on the result it gives you. Wait until you get the official results/license number from your state's Board of Nursing.

    [*]Here's an example of a "which patient would you see first" question. The NCLEX will give you a scenario such as:

    • You are assigned the following patients for the next shift. Which client would you see first?
    • There will be 4 patients with different conditions [e.g. abdominal surgery 3 days ago, reports sudden chest pain, reports dizziness after dialysis, etc]
    • You have to be able to prioritize which patient you will see first by determining which patients are unstable vs stable, acute vs chronic, safe vs unsafe, etc.

Best of luck to you in school! Don't worry - just take it step by step and don't forget to have fun! There were definitely hard parts of nursing school, but we had so many good laughs and shared so many experiences together. I regret nothing!

ArrowRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Vascular, E.N.T.

awesome...congrats! I hope to be saying this in a couple of months:yes:

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