Confessions of a 30-Something RN Grad

I am in the seat, feeling comfortable, calm (even though I have went through enough security to enter Fort Knox). I read through the instructions as to not miss anything. "You have 6 hours...." Sounds good, all is well..... Nurses Announcements Archive Article

Confessions of a 30-Something RN Grad

First question, okay, 50/50.....A or C..... hmmm...A.... "next".....2nd question.....what? What are they asking? These are all right, and there are no indicators in the question showing priority. Can I ask them "is this patient stable?" "how old are they?" "should I assume they are anxious?"....Can I phone a friend?

Okay, quit assuming, take the question at face value......uh......well, if I were getting this done, this is what I would want to know.......B........

Right about question 8 I hear the girl next to me groan. Then about 10 questions later she does a big sigh, then a few later she says, "Oh gosh." Seriously? Shut-up.....I am freaking out, too. The least you can do is give me some silence, right? Maybe I should've said yes to those earplugs.

Where's the delegation? Where is the alternate question with apical pulse location? Where are the labs? Where is the question on crutches?

Why do I get the feeling they are asking me about the same thing over and over? Maybe they are thinking (I have now humanized the NCLEX monster as "they") if I give her the question 5 or 6 more times, maybe she'll get it right.....then.......

Black screen.....wait! They are thinking....we gave her every shot possible, but she blew it. 75 questions, and I knew the answer to a whopping.....TWO (with certainty).

I do the outgoing survey, looking for the question that says, do you think this test was made as an evil joke? "Strongly agree"

I again get fingerprinted (I am thinking, if you think I actually paid this pathetic looking, short-haired blonde girl in sweatpants to take the test for me, then she did a poor job.....I am demanding a refund). I courteously smile and get my stuff. Then I realize, it's time to hit the potty. My stomach is gurgling, and I can actually see my heartbeat in my abdomen. It is pounding. I get into my car, deciding who won't think I am crazy if I call in this state of mind. Okay, my hubby, of course, he always makes me feel better. "Oh, that stinks." Is his response to my description. "When can you take it again?" I'm thinking "I DON'T KNOW, I DIDN'T PLAN ON FAILING!" You're not helping, click......then, my mom. Mom's always make you feel better, right? "Oh sweetie, it's not the end of the world, you can just take it over." Again, not what I wanted to hear.

At this point I am hoping that Ashton pops out from behind the car next to me with his trendy hair and crooked smile and says, "You've been Punk'd!" so that I can slap him in the face or kick him where the sun don't shine or something equally degrading.

Where are all of my girlfriends who are RNs? Voicemail, Voicemail, Voicemail.

I am sitting in a random parking lot thinking, "Maybe I'll just tell everyone that I had to reschedule, then take the exam again before anybody finds out that I've failed." How vain is that?!

Ugh!!! My stomach is hurting again. I get a few calls/texts and I can't bear to tell the whole ugly story again.

I get home (I can't even remember driving feels like I got home in 5 minutes). I sit on my couch for about 45 TV, no kids, no talking, maybe even no blinking. I didn't take the NCLEX serious enough. I should've done a different review. I should've done more questions. I should've taken it later or maybe earlier or maybe I should've just NOT studied.

Of course, nothing on BRN the next day, the day after that, I wake up at 0500 and check...nope...I am even looking on to see what the odds are of failing at 75 questions. Meanwhile, I am talking to people now. I am trying to convince myself that I am okay with whatever happens (of course, I am MORE okay with passing!). I contemplate setting my alarm for 0200 Saturday morning (I've heard the BRN updates their website at 0200 for the previous day). I decide that if it isn't there, it will ruin the rest of my night's sleep, so I pass on the alarm idea.

Saturday morning, I sleep in, 0900.......I click on my bookmark (yes, I have bookmarked it).....type my last name.......can you believe it? There is another woman in my county with the same name....well, that is annoying, even SHE passed the NCLEX....wait....oh, okay, I think I can actually hear the word relief as I exhale. Now, I can drop the weight on my chest and the pit from my stomach. Phew.

Moral of the story, sometimes the signs and symptoms (abdominal pain, bounding pulse, anxiety, feelings of impending doom) don't match the diagnosis (Effective testing output r/t using my noggin aeb name showing up on BRN site)

What's next?

You mean, now I have to find a job? My stomach hurts again.

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Wow......... you wrote exactly how I felt in March. Only difference was my hubby was waiting for me out in the car. He actually asked me if I was on a break. No honey, i'm done. It shut off at 75. I felt my whole world come crashing down, the last ten years of hard work going down the drain. When I decided that I wanted to be an RN I started from scratch, I didn't even have a high school diploma. Had to pull over twice on the way home to vomit. It was horrible. The next five days were the worst. I pretty much convinced my self that I had failed. Was already looking into when I could test again. Had made a list of all the questions I could remember, ones I knew I got right, ones I knew I got wrong and the ones I just wasn't sure about. Looked those up and put them in there rightfull columns. Mind you I was able to remember 55 of the 75 questions. Talking to family was the worse. I did come to "allnurses" everyday and read different posts, some made me feel better others did not. My hubby has to get up at 5:30 to go to work so I automatically wake up at 5. Would check the BRN site and relive all the pain of failing. On day five I got up made my cup of coffee and started my morning ritual of checking the BRN board.............sat there in shock, there was my name OMG I am an active RN. Didn't believe it.... checked it again. OMG I really passed. Went running through the house, jumped in the middle of our bed, I passed... I passed...tears in my eyes, shaking. Hubby looks up at me, he's still half asleep...."what the hell are you doing"?:lol2: Seventeen year old comes walking in the rm. rubbing his eyes. "Dad are you stupid, mom has passed her RN boards":bowingpur

I too am now looking for a job and pretty upset about it:mad:. But no one can take away the accomplishments I have made or the way I felt the day I saw my name on that board. Your post has reminded me of that.....Thank You.

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

I love your story!! I too was 30-something when I graduated and took the NCLEX (well, actually I was much closer to 40) and I felt the exact same way when the computer shut off on me after only 75 questions. I literally wailed: "WAIT! I'm not done!!!" much to the amusement of the testing center staff.

In those days, of course, you had to wait at least ten days for results---and in the 'way back' days, it was three MONTHS---and there was no accessing them via the Internet, so as you can imagine I was pretty hard to live with. The 45-mile drive home was awful---all I could think of was how quickly the questions had become difficult and how unsure of myself I'd been. My oldest daughter, who had accompanied me to the testing site, had never seen me freak out before, and to her credit she was a great calming influence: "Mom, you always test well, and I'm absolutely sure you passed---WATCH OUT FOR THAT TRUCK!!!"

Well, I needn't have worried; my daughter was right, and 11 days later I received the nice big packet from the BON in my mailbox. Your story brought back those memories as though they happened just yesterday. Thank you for making this 'used' nurse smile!

Oh my gosh, what a fantastic retelling of your experience. It in all it's glory makes me even more sure that I am going to jump in with all I have got and become an RN. Thanks! Jules

You have no idea how glad I am to hear that I'm not the only "non-typical" student:D I am 38 & will be starting my pre-nursing classes this August. I am so excited I fianlly get to pursue my dreams & it helps to know I haven't lost mind for trying to do this now.

Congrats to you all:yeah:

Specializes in Med-Surg, & ED.

Congrats!!!!!!!! You brought me to tears as I forsee myself in the the coming months. I've felt this intestinal turmoil during the last semester and now trying to process the reality that I am almost there to becoming an active Nurse. How cool is that?! I have worked so hard in accomplishing this goal, I want to help people feel better. Can someone help me now :*( I am soooo sad at this time! I'm so afraid of "what if", but I am going to suck it up and pervail! I will make it! Then, I will worry about getting a job...this is what is jobs...we're all swimming awaiting for a ship to take us aboard. :)

Specializes in Med/Surg.

Nicely written. I was there. 33 years old. passed with 75 questions. your story is my story, right down to the searches for how many people fail at 75. Been a nurse a year now. The role of new nurse is tough, but suddenly - there's someone newer than you there, and you know all the people you can pick at with questions, who helps and who doesn't etc... every single shift i learn something new. and *ack* still feel new!

good luck, new nurse!

congrats, you'll be great.

OMG! Were you writing about me? This is how I felt back on March 17th. I found out the next day after lunch that I had passed. You just described all the physical and emotional symptoms I had that day. :bugeyes: Love this!! Thanks for posting.

Specializes in Med Surge, Tele, Oncology, Wound Care.

How funny I thought you were talking about me!!!!:bugeyes::bugeyes::bugeyes::up::up::up:

This is a great thread! Went back to school in my early 30's. Will be taking the NCLEX in a few weeks! Wish me luck!! :)

Enjoyed that. thx.

Specializes in BSc, ASN- RN, MBA.

I might have all of you beat. I just took my exam 2 weeks ago and I am 44! This story was just like mine! Fortunately, I saw my name on the board website the following morning - it was surreal. I kept checking all week just to make sure they didn't change their minds. But, 3 days ago my license arrived - it was official :)