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Encouragement for if you failed the NCLEX

Beni2012 Beni2012 (New) New

So...I typically do not right in forums or am the "type" that likes to share my story, however, I am the type that seeks encouragement from others who do share their story and so in this particular case I feel it appropriate to give back. This is for the people who feel like s**t because they just failed the NCLEX.....

I was in your shoes 45 days ago, for 45 days, for 45 nights, etc....basically until I learned today, OFFICIALLY, that I passed on my second attempt. I have so much I want and feel that I need to say, but first, to just gain some credibility for what I will say in the rest of this post, I will tell you how I did on both exams. I BOMBED the first time, failing at 75 questions, and I passed the second time with 76 questions. So when I tell you in these next few paragraphs, in many different ways, that if you failed the NCLEX the first time it does not mean you are dumb, not meant to be a nurse, are a failure, weren't prepared, didn't try hard enough, or whatever it is you are telling yourself. And it is definitely not the end of the world.

What it does mean is SOMETHING...and that something is what you need to figure out before you retest. I'm a believer in Christ and so when I failed I was encouraged by many posts on here from other believers whose posts encouraged me to pray and tell God how much I wanted to pass and that in his timing I would. I'm also someone who loves quotes. One quote I ran across was "Real life is about failing and I'm the best failure you've ever seen". This quote helped me to put my experience into perspective, laugh it off to an extent, and gain control over the situation in order to prepare to take the exam again.

I took two days off from hearing my results. I prayed, sought encouragement through the web, and gave much thought to why I failed the first time and what that meant. In my opinion it meant that God was telling me to slow my a** down. In one year I had a baby, supported my husband through a job change, finished my BSN degree, started a nursing job, completed the Hurst review program, and failed the NCLEX. Whoa...., God was like, slow down!!!

So I did slow down. I was out of a job because I didn't pass my license, so I was able to jump right back into studying. I contacted Hurst and did their remediation program, I purchased the La Charity book everyone on here talks so highly about and I went to the Library everyday for 3 hours to study and I came home and studied for 1-2 hours after my baby went to sleep. I missed some days due to trips, events, and sickness, but for the most part I studied all 45 days. I kept track and I did approximately 2000 questions before I took the test.

To summarize this. When you fail, do not feel like it's the end of the world and do not feel dumb. There's a reason you failed and if you embrace that and seek out that reason, fix it, and apply yourself, you can and will pass the next time. Give it to God and he will reveal what he wants you to change before you move on with the next part of your life, which is becoming a nurse.

The other bit of encouragement I want to give is the encouragement to study, because oh my gosh aren't we all tired of studying??? Here's some proof of this importance....I have a friend who has taken the NCLEX 4 times without being able to pass....she doesn't study in between taking the exams. I passed my second time around. The thing about studying is that all you are doing is increasing your knowledge. You are learning so much and that is all going to be applicapable for the rest of your career. So while everyone else who passed their NCLEX is getting hands on experience, at least you are able to study and learn "why" they are doing "what" they are doing. Reviews are great and I REALLY liked and would recommend Hurst. However, you have to do questions, despite what Hurst says, you cannot just learn content. At least I couldn't. What I love about Hurst is that it recapped Nursing school, explained concepts in ways I could never understand in school, and ultimately gave me confidence to be a nurse...all for 300 dollars. Pretty cheap for confidence. Heres an example, in school ABG's were so hard for me, my professors used to have us memorizing arrows and stuff to figure them out, it was like impossible. I was at the point where I was like whatever; I'll just let the Respiratory Therapist figure those out. Well now, I'm so good at ABG's. They're easy, and so fun, and so freaking easy!!! So do Hurst, but...also do questions and not just their questions.

I loved loved loved the La charity book, plus on my exam a lot of the questions looked familiar, as if maybe they were worded differently in the La charity bookbut actually the same??? I don't know??. So definitely do questions and so you are getting exposure. READ rationales...what a waste if you don't.

Ok last thing and I'm done, surely by now you feel encouraged. : ) This last part is only going to make sense to people who are similar to me. When I take an exam I'm the type that has to write notes, talk out loud (if I could), and basically just write. The first time I took the exam I didn't write on the exam board....I was too scared I was going to get in trouble or something!!! OMG so stupid. The next time I filled up two white boards with notes to help me process through questions. I didn't "brain dump" to clarify, but when a question came up I would kind of write my thoughts out to process through it. I also wrote out A B C D for each question and physically eliminated answers before I even touched the mouse. Keep your hand off the mouth if you tend to get click happy....

The NCLEX is hard, it's tricky, and it's probably a bit unnecessary, and it probably could be more applicable, but either way it's there and we have to deal with it. So whatever time this is for you to retake it....DO it, conquer it, and don't let it overtake you. Seek God, simplify your life, and be dedicated. You failed for a reason but that reason has nothing to do with your intelligence or capabilities; it honestly could be something as trivial as being "click happy" with your mouse. So give yourself a break, be appreciative of what you do have (especially with everything going on in the world : S, keep seeking your dreams, and realize that there are so many people, U.S. born and internationally that would love to be a nurse and YOU may not have passed the NCLEX yet but at least you are in a position where you are eligible to take it. It's your last step to becoming a nurse....don't give up.

Thank you. Thank you so so much for such a great and heartfelt post. This is exactly what I needed! I failed my first time at 75 questions and had a job waiting for me (they are still holding the position for me and letting me take the test 1 more time).

I honestly hit rock bottom and felt into what I guess you could say was depression for a bit. I am about to take the NCLEX for the second time very soon and will pass this time around! I only used Kaplan my first time, but this time around I am using Kaplan and NCSBN for Qbank, PDA and Hurst!

You are so very welcome. I'm so happy I can help at least one person. When you pass here pretty soon and you can get rid of all that weight on your shoulders you have right now you will see the nclex in a different way. It really is such a silly and EXPENSIVE test. It sounds like you have prepared well and have used everything that most people recommend. That's awesome they held your job for you, they must really have confidence in you. Well good luck and make sure you come back and let me know when you pass!!!

yedwards42, BSN, MSN

Specializes in Maternal Newborn. Has 7 years experience.

Congratulations! What an extremely inspiring, honest and touching story! Thank you for sharing with us.

What edition of la charity you use thanx

: ) thank you times a trillion for your post . I test the 27th after failing twice , I pray & study , pray & study . Your post touched my heart && made me feel wayyyy better . Thanks

Junebug14, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg. Has 6 years experience.

This is very encouraging! I am about to test for the second time. It took me a long time to get over my "failure" and get back with studying.

I so needed to read this, thank u for taking the time to send out positive vibes.

I am taking the NCLEX for the second time in a couple weeks. It took me a couple weeks to even start again, depression hit me hard. Thank you for your encouragement, I realize praying along with studying is the best I have, and I WILL pass the next time around! Congratulations!

Junebug14, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg. Has 6 years experience.

Read this again for some last encouragement. Taking the nclex for the second time at 0800.

Ashnicole86, You can do it! You made it through nursing school and that was a huge accomplishment! Take your time, don't forget to breathe, and if you need to, take breaks. And remember to eat a good breakfast. Hugs, from one graduate to another xxxx


Specializes in ED, Cardiac-step down, tele, med surg.

Try the Kaplan Q Bank. I did this and passed and found it very helpful, even harder than the real Nclex questions. Try not to change too much also. Sometimes people change answers to the wrong answer. You can do it!


Specializes in Cardiac, ER, Pediatrics, Corrections.

Good for you for sending this encouragement for others! I will forward this to a friend of mine who just failed and is in pieces.

Omg God is good!! I graduated from Lpn school in 2008 and took my nclex and failed. I never went back to take it however i always tell myself that I should go back and take it but never do. I had beeb praying and asking God to please let me know what he wants me to do with my nursing and let his will be done. Well I had posted a few days ago about whether I should take the test and then i cone across your post! I am going to print your post and post it on my fridge and read it everyday and start to study. Thank u fir deciding to post.

Junebug14, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg. Has 6 years experience.

Thanks Pippie! I finished about 1 1/2 hours ago. It shut off at 207 so idk what to think. Trying to be optimistic

I wasn't sure where or even how to begin again but I found comfort in your success and with this post. Congrats and thank you!

i have the hurst review... i do not see any "remediation"

nevermind... i found it... "money back guarantee" i was wonder if you can take this without having failed the NCLEX once..

Edited by seriouslyserious

Thank you for your post. I feel much better right now. I would like to have your opinion on my situation. I am foreign educated nurse and I failed on my first time coz of my poor English. I improved it and start to study Nclex again. I use Lippincott's new edition, my tests results around 50s. It sounds terrible to me :) I was thinking after getting better on this book to start Kaplan. Should I start Kaplan ?