Preparing for NCLEX while working as a GN

  1. Hi all,

    For the GNs who worked after graduation and took the NCLEX before the end of their training/orientation and passed it the first time --- how was your experience like when preparing for this critical exam while working? Any advice on time management, stress management? Thanks!
  2. Visit heywazzupdude profile page

    About heywazzupdude, BSN

    Joined: Apr '05; Posts: 41; Likes: 2
    Critical Care RN; from US
    Specialty: Transitional ICU, Neuro/Trauma ICU

    23 Comments

  3. by   hlfpnt
    I started working 2 weeks after pinning & it was hard to work & study. I was learning so many new things on the job and, of course, being tired didn't help. On work days I got up extra early & did practice questions before work because I knew I'd be too tired after...for me, studying when I'm tired is a waste of time. On days off I did between 150-200 questions a day (sometimes more depending on how I felt) with breaks about every hour or so. All total I did between 2500-3000 questions in 8 weeks...I really didn't keep a good count on that. As for stress management all I can say is just try to stay focused on your studying & not the exam itself. Easier said than done! :wink2: Good luck to you!
  4. by   heywazzupdude
    Thanks for the advice!
  5. by   Jolie
    I graduated in May, got married and went on a honeymoon in early June, started work at the end of June, and took NCLEX in July.

    I did not attend a review course, and never cracked a book prior to NCLEX.
    I passed with a very comfortable margin.

    I'm not suggesting my method to anyone else, but posted primarily to say that in my opinion, working as a GN IS the BEST possible preparation for NCLEX. That, combined with taking the exam ASAP after graduation, would be my suggestion.

    Good luck!
  6. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    Jolie did you take HESI? and if so what did you get on it if you dont mind my asking.

    I got a 1049 which according to HESI means I will likely pass NCLEX, but I am going to study anyway.


    Sweetooth
  7. by   Jolie
    Quote from swtooth
    Jolie did you take HESI? and if so what did you get on it if you dont mind my asking.

    I got a 1049 which according to HESI means I will likely pass NCLEX, but I am going to study anyway.


    Sweetooth

    No HESI for me. It was not used by my school at the time, and I don't even know if it existed then.

    Again, I don't advocate not studying, but I do firmly believe that professional experience and a quick lag time to taking NCLEX are important factors in being well-prepared for the exam.

    Also, my school specifically DID NOT give "NCLEX-type" tests as part of our curriculum. We were required to take essay and fill-in the blank-type tests, because they require a higher level of learning than tests aimed at prompting the taker to recall or recognize the correct answer. No true-false, no fill in the blank with word choices, etc. There must be some validity to their teaching method, as they have had a 96-100% pass rate every semester for years!
  8. by   semperfi8688
    I feel very lucky, i just got hired and this particular hospital offers PAID NCLEX review for 8 hrs a day x 4 days, which is the start of our 1st week of orientation to this facility.
  9. by   Jessy_RN
    Quote from semperfi8688
    I feel very lucky, i just got hired and this particular hospital offers PAID NCLEX review for 8 hrs a day x 4 days, which is the start of our 1st week of orientation to this facility.
    That is great!!!

    I am interviewing soon for a GN position. They offer a free review course (not paid) and a reimbursement if you take Kaplan.
  10. by   yoj1001
    hi there! need some advice..
    i am about to start my work on july or aug.. im planning to take NCLEX also this year.. so im wondering if i can manage working and preparing for NCLEX considering the loads of patients in PGH... help! anyone who have the same situation as i have?
  11. by   queenjean
    I see WORKING as a nurse as an NCLEX review that you get paid to attend, don't you? Lots of places spend a lot of time with their new hires, orienting them to their policies, procedures and protocols. Everytime you look up a med, a disease process, a lab result, etc you are reviewing for the NCLEX.
  12. by   Jessy_RN
    Quote from queenjean
    I see WORKING as a nurse as an NCLEX review that you get paid to attend, don't you? Lots of places spend a lot of time with their new hires, orienting them to their policies, procedures and protocols. Everytime you look up a med, a disease process, a lab result, etc you are reviewing for the NCLEX.

    Not necessarily. The REAL world and the NCLEX world are 2 different worlds

    But I do think it does more good than not. I am going to work as a GN as well before sitting for boards.
  13. by   Anjann
    The only problem with working before NCLEX is that you only have that 90 day window to get your license. (At least here in my state) I didn't even get my ATT until 8 weeks after graduation and I didn't get a test date until after my 90 days was up, so I couldn't work after the 90 days until I passed the test.
  14. by   moongirl
    Quote from Anjann
    The only problem with working before NCLEX is that you only have that 90 day window to get your license. (At least here in my state) I didn't even get my ATT until 8 weeks after graduation and I didn't get a test date until after my 90 days was up, so I couldn't work after the 90 days until I passed the test.
    depends on where you are at, how speedy your school and state BON is. I got my ATT and temp license exactly 7 days after I graduated. I graduated in May, take my NCLEX at the end of this month. Several of my classmates have already taken and passed the NCLEX this month.

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