NCLEX Nighmares

  1. I've always been one of those students who never go through test anxiety or stress out before taking an exam. But for some reason, I've been having nightmares about taking the NCLEX and am getting very nervous. I don't even graduate until May and will be taking the NCLEX in June. I think part of the reason I'm nervous is because I already have been hired as a Graduate Nurse, but my orientation the ICU will only be 3 weeks long due to my working as an Apprentice Nurse there for the past year. If I haven't taken my boards by the time my orientation is through, I will not be able to work. And if I take the boards and...gulp...fail, then I can't work until I pass it.

    I don't like feeling like this because I know what anxiety can do to a test score! I'm usually the calm one who isn't scurrying around before our tests. Why am I all of a sudden freaking out?

    And if anyone has any suggestions about a good book to use for reviewing/studying for the NCLEX, I would appreciate any suggestions.

    Thanks,
    Melanie
    May 2005 Graduate
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    About LilRedRN1973

    Joined: Sep '03; Posts: 1,163; Likes: 464
    Registered Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 8 year(s) of experience in ICU, psych, corrections

    15 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    Good luck to you.

    I know the feeling. Before I graduated I had a job lined up in another city. I moved, bought furniture and took an internship. When I took NCLEX it was do or die, as I had a lot riding on passing. Fortunately, I passed first try.

    That was a long time ago so I can't really help with offering any review books as I'm not up to date. But I can relate. Good luck.
  4. by   jeepgirl
    I was in the middle of buying a house when I took the NCLEX. Closing was the next week. Talk about freakin out!

    My nclex shut off at 75 and I really thought that I'd failed. I passed... talk about relief! But don't worry... you'll most likely do fine!
  5. by   aquiniangrad92
    Quote from RNnTraining1973
    I've always been one of those students who never go through test anxiety or stress out before taking an exam. But for some reason, I've been having nightmares about taking the NCLEX and am getting very nervous. I don't even graduate until May and will be taking the NCLEX in June. I think part of the reason I'm nervous is because I already have been hired as a Graduate Nurse, but my orientation the ICU will only be 3 weeks long due to my working as an Apprentice Nurse there for the past year. If I haven't taken my boards by the time my orientation is through, I will not be able to work. And if I take the boards and...gulp...fail, then I can't work until I pass it.

    I don't like feeling like this because I know what anxiety can do to a test score! I'm usually the calm one who isn't scurrying around before our tests. Why am I all of a sudden freaking out?

    And if anyone has any suggestions about a good book to use for reviewing/studying for the NCLEX, I would appreciate any suggestions.

    Thanks,
    Melanie
    May 2005 Graduate

    Hey Melanie, try KAPLAN REVIEW COURSE , they really good in preparing you for the exam. I took NCLEX for the second time last year after 10 yrs i failed the 1st time. Thats a long time for me being out of school, but the review course helped me a lot to concentrate. I even tried PRINCETON REVIEW BOOK ,that too was definitely given me the edge and confidence....i passed the exam with flying colors. :angel2:
  6. by   DR2004RN
    I used Mosby's Comprehensive Review of Nursing For NCLEX-RN. Everything was divided up in to sections (fluid and electrolytes, GI,) you get the picture. Prior to each section was a short review, for you to read before doing the practice questions. There was also a CD included with approximately 1500 various practice questions with rationales for the correct/incorrect answers. Find a quiet place, sit down and study everyday if you can. I usually did 75-100 questions everyday. I passed on the first try. I was so nervous as well. But when the actual day comes, tell yourself you know this information, take some deep breaths, and take your time. Think about what the question is asking you. The night before get a good nights rest. I know you will be just fine. It is okay to feel nervous and stressed, this is an important time in your life. But it will all work out just fine in the end. You have friends here at allnurses to support you. Good luck to you.
  7. by   nurscee
    Quote from DR2004RN
    I used Mosby's Comprehensive Review of Nursing For NCLEX-RN. Everything was divided up in to sections (fluid and electrolytes, GI,) you get the picture. Prior to each section was a short review, for you to read before doing the practice questions. There was also a CD included with approximately 1500 various practice questions with rationales for the correct/incorrect answers. Find a quiet place, sit down and study everyday if you can. I usually did 75-100 questions everyday. I passed on the first try. I was so nervous as well. But when the actual day comes, tell yourself you know this information, take some deep breaths, and take your time. Think about what the question is asking you. The night before get a good nights rest. I know you will be just fine. It is okay to feel nervous and stressed, this is an important time in your life. But it will all work out just fine in the end. You have friends here at allnurses to support you. Good luck to you.
    Toward the last two months of school I purchased a Mosby's Coputer Adaptive Test in the bookstore. This is different from your usual computer nclex program. You go online and take a "real" Nclex. You don't know when it is going to shut off, just like the real one. Then it tells your % chance of passing.
    You can take it as many times as you want in 30 days. After the test it will print out all the answers with rationales.
    By the time of NCLEX I kept getting 99% chance of testing.
    So, I went into the nclex confident.
    I took the real nclex in less than an hour!
    You can go on the Mosby's website and get it. Even from the bookstore, all that was inside was a password to log on.
    It cost $39 and for me it was worth every penny.
  8. by   James Huffman
    I sometimes think that people who aren't at least a little scared of the NCLEX just don't understand the situation ... :-) Pure and simple, the reason you are freaking out is because this test is important.

    The review materials suggested are excellent. If you are a good nursing student, I suspect you have little to fear. What you might need is something that gives you a feel for the computer aspects of the test. A good clinical review is useful, too. But remember that the real prep has come for a long time before. Your school has done that for you. You are prepared, or you wouldn't have made it this far.

    Do the usual stuff. Relax the night before you take the test, get plenty of sleep, eat well (not too well ... ) and be confident knowing that you will almost certainly do well, and be off to a good start on your career.

    Jim Huffman, RN
  9. by   nursemeow
    Quote from RNnTraining1973
    I've always been one of those students who never go through test anxiety or stress out before taking an exam. But for some reason, I've been having nightmares about taking the NCLEX and am getting very nervous. I don't even graduate until May and will be taking the NCLEX in June. I think part of the reason I'm nervous is because I already have been hired as a Graduate Nurse, but my orientation the ICU will only be 3 weeks long due to my working as an Apprentice Nurse there for the past year. If I haven't taken my boards by the time my orientation is through, I will not be able to work. And if I take the boards and...gulp...fail, then I can't work until I pass it.

    I don't like feeling like this because I know what anxiety can do to a test score! I'm usually the calm one who isn't scurrying around before our tests. Why am I all of a sudden freaking out?

    And if anyone has any suggestions about a good book to use for reviewing/studying for the NCLEX, I would appreciate any suggestions.

    Thanks,
    Melanie
    May 2005 Graduate

    Listen carefully to meeee.... This is normal for you to feel completely out of control.. on the days before and while waiting for the results of the NCLEX... EVERYONE I have ever heard of goes CUCU!! My advice is to:
    1) Prepare by studying right... Do NCLEX type tests.. focus on the ques you get wrong and review the BASICS of it.
    2) Don't over study.. plan 100 ques a day or so..
    3) Learn about NCLEX.. it wants you to pass.. and it will ADAPT to YOU!!!
    4) there are 15 pilot questions... this means that when you are done with the test and you recall a bunch of questions that seem bizarre.. bet they were pilot...
    5) You will be able to narrow MOST down to 2!! Just pick the answer that YOU can rationalize being right...
    6) WHO CARES what # it shut off at??? Nobody, because it never matters!
    7) Get good rest and please don't bother studying the night before... truly, it won't help..
    ....PS let me know when you're an official RN!! Believe in yourself.
  10. by   Mommyof2
    Quote from RNnTraining1973
    I've always been one of those students who never go through test anxiety or stress out before taking an exam. But for some reason, I've been having nightmares about taking the NCLEX and am getting very nervous. I don't even graduate until May and will be taking the NCLEX in June. I think part of the reason I'm nervous is because I already have been hired as a Graduate Nurse, but my orientation the ICU will only be 3 weeks long due to my working as an Apprentice Nurse there for the past year. If I haven't taken my boards by the time my orientation is through, I will not be able to work. And if I take the boards and...gulp...fail, then I can't work until I pass it.

    I don't like feeling like this because I know what anxiety can do to a test score! I'm usually the calm one who isn't scurrying around before our tests. Why am I all of a sudden freaking out?

    And if anyone has any suggestions about a good book to use for reviewing/studying for the NCLEX, I would appreciate any suggestions.

    Thanks,
    Melanie
    May 2005 Graduate
    Hey Melanie,
    I graduate too in May, I have a job lined up in MICU that starts 7/11- however they are offering me free NCLEX review classes. My friend just took the NCLEX in January and just did alot of studying. I think with a mindset of dedicating time to set aside to study, I think goes a long way. I did hear Kaplan is very good too. Good Luck to you, and me!!!

    Take care,
    Renee
    Graduating in May 2005
  11. by   Tony35NYC
    Melanie,

    Don't stress out. You already have the knowledge you need to pass the Nclex and you will, so don't go buying a lot of review books. There really are only a handful of books out there that review the new format nclex questions, and even fewer books that teach you how to beat the new nclex's so-called attempt to 'raise the bar'.

    If you're going to get a book, the one I would recommended is the Kaplan nclex review. Unlike the others, it teaches you strategy on to how figure the correct answer most of the time, even if you don't have a clue when you first look at the question. The book gives some cool tips on how to study and how to pririotize if you usually have trouble figuring which answer to choose when all four of them in the multiple choice are correct. And those nagging nursing process questions (what is the nurse's best response...what would the nurse do first...) are also covered pretty well.

    One thing I really appreciate about this book is that it tells you that when it comes to nclex, forget about what you would actually do if you were the nurse in a real-life situation. You can't be concerned about your other patients, or that you're falling behind schedule, or that you need help. Assume nothing that isn't stated in the question, and visualize yourself in a perfect-world scenario where you have everything you need, you're all caught up with everything that needs to get done, and you have all the time in the world to take care of the patient that the question is asking you about. Most importantly, always, always, always use Maslow's pyramid to prioritize everything. Stick to the stuff you learned from the nursing process textbooks and put all the things you've been doing at your job in the ICU out of your mind. For instance, you know that NO doctor or nurse anywhere in this world auscultates for bowel sounds in each of the four quadrants for 5 full minutes. Especially when the patient is in a crisis situation. But if auscultating for 5 minutes in each quadrant is an option on the test for a question about assessment for GI functionality, thats the one you'd better choose if you want to pass. How I wish I had had a book like this when I first started nursing school!!!

    The 2005-2006 version of the Kaplan nclex review is an excellent resource. It isn't yet available but I was able to get a pre-released copy and it is well worth the money. Plus, you get access to their on-line question bank which includes the new type of nclex questions. Better still, if your budget permits, you could also look into doing the in-class Kaplan nclex review. Its a bit pricey, but everyone I know at my school who did it passed the test the first time round.

    T.
  12. by   AmyHall
    Quote from RNnTraining1973
    I've always been one of those students who never go through test anxiety or stress out before taking an exam. But for some reason, I've been having nightmares about taking the NCLEX and am getting very nervous. I don't even graduate until May and will be taking the NCLEX in June. I think part of the reason I'm nervous is because I already have been hired as a Graduate Nurse, but my orientation the ICU will only be 3 weeks long due to my working as an Apprentice Nurse there for the past year. If I haven't taken my boards by the time my orientation is through, I will not be able to work. And if I take the boards and...gulp...fail, then I can't work until I pass it.

    I don't like feeling like this because I know what anxiety can do to a test score! I'm usually the calm one who isn't scurrying around before our tests. Why am I all of a sudden freaking out?

    And if anyone has any suggestions about a good book to use for reviewing/studying for the NCLEX, I would appreciate any suggestions.

    Thanks,
    Melanie
    May 2005 Graduate

    I think that everyone on this website knows exactly how you feel. I have yet to run into anyone who said that they had no worry and that the NCLEX was a piece of cake. I graduated last May. Everyday I studied NCLEX questions - about 100 a day. I took my test in July and mine shut off at 75. I was a nervous wreck. It was nothing like what I studied. But what a good feeling to check the Board of Nursing 2 days later and seeing my name on it!!!! What an emotional relief.

    Just concentrate on your last semester. Try not to focus too much on the NCLEX (easy for me to say, I'm done). Good luck in ICU. I work in ICU - very tough being a new grad in ICU.

    Take Care - Amy
  13. by   redwinggirlie
    I wouldn't worry about working right now.... you will get the job you want. Focus instead on getting through the now.... then the NCLEX .... then work. I really liked a Springhouse study CD a couple of years ago. You could take as many tests as you wanted, with as many questions as you wanted, over and over and over. I set myself up with my mock tests just like I was testing for the real thing. NO interruptions, comfy clothes, food in my tummy.
    Not to worry about your job, friend.... it will be there or somewhere. Good luck to you.
  14. by   TracyB,RN
    Been there, done that, LOL... except I decided to get coffee at a gas station a mile down the road, since I had left sooooo early b/c I didn't want to be late. While getting out of my car, I THOUGHT I put my keys in my pocket, locked the doors, got my coffee, & yep... the keys, my ticket to get in for the test, my ID, ALL locked in my car... I was freaking out. FINALLY, after about 40 minutes of sheer panic & numerous phone calls (that weren't helpful), a cop happened to stop by, asked if I was ok, b/c now, I am on the ground sobbing hysterically... I had 10 minutes to get there. He tried to jimmy the car, but couldn't get it... he asked why I was so upset, I told him I was trying to get to the test center for boards... He says, "Oh, my daughter is a nurse." Then hands me his sunglasses, gloves, & billy club, & says "I can't do this, but you can. You need to get to that test." 3 good whacks & I got in the car, so this is fun, driving home in January with a broken window....I made it with literally a minute to spare, the woman who took my info, could see I was troubled, gave me a few to compose myself & as she set me up, patted my shoulder & told me " It's ok, honey. You will make a great nurse." When my computer shut down at 75, I sat & stared at it for awhile, wondering what the heck had just happened!! I finally got up to leave, thanked the woman for her kind words & waited 5 1/2 weeks to find out if I passed or not. It was THE WORST 5 weeks... but if I passed with the day starting like that, I'm sure you will do fine... Don't worry about how many questions. Just answer what is being asked & don't read into the question too much.
    Good luck

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