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when to give up trying to pass

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Specializes in telemetry/med surg.

So. My husband and I are both LVNs here in texas. My husband did the transition program and passed gaining an associates degree in may 2014. He has yet to pass his NCLEX despite repeated attempts. I dont even know how many times its been but I think like 6 or so. Please dont judge! He has SEVERE test anxiety and for whatever reason this is just conquering him. We have tried numerous testing strategies and books and classes. Every time he gets all 265 questions and his score report reads ABOVE PASSING AND NEAR PASSING in every area. I feel its the select all that apply. Here in Texas you have unlimited attempts at nclex for 3 years after graduation. We have spent so much money trying anything to help him pass.

I am just so over it. Its so frustrating and humiliating for him. I haye seeing him so dissapointed after studying so hard. I know a lot of people say "its just not meant to be". Maybe thats true. But why pass nursing school for RN then? And hes a nurse on a busy med surg tele floor so its not like hes never had experience. I myself went thru excelsior so he could go to the traditional program. I am scheduled to take my CPNE in December but I just feel so terrible about him not passing that I cant even study. If it were you, what would you do? Would you keep trying to pass the NCLEX until the 3 yr mark hits or just move on? I am truly asking opinions. Its just so disheartening.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

I speak as someone who took both the NCLEX-PN and NCLEX-RN. If your husband was able to pass the NCLEX-PN to become an LVN, he is capable of passing NCLEX-RN. Yes, both exams are similar, in my opinion.

Here is the blunt reality: a person only needs to answer about 50 percent of the higher level questions correctly to achieve a passing score on the NCLEX. It is not that difficult of a test.

Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. Your husband needs to stop doing the same things repeatedly if he wants a different result.

Perhaps some sessions with a psychotherapist could be useful to manage the test anxiety? Good luck to both of you!

BostonFNP, APRN

Specializes in Adult Internal Medicine. Has 10 years experience.

Every person is different and statistics don't make the individual, I just wanted to say that and wish your husband luck. Here is the statistics of the issue:

Pass rates for 1st time takers is about 85%.

Pass rates for 2nd time takers is about 73%.

Pass rates for 3rd time takers is about 60%.

Pass rates drop below 50% for the 4th time and onwards.

By the 12th time, the pass rate is 14%.

After the 4th attempt more takers fail than pass.

avidhunter3

Specializes in telemetry/med surg.

Is there a reason for the drop in percentage of passers? Is it just forgetting things or does the test get harder each attempt?

BostonFNP, APRN

Specializes in Adult Internal Medicine. Has 10 years experience.

Is there a reason for the drop in percentage of passers? Is it just forgetting things or does the test get harder each attempt?

The test does not get any harder with multiple attempts.

I would suspect the reason the pass rates drop with successive attempts is multifactorial; I wouldn't venture to guess on the reasons.

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 44 years experience.

I am NOT advocating this strategy, just telling a friend's experience.

She failed three times due to test anxiety. She's bright, good student, just froze at the testing center. Always got the max number of questions. She did every review and even hired a private tutor. Same old same old.

Night before fourth attempt, some buddies took her out on the town. she got fairly intoxicated, and woke up completely hung over. passed in 75 questions.

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

Is there a reason for the drop in percentage of passers? Is it just forgetting things or does the test get harder each attempt?

From research I read the main factor in continuing to fail is not doing remediation in deficient areas and just preparing the same way or worse cramming.

Compare the CPR, is it always the same areas near passing or does it vary? If always the same, create a targeted plan on the deficient areas. If test taking strategies look at Kaplan. For alternate format, prioritization and delegation ---PDA by L LaCharity. For pharmacology NCSBN free nclex pharmacology app. For content--Hurst. None of these strategies will work if you don't analyze and remediate deficient areas. If the passing/near passing areas vary with each test consider a mental health consultation to help with anxiety, coping and test taking strategies

avidhunter3

Specializes in telemetry/med surg.

Based on what I have seen when helping him study, its the select all that apply. Hes been using the true false strategy but doesnt seem to get them all.

avidhunter3

Specializes in telemetry/med surg.

He tried xanax one time that our hospitalist prescribed him to help.

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

He tried xanax one time that our hospitalist prescribed him to help.

He needs to consider seeing a mental health professional not a hospitalist with a bandaid benzo Rx. Can be a psychologist, LCSW, LPC, psychiatrist, PMHNP or otherwise but it's best to see a specialist for a chronic issue. Medication may or may not be the best choice. I wouldn't ask an orthopedist to treat a blood pressure issue or a GP to help treat cervical or breast cancer.

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

Based on what I have seen when helping him study, its the select all that apply. Hes been using the true false strategy but doesnt seem to get them all.

There are books and programs dedicated to alternate format questions and rationales. Looking at true/false does only so much good if you don't understand the rationale

avidhunter3

Specializes in telemetry/med surg.

Being that he only has test anxiety and not anxiety in general, the Dr felt a low dose might help him relax and not stress. He said it just made him sleepy. I will mention therapy to him. Certainly cant hurt!!

LPNtoRNin2016OH, LPN

Specializes in Allergy/ENT, Occ Health, LTC/Skilled. Has 5 years experience.

If Xanax has proven to not help, I would start looking towards holistic options and therapy as described above. He needs to figure out why he is so stressing so hard when he sits down to that particular test. He passed the LPN to RN bridge, I am in it now so I know how hard it is, it seems to me he failed once, then it hurt his confidence. So every times he sits to test all he can thing is "what if i fail, what if i fail, what if i fail" that he cannot reasonably think! He needs to do some talk therapy, maybe some acupuncture, essential oil therapy, and perhaps on his next attempt he should tell NO ONE that he is taking, not even you. Not a soul. It will take some of there pressure off. In the mean time, you need to get prepared for you exam as well, two of you failing will make matters worse.

Is he passing the practice NCLEX tests at home?

ILUVFLRN

Specializes in Operating Room. Has 3 years experience.

I, too, suffer from test anxiety. Went to therapy for a few years which helped me gain my confidence back and improve my test taking strategies but after failing NCLEX (received the entire 265 questions), I was distraught and went to see a hypnotist who specialized in anxiety disorders. After a few sessions, I rescheduled the exam, continued to study 3-4 hours per day, attended a Kaplan classroom-based course and passed NCLEX on the 2nd attempt with 76 questions. I felt much more relaxed, didn't have "butterflies" in my stomach and was able to focus better the second time around - hypnosis worked for me. Tell your husband not to give up. Good luck.

As cliche as it sounds...never give up!!! He can do it!!!

BirkieGirl

Has 25 years experience.

i too have SEVERE text anxiety. so much so, that i'm not quite making grade in my current NP program just due to testing alone...that said:

I took my NCLEX twice, took the ACLS test twice, dysrhythmia management test twice, and took the CCRN twice, and took the gold-standard testing for my specialty twice, and so on. i am a terrible test taker.

i too would recommend a couple sessions with therapist to conquer the text anxiety, AND find an in-person practice workshop he can go to. Kaplans worked for me.

hang in there. some really great nurses are the worst testers in the world. but the best care givers!

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

Is there a reason for the drop in percentage of passers? Is it just forgetting things or does the test get harder each attempt?
The father away from graduation it's been, the harder it is to pass NCLEX. People do not realize how much they forget after a year of being out of school.

I assume a person who is on the fourth, fifth or sixth attempt has graduated more than a year ago. Hence, the material and nursing content is not as fresh as it was in the month or two after graduation.

Alex_RN, BSN

Has 6 years experience.

I really feel for you and your husband. Don't give up! If the problem is anxiety, then work on the anxiety. I luckily knew of a well-regarded hypnotherapist who helped me with my test anxiety. It was expensive and the preparation took several sessions.

It is easy to become a licensed hypnotherapist, so be careful who you choose. I was lucky because I knew someone who knew my therapist and he is very prominent in the community.

As for the question if you should keep trying: You have nothing to lose. Plus, look at your age and the benefits of passing. You will enjoy those benefits for the rest of your working life.

Edited by Alex_RN