HELP! Failed NCLEX-RN 6 times!


I have been out of school 2 years today. I tested yesterday for NCLEX-RN for the 6th time and looked on the licensing website this morning and my name had dropped off indicating that I failed. I am devastated. I am always so confident when I sit down. Then as the test goes on I get anxious and nervous. I have answered all 265 questions 6 TIMES!! I am so close to passing that it just makes me so sick! To think of all the $$ wasted.

What else can I do? AM I meant to do this? I have completed the HURST review, the Kaplan review, the VATI (virtual ATI), worked with a private tutor and plus have used some other study materials. I even went as far as to go to the doctor and request a small dose ant-anxiety medication. However, now I am pregnant and cannot take this.

Anyway, I feel lost, want to quit, and just go into retail. I feel like a huge failure and embarrassment.

Oh, not to mention that I have had to go in front of the nursing board twice now. Each time I've gone in front of them they don't exactly boost my confidence. It's always something like, "If you don't pass this time, well I don't know what we'll do." Or "It gets harder every time you test, it's also hard to get the opportunity to test every time you don't pass." Really? Do they have to be like that? I'm already a nervous wreck.

Any help? Suggestions? Advice? :down:

allnurses Guide

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

2 Articles; 6,840 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 12 years experience.

There are some success stories from people who have taken the test that many times, but not a lot of them. I am sorry you are hurting. Only you can know if you have the heart and drive and money and time to keep trying. The test has little to do with true nursing ability but at two years out your skills are rusty at best. The current market for new grad nurses is rough and even rougher for "old" new grads with no experience. Honestly? I would advise you to consider pursuing a different direction. I so wish you well.

I am confused about the "going in front of the board" part. Nobody I know of has ever been called in front of the board for trying to become a nurse unless they have a criminal history. What do you mean by that? If you have a criminal history AND you have taken the test six times and failed you really do need to find a different direction.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

I would consider another career, at least temporarily. The next option might be a tutor, but that is costly. Maybe if you tried EMS or some other industry-related career you would be more content. Sorry you are in this situation.

Specializes in Pediatrics, Emergency, Trauma. Has 18 years experience.

I am also confused about going in "front of the board" statement.

At this point, depending on your state, a refresher course at be in order.

Besides "test anxiety" what is it that you are below passing in?

Specializes in ICU / Urgent Care. Has 7 years experience.

I'm sorry but 6 times? I think nursing is not for you.


91 Posts

If you really want it, get a one on one tutor, test taking is a skill.

Specializes in Public Health. Has 4 years experience.

Is English your second language?

NICUmiiki, DNP, NP

1,774 Posts

Specializes in Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. Has 8 years experience.
I am confused about the "going in front of the board" part.

In my state, if you fail the NCLEX four times, you have to have a hearing with the BON to appeal to take it again. Different states have different rules. Your state may not care if you take the NCLEX repeatedly, but mine (and apparently the OP's) does.


26 Posts

@hctmaa0511 Dont lose heart. Yes you've taken Nclex 6 times, your test is different from everyone. Just remember its different for everyone. If you've taken it recently allow yourself to rest and then study again. Step back and evaluate yourself what have u been doing this past 6 attempts.

Start anew, don't think of the past exams.

I have Kaplan, Saunder's Lipoincott mosby's, feurs, hurst got a lot of review books ;)

Been out of school for a long time(1990's-hahaha) had a fulltime job. Tried a lot of review course and books, But since I graduated long time ago. Recently, took a review class- Excell Nursing Review. I learned in 9 days what took me 4 years in taking my BSN, no kidding! Excell told us not just to rely on answering on Q & A books but also to know - read and know normal & abnormal(pathophysiology) so that you'll have the confidence that no matter what nclex gives you, you'll understand it & be able to apply assessment, intervention and etc.

If youre worried for finances, get a part time job, save for nclex and take it as soon as possible cause your knowledge retention as time passes decreases. Just think of it as an investment. 6 times 7 times for me it doesn't matter, Opps sorry didnt know youre in a state that has limit with test taking. Hang in there, you will get that license it doesn't matter how many attempts you had ^_*. Good luck & God Bless!

Got a good pop up, still waiting for BON here in Cali, but in case I didn't make it :( ill be sad but Im gonna try again.

JustBeachyNurse, LPN

1 Article; 13,952 Posts

Specializes in Complex pedi to LTC/SA & now a manager. Has 13 years experience.

You need to assess your candidate performance reports and see if you have a trend in below or near passing standard so you can target your review should you be permitted to test again. Contact your nursing school for assistance as they have a vested interest in you passing the NCLEX.


Be prepared for the BoN telling you to return to school to retake your nursing education. I've seen BoNs that require a refresher course & board approval after 3 tries; after 6 attempts it's back to school. In Canada you have 3 attempts to pass the CRNE/CRPNE exam nation wide then it's repeat your nursing education or find another career.

Has 5 years experience.

Don't give up on your dreams! With god all things are possible, only believe.


66 Posts

Take a break. However, you really need to analyze what it is you're missing when it comes to answering questions. Sit down and take 75 to 265 questions at a time and really analyze the questions you are missing. I was told that NCLEX hones in and asks a lot of questions on the subjects one misses frequently, so if you miss a question on Maternal/Newborn about say, PIH, and you keep missing that question, it will continue to ask subjects related to that question or maybe even reask the question in a different way. What kind of questions were you asked most about during NCLEX? What kind of questions do you miss the most of when you take practice questions? That is where I'd focus.

Don't give up, but there is a saying, "'Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again and expecting different results." If tutoring didn't work with one person, try another. If you mastered Hurst...and I mean REALLY MASTERED IT, don't use it again. Try something else. You might not need a tutor or hurst; you may need to just practice randomized questions of at least 75 at a time to simulate that testing experience, and mark what you miss, and take note of what you are missing.You may know content, and may be having problems with questions. Or it may be the other way around. You have to self-assess yourself. Take a hard honest look at the way you're answering questions and what it is you're missing. If you find that while you are practicing questions, you legitimately don't know the material it's referring to, research it, youtube it, learn it, right then and there. Don't brush it off. If this is what you want, then keep on trying, I'd say.

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