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Help.. Need advice, planning to take CEN on June

Emergency   (1,826 Views 8 Comments)
by msunday16 msunday16 (New Member) New Member

msunday16 has 4 years experience and works as a Staff Nurse.

1,230 Visitors; 13 Posts

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Hi Guys,

I need a good advice on how to overcome anxiety in taking CEN exam. I've been trying to look for a good CEN review guide and book. I currently use the CEN Pass book and have some other resources (Sheehy's ENA, ENA practice exam). Im scared of taking the exam for fear of failure. I scheduled my exam last year but I didn't get the chance to go due to the same reason (test anxiety).

Can you guys give me any advice to overcome it?

What resources did u guys use? I am thinking of checking out the Solheim review and the Boswell review.. what do you think?

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Pixie.RN has 18 years experience as a MSN, RN, EMT-P and works as a Infection Preventionist/Nurse Epidemiologist.

260 Likes; 7 Followers; 32 Articles; 125,659 Visitors; 12,830 Posts

I used Solheim's material. Do as many practice tests and questions as you can to increase your confidence. Good luck!!

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5,958 Visitors; 185 Posts

I hate tests!

I passed CEN a few months ago. It was hard but not crazy. I did practice questions every day for approx 8 weeks prior to the test. Some days I did 25 questions - some days I did 5 questions! But I did SOME every day. I kept my Review Manual with me at all times so if I was ever waiting anywhere, or when riding the subway, I could pop a few questions into the old brain! I reviewed material I did poorly on whenever I had a couple hours to really sit down and study. I bought a notebook and took notes on stuff I had to review - just like when I was in school.

I scheduled the test on a day when I had the previous day off. Luckily the test time was 12:30 - I didn't have to rush, I ate a big breakfast, stayed hydrated, and (gently) reviewed more questions in the a.m.

I didn't tell anyone I was taking the test, that's too much pressure for me - I worry enough - don't need anyone else worrying for me, that would increase my anxiety. My attitude was - do the best I can - if I fail I take it again as soon as it's allowed. It's not like the NCLEX where your license is the goal and so failure and re-testing are so stressful...

Study steadily, schedule the test privately, and take it. If you fail you just study some more and repeat! They give you a printout of which questions you got right and wrong by category - for example, even though I passed I didn't do stellar in Pediatrics or Neuro questions on the test, my ER is near a well-known Neuro medical center and my ER is only adult - I wasn't surprised I was weakest in these. Naturally I did great in the subjects that I see all the time at work.

I used the CEN Review Manual (4th ed.) published by the ENA, and reviewed weak material in Sheehy's and my old nursing school textbooks and Davis's Drug Guide. I liked the CEN review because it had a diagnostic after each test that told you if you got more than "X" number of questions wrong in this category you need to review. I followed those directions!

Good luck! You can do it!

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BrnEyedGirl has 18 years experience and works as a RN, CEN, FNP-C ER Trauma Center.

2 Likes; 18,519 Visitors; 1,235 Posts

I went to one of Jeff Solheim's review courses, took his practice test and bought the books. His courses are full of comedy and easy to sit through and I made the exact score on my exam as I did on the practice course! I would recommend his courses!

I agree with an earlier poster, keep your test date to yourself. DOn't over think and you'll be fine! Best of luck!!

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2,880 Visitors; 51 Posts

I just passed the CEN test. I used the Laura Gasparis DVD's and a brief browse of Pearl's Review. Found the test pretty easy overall. Best of luck!

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erlissy works as a Certified Emergency Room RN.

3,198 Visitors; 61 Posts

I'm in the same boat! I plan to take my exam by August since I'm not doing any BSN classes this summer. Lucky (or not!) for me, I ended up with an injury that has rendered me to the couch for 6 weeks and I can focus on studying. Best of luck with studying and testing!

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607 Visitors; 7 Posts

I used Solheim's and Boswell's reviews as well as the Sheehy's manual. I also kept my taking the test private. I never really scored that high on practice tests but a friend kept encouraging me that I could do it. When I went to take the test, the weather was a nightmare and I was already stressed out when I sat down. After the first 15 question with about 10 that I was unsure about, I figured there was no way I was going to pass so I just relaxed and answered each question as if I was in the moment - gut reaction. I passed and actually did really well! I think if you are an experienced nurse and study you will have no problem. At least 75% of the ques I could answer based on experience alone (work in a very busy, high volume ER). You can do it!!

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Saflanut has 2 years experience and works as a FNP.

1 Like; 3,116 Visitors; 66 Posts

I passed my CEN exam in February. I did Boswell's reviews on youtube along with his study book. He is very good at explaining and pointing possible questions. I thought the exam was not hard compared to practice exams. I have 13 months of ED nursing experience in a busy ED which helped a lot. Don't be nervous. Just do some questions everyday and positive thinking should calm your nerves. You got this!

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