How do I get over my anxiety about taking NCLEX without preparing


I graduated from a BSN program in December and I was expecting my application for licensure to take until at least March to process. I was surprised when I already got my ATT... I didn't study for this. I had to move to a new place and start a new job and I didn't have time to prepare. I don't want to put the exam off either. I just want to get it done and over with. I want to schedule my exam for as early as next week. I work full time and don't think I can cram before that time. I want to take my chances and experience the real NCLEX. I hate taking exams because it's hard for me to concentrate or stay focused. Is there a good brief review I can do to at least improve my confidence before the exam? 

tnbutterfly - Mary, BSN, RN

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Has 5 years experience.

If you only have a little time, I would personally recommend you to focus on reviewing these 10 important categories:


(1) everything related to diabetes (how to recognize and treat hyper/hypoglycemia, DKA, and HHS, also how to prepare insulin NPH and regular),


(2) child safety (what are the biggest risks for each child by age group and how to protect them from it... such as bike helmets, seatbelts, locked medicine cabinets, gates for stairs, gates for pools, etc),


(3) serotonin syndrome, how to recognize and treat it, what causes it (of all the psych topics, this is the major one to know because it's dangerous)


(4) how to perform correct CPR (how many minutes, how many breaths, how many inches depth, etc), and how to manage seizures (turn pt to side, count how long it lasts, have suction equipment on hand of necessary, etc)


(5) heart burn and GI ulcers (complications like internal bleeding, common meds that exacerbate it, and common meds to treat or prevent it)


(6) delegation, NCLEX definitely wants to check that you understand what are the roles of an RN vs an LVN vs a PCT


(7) how to communicate with providers... know your SBAR and review examples of what is a good vs a bad SBAR


(8) NG tubes, know the steps for insertion and removal, when and why to request an xray to check for placement, and when and why you would check for residual stomach content


(9) DVTs and PEs! How to recognize signs of DVT and PE and what to do


(10) the difference between airborne, droplet, and contact precautions and the common ones to know (like c diff, varicella, TB, e coli...). Don't worry about vaccines, you really only need to know about the influenzae vaccine if you have to choose one. I would lump in some oncology precautions here, like when should a nurse wear a lead apron, when should a patient flush twice after urinating