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I can't believe this - wearing a mask during the test?

guest1059427 guest1059427 (Member)

I'm really upset now that I found out we have to wear a mask while we write the NCLEX. I overheat easily and believe this is going to negatively impact my performance. How is this fair?! If they're that worried they should just postpone the exam. I wonder if any other professions (law, medicine, accounting..) are requiring their candidates to wear a mask during their licensing exam. I doubt it.

Why do you think it would be just us? Any test administered through Pearson (including the MCAT) will require test takers to don a mask. If you don't feel comfortable testing, then don't. You should reach out to your state's BON and see what they say about extending your ATT window.

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Has 15 years experience. Specializes in OR, education.

Masks are becoming the way of life in many areas. That included testing centers, grocery stores, and health care facilities. It may be time to begin conditioning yourself to wearing the mask.

And as stated above, it will be for any exam at the testing center, not just NCLEX. You have no way of knowing who is taking what exam in the same room as you.

NICU Guy, BSN, RN

Has 5 years experience. Specializes in NICU.

3 hours ago, hopeful999 said:

I wonder if any other professions (law, medicine, accounting..) are requiring their candidates to wear a mask during their licensing exam. I doubt it.

I didn't count them, but it must be at least 100 different tests that Pearson Vue alone administers. https://home.pearsonvue.com/Test-takers/A-to-Z-program-list/View-all.aspx

I had a man taking an exam to be an orchestra conductor when I took my NCLEX. Who knew that there was a certification for orchestra conductors.

You all raise good points. I understand wearing a mask is a necessary precaution in large public spaces, or when physical distancing is not possible, in some cities. It is difficult to comprehend doing this where I live, where the incidence is very low. They can also just ensure we are the appropriate distance apart from each other.

Perhaps I am selfish, but I do believe when it comes to a licensing exam, that the conditions should be neutral - not working against the applicant.

If you aren't able to wear a mask while sitting quietly at a computer, are you sure you are in the right profession? I am sure that much more will likely be required of you while wearing a mask in most any nursing job in these times.

I'm sure you can reschedule your exam if you are unwilling to comply, but it is likely to be a requirement for some time to come.

Why can't they just space us further apart? Probably because they'd lose money doing so.

1 minute ago, RNmmg said:

If you aren't able to wear a mask while sitting quietly at a computer, are you sure you are in the right profession? I am sure that much more will likely be required of you while wearing a mask in most any nursing job in these times.

I'm sure you can reschedule your exam if you are unwilling to comply, but it is likely to be a requirement for some time to come.

No, I'm not sure I'm in the right profession. I understand what you are saying - but there are many different types of nursing jobs - some may/may not require a mask. Some people don't live in areas that are highly affected, and people deserve a fair chance to write a licensing exam without discomfort.

In my area, COVID is uncommon as well but they had the same precautions. I was spaced very far apart from other testers and wore a mask too. They kept the testing room very cool and I didn't notice the mask at all. I also get overheated easy especially when nervous but I dressed lightly and it was comfortable. I hope you have the same experience! I was lucky to get a test date that was so soon because they had shut my local centers down completely for a while. All my classmates who I graduated with in May have to wait until October to test and many are very upset to have to wait that long to be licensed because the longer you go between graduating and testing the poorer the testing outcome. The testing centers where I live are only allowing 50% capacity to attempt to lower the risk of COVID transmission even in a low-incidence area. I think getting as many nurses licensed as is safe is best for communities right now and doing all we can to avoid infecting the caregivers is huge which includes masks and distancing. That being said, if it's that bothersome for you and you feel it will impact your testing performance, why not reschedule your exam for a later date and hope that they won't be requiring a mask? I hope everything works out for you!

1 hour ago, angelsare44 said:

In my area, COVID is uncommon as well but they had the same precautions. I was spaced very far apart from other testers and wore a mask too. They kept the testing room very cool and I didn't notice the mask at all. I also get overheated easy especially when nervous but I dressed lightly and it was comfortable. I hope you have the same experience! I was lucky to get a test date that was so soon because they had shut my local centers down completely for a while. All my classmates who I graduated with in May have to wait until October to test and many are very upset to have to wait that long to be licensed because the longer you go between graduating and testing the poorer the testing outcome. The testing centers where I live are only allowing 50% capacity to attempt to lower the risk of COVID transmission even in a low-incidence area. I think getting as many nurses licensed as is safe is best for communities right now and doing all we can to avoid infecting the caregivers is huge which includes masks and distancing. That being said, if it's that bothersome for you and you feel it will impact your testing performance, why not reschedule your exam for a later date and hope that they won't be requiring a mask? I hope everything works out for you!

Thank you for sharing and your kind words 🙂

Crazy times. Have you tried practicing test questions/studying while wearing a mask? I would try that if you haven't to get used to the feel

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Has 40 years experience. Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia.

19 hours ago, hopeful999 said:

Why can't they just space us further apart? Probably because they'd lose money doing so.

No, I'm not sure I'm in the right profession. I understand what you are saying - but there are many different types of nursing jobs - some may/may not require a mask. Some people don't live in areas that are highly affected, and people deserve a fair chance to write a licensing exam without discomfort.

Right now- nearly 100% of nursing jobs require a mask- despite the local conditions. You are being given a fair chance because EVERYONE has to wear one. Also- you get fewer questions to pass so...

7 hours ago, Henan98 said:

Crazy times. Have you tried practicing test questions/studying while wearing a mask? I would try that if you haven't to get used to the feel 

Great advice. Thanks! A helpful suggestion is much more appreciated than a "are you in the right profession" criticism *eyeroll*

For what it’s worth, I just want to say that I had to wear a mask for the first time during a 12h shift. And it realllyyy wasnt that bad. I just got panicky when I heard that about NCLEX. Never having done it before, I jumped to the conclusion it would be unbearable. Not unlike me to jump to worst possible scenarios - I know I need to chill.

You'll be fine, don't start psyching yourself out. Start practicing with a surgical mask or cloth mask. I wear an N-95 with a surgical mask for 12 hours each shift while being extremely active.

Keep in mind, you're a beacon for the community to look to as a role model on public health. Also keep in mind, you are taking the NCLEX so that you may enter the nursing workforce, in which case you WILL be required to wear a mask.

JadedCPN, BSN, RN

Has 13 years experience. Specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU.

18 hours ago, hopeful999 said:

For what it’s worth, I just want to say that I had to wear a mask for the first time during a 12h shift. And it realllyyy wasnt that bad. I just got panicky when I heard that about NCLEX. Never having done it before, I jumped to the conclusion it would be unbearable. Not unlike me to jump to worst possible scenarios - I know I need to chill.

Going forward in the future, you may want to be cautious about throwing around the "its not fair" complaint. I'm glad you were able to gain some perspective with this scenario.

skylark, BSN, RN

Has 34 years experience. Specializes in ER.

If you are concerned about sitting at a desk wearing a mask, how are you planning to work 12 hour shifts in an N95?

On 6/17/2020 at 1:31 PM, hopeful999 said:

For what it’s worth, I just want to say that I had to wear a mask for the first time during a 12h shift. And it realllyyy wasnt that bad. I just got panicky when I heard that about NCLEX. Never having done it before, I jumped to the conclusion it would be unbearable. Not unlike me to jump to worst possible scenarios - I know I need to chill.

I'm glad you figured out it is doable for you. Masks are annoying, but are required everywhere in this line of work at the moment (as far as I know). Best of luck to you with your exam!

I feel your pain. Having to wear masks everywhere is getting to be overkill.

spotangel, BSN, MSN, DNP, RN, APRN, NP

Has 31 years experience. Specializes in ED,Tele,Med surg, ADN,outpatient,homecare,LTC,Peds.

Try a cloth mask! Much more comfortable. Best of luck with your exam. we are rooting for you!

Tenebrae, BSN, RN

Has 8 years experience. Specializes in Mental Health, Gerontology, Palliative.

On 6/15/2020 at 6:28 PM, hopeful999 said:

Why can't they just space us further apart? Probably because they'd lose money doing so.

No, I'm not sure I'm in the right profession. I understand what you are saying - but there are many different types of nursing jobs - some may/may not require a mask. Some people don't live in areas that are highly affected, and people deserve a fair chance to write a licensing exam without discomfort.

How do you think you will cope when you have to wear a mask for an entire 8 or 12 hour shift?

Why are you that uncertain in your nursing knowledge you think having to wear a mask for a few hours is going to stop you from doing your best

You live in a country with over 2 million infected with covid, and over 110,000 dead. Many states are showing a marked resurgence in infection rates.

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