I've now failed NCLEX-RN twice....

Nursing Students NCLEX


I just graduated this past May of 2010. I'm a 34yo guy and this is my second bachelors degree. My nursing school GPA was a 3.67. I made the Dean's List twice, the President's Honor List once, inducted into STTI, and I would have graduated with honors if my GPA from my first undergrad wasn't calculated, which brought my overall GPA down a bit.

About two weeks after graduation, I took Hurst Review and then used a friend's Kaplan account to use Kaplan's Q Bank, scoring each test in the mid-60's. I walked into the NCLEX cautiously confident....

....and then I failed the damn thing with all 265 questions, using 5 of the 6 available hours. I was crushed, to say the least. I moped around for a couple of weeks, beating myself up and generally feeling quite sorry for myself. Then I got back in the saddle and started studying again. I took NCLEX-RN for the second time the day before yesterday and I didn't fare any better: 203 questions and I ran out of time. I just got the results minutes ago: failed again.

Two themes were common on both of my exams: Many drugs I hadn't heard of and lots of questions with answers I couldn't make any sense of, which I of course find baffling for an exam that is supposed to test for minimum competency.

I keep asking myself how I can do so well and apparently not retain what I need to retain. I've always been a good-to-great student, yet I've always struggled with standardized tests, going back to the PSAT in Jr High. Does this make sense to anyone? Can anyone relate to this?

Anyway, moving on....

Things I've done and the resources I have available to me:

ATI - I took this in nursing school, but didn't take it too seriously because our ATI's didn't count for or against us, and we had to focus on the 'real' exams. The ATI NCLEX Predictor Test said I had a 91% chance of passing NCLEX on my first attempt. Har har.

Hurst Review - I took the live Hurst Review after graduation. I liked it. I also have their lecture videos saved on my computer. Before I took NCLEX the first time, I attended the live Hurst lectures and then I did the Kaplan Q Bank the following week. I didn't really study the Hurst content beyond what I did in the Hurst classes. As I mentioned earlier, I was doing well on the Kaplan Q Bank, scoring in the mid-60's on each of the tests. This is not to say that I didn't look things up in areas where I felt I was weak (looking at you, Labor and Delivery....I'm a guy, what can I say). For this second time around, I focused mainly on studying the content and re-doing the Hurst Review via my computer. This obviously didn't work out either.

I have a Kaplan book, my ATI books, a Saunders book, another Hurst Review book, and a handful of others that were given to me.

I want to take this in the next 45-50 days, and any suggestions would be very much appreciated --

- Should I take the Kaplan Review? I've heard Kaplan is question-focused, but I haven't gotten a satisfactory explanation at to what this means, really. Thoughts? I do feel that I need (and want) content....

- Should I start over with ATI? I'd need longer than 45 days to do this as this is a series of books, rather than one (albeit huge) book like Saunders, Kaplan, etc.

- Should I ignore Hurst completely, since that obviously didn't work, and only use another source?

- If so, what sources? I feel that I need the content, so I don't want to only do questions.

- In another thread, someone recommended The Illustrated Study Guide for the NCLEX-RN Exam, by JoAnn Zerwekh and Jo Carol Claborn. I'm more of a visual/tactile learner....I learn things better by seeing and doing rather than just reading, so this sounds intriguing.

I'm embarrassed beyond belief. I've been ignoring my nursing school friends (I went to school out-of-state) and wow is it rough facing my family and friends here at home. I'm pretty freakin' low right now....

Ugh. I feel like such a dumbass.

I guess I just needed to vent, so thanks for listening to me/reading my sorry tale. As is stands now, giving up isn't an option and I beat myself up enough after the first failure, so I don't think I'll be doing much more of that, either. I want to get this over with and get on with life!

Any and all thoughts and comments are appreciated, but please be gentle! My self-esteem isn't doing so hot at the moment....

And sorry to add another NCLEX-RN failure freak-out....

Thanks to all in advance.

When I was in school, many people around me were bombing the hesi exams when they knew as much, if not more, than I did! I struggled with testing for 2 semesters then suddenly something clicked for me. Somehow my scores started skyrocketing. I took nclex Sat, it shut off at 75, and I got the good pop up. I'm going to tell you what I think helped me even though it is not "evidenced based".

Of course we need to know content and test taking strategies, but it sounds like you have that part under control. So maybe it's the anxiety? What I started doing was a chakra meditation on youtube once a week and 5 minutes or so of yoga the morning of tests. I also say a prayer and cross myself. Then when I'm taking the test, I have the attitude that this is not so important. It's not life or death. It's not going to be the worst thing that happens if I fail, so who cares, pick an answer and move on. I read the question and options once carefully. I pick something and move on. I'd say I'm almost reckless when I compare myself with how slow and careful others are. But it keeps my stress level low and I believe I'm choosing better this way.

I dont' want to give dangerous advice - this is just what worked for me and wanted to offer it in case is helps. The yoga/meditation can't hurt.

I already tried the Kaplan Q-bank, and got 65% on practice tests but still failed the nclex. I just don't know if the Kaplan RN course book will work for me. I had more drugs in my previous exam that I don't know what book should I review now? Would a review center be better? Anyone who could tell which is a good review center? At present I am working as an aide, which kind a depress me since it's a year now that I haven't practiced my profession as a nurse.

I feel the same...I too failed the NCLEX for the 2nd time (11NOV2010). What a horrible and embarrassing feeling! I ran out of time....i believe I was on number 240ish....Maybe if I hadnt run out of time I could have passed. I studied with hurst material which is super great, davis 2010 Q&A, and NCSBN. Now I just need to practice on my timing skills! Good luck and God bless to all!

flower 25, I also ran out of time at question 203. Results were all areas Nearly passing...wish we all can get the PASS results next time for a great New Year...Goodluck to all!

I also failed the NCLEX twice!! I know it's a sucky feeling and it has taken me a while to get over feeling sorry for myself. It's even harder to keep studying the THIRD time around and stay focused, but i keep telling myself that i HAVE to. I also have been avoiding many of my friends because i feel sorry for myself, but as we can all see WE ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES THIS HAS HAPPENED TO! I was a good student in nursing school, im just horrible at standardized tests.

My advice to you, I took the kaplan course before i took the nclex the first time around. It did NOT help me. It teaches you how to approach questions and break them down but MY problem was understanding and reviewing some of the content i think. The second time around i studied by doing tons of questions and going over a lot of pharmacology. This time Im doing the online hurst review and im trying to do a lot of questions each day, but like i said, its really hard for me to stay focused.

We can all pass this test and WE WILL. THe longer the wait, the greater the victory!!!

I'm in the same boat as you. i'm also a adult male. what state are you in? you seem like a smaty guy and maybe we could help each other if possible. I took it twice at 265 too. I understand that is hurts.

i'm sorry to hear that. what state are you in?

i'm sorry to hear that. what state are you in?

Was this directed at me? If so: Texas.

Also: I passed and I am officially an RN. I owe a lot of credit to Kaplan. I found their entire program useful and the "if you can do ONE THING and go home" part of the Decision Tree in particular was helpful. I passed in 75 questions and the second I sat down, I knew I was going to pass in 75.

I'd recommend Kaplan to anyone who hasn't taken it. Like I said, the Decision Tree and really the entire course was great in helping me streamline my thinking.

I HATE standardized tests. I positively loathe them. But now I'm done and I don't ever want to have to go through something like the NCLEX ever again.

To anyone out there down in the dumps like I was: this test, while daunting and anxiety-provoking, is certainly doable. So keep at it!!


Yeah for you! I am happy for you, congrats!

i prayed for all of us whos retakers to have to blessing from God with his guidance we can overcome the anxiety and pass this exam,,goodluck and we can do this!!!!!!!!!!

i prayed for all of us whos retakers to have to blessing from God with his guidance we can overcome the anxiety and pass this exam,,goodluck and we can do this!!!!!!!!!!

hi aspiringnurse, when are you going to take your nclex? i am from the philippines too.

yay for you purple!!!

Everyone else: Try not to sulk too much. It happens. and it's happened to some of the best nurses.

I'm currently waiting for my results (tomorrow is the day!) but I did get the "good pop up" on the pearson trick.

I studied hurst. But I STUDIED it. I did exactly what she said. Lectured to myself, and looked at questions. If nothing poped up in my head when I saw certain key words I studied that information more.

It is NOT about memorizing. if you do not understand the material and know how to apply it then you're not doing yourself any favors.

KNOW THE MED SURGE CONTENT. I'd recommend hurst again in a heartbeat, but you've got to do what she says. And you need to wipe all that I was on the deans list etc out. It doesn't apply. NCLEX wipes the slate clean for everyone. it doesn't care what your gpa was, you have to be able to recognize when something is going wrong.

STUDY. I work full time so I studied 1 sat, monday, wednesday, friday and half a day sunday. prior to me taking those full days I had listened to about half of the hurst lectures. I finished up sat and hit it hard with questions and just KNOWING the material.

hope it all works like pearson says!

also, I do workout AND I did go into the NCLEX as if it was just another nursing exam. Because at the end of the day it is. it's another test. no need for me to stress because we did the hard part: GRADUATED lol

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