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.

@maggie - I just read this today, I feel more determine to pass the exam now. Failed the exam 2 times then went through the concurrency issue for foreign graduates but blessed to get another chance for an eligibility again last week. Thank you I will now order the 2 books you recommended!

I just failed for the second time. I am so upset. I got 184 the first time and 232 this time! I got almost 50 more questions which is great. I improved SO much. I am so stressed. I did Kaplan and Saunders. I think I just need to work on SATA and calming myself down. We know the information!!!! We just have to be confident and focus on what they are really asking!!! We can do this! I also am avoiding people, I just don't want to talk about it. Some people say that they understand but, they really really don't unless it has happened to them. The fact that we don't get it on the first or second or third etc means that we are studying and learning THAT much more. We will pass, and when we do, we will be even stronger and effective nurses because of how hard we worked!!!!

I wanted to write about my experience with the nclex RN bc the posts on this blog helped me immensely.

I failed 2 times in 3 months. I was in such a rush to take the exam bc I wanted to get it over with. After I failed the first time using saunders (I did every single question seriously), I didn't make any changes to my studying technique. I just assumed I hadn't studied enough. I bought another book-kaplan and lippincott and did all the questions in those texts as well. I failed for the second time. I was soooooooooooooooo upset. I felt like I had no hope left and I was so discouraged.

I signed up for the kaplan class and it was sooooo worth it. I feel like it taught me how to do the questions and also help me figure out the answers even when I had no clue what the answer was. I took the Nclex for the 3rd time 1.5 months later and passed with 116 questions. The most useful advice I can give is to just stay calm-as hard as that is. When I went past 75 questions I was so nervous, but I took a break and went to the bathroom and just told myself that everything was gonna be ok. Good luck to everyone!!

i feel you...i also failed mines but that doesn't define on you as a failure. maybe you are going trough a lot that your focus is not met. anyways my sister just took it on sept, 16th 2014 and passed the first time. so if she can do it im sure all of us can, btw she just did saunders book for the content and paid the nclex questions that you will find on your phone apps. goodluck to all of us!

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