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Just failed Nclex, need advice please


found out today that i failed, should i take the test again asap after 45 days or not? can anyone help me with a study plan, any suggestions. my weakness is the content. darn. thanks everyone.

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 33 years experience.

I would not rush to resit the exam. Devise a study plan that is good for you, practise many many questions making sure you understand what is being asked and read the rationale, even if right. I would suggest 2-4 hours a day should be enough. I did 2 hours a day when I worked and 4 hours on the days I wasn't working. I also used Saunders (in the end) and NSCBN website but a lot will depend on how you study.

Good luck for next time and glad you haven;t given up :)

Give yourself a couple of days to feel depressed, then pick yourself up and start again. Do not reschedule too fast. You say you don't know the material, so give yourself enough time, maybe three or even four months, whatever you think it will take. If you can afford it, maybe an online or in person review might be good. Whatever you do, study as if you have never tested. You don't want to skip over things by telling yourself you know it already. Keep on studying hard and you will pass. Good luck.

thank you so much for your response..need it badly.. im so scared i might fail the 2nd time

like the others said give your self enough time to study. i used saunders the 4th edition and also NSCBN. you can do it. you came this far. Pray and go for it.

I took my boards for the first time March 5th and failed.....I regrouped and am taking them again June 8th. I gave myself enough time to study my problems areas and feel comfortable with the information. Hopefully #2 will be great for both of us.....

I am using Saunders 4th ed for the content review...the CD is really good btw....and a book on Priortizing, Assignment & Delegation by LaCharity. I know that you feel bummed right now....been there! But nothing worth something ever comes easy!!!


Has 10 years experience.

I am terribly sorry that you are going through this.

I used Saunders and the new Mosby's. It wasn't so much the questions that helped me but the rationales that explained to me WHY the answer was the right answer. I started out making 60s and finally ended up with 80s. When I would study a question during my home study time, I wouldn't just look at each answer and quickly pick one because I found that when I approached my studies that way, I nearly always picked the wrong answer or perhaps I missed that it was looking for the one that "needed further teaching." When I took my time and asked myself the question, "What would happen if I did so and so?" or "What is the best response according to the principles that I understand?" Then I found that I was nearly always left with one answer - the right one.

I have a tendency to look at life in terms of chain reactions. If I do this, then this will happen, then this, then this. In this case, I have to take the tactic of thinking in terms of how they want me to think and that set of chain reactions to come to those conclusions. IOW, if you do not understand the critical thinking behind the nursing process, you could know hundreds upon hundreds of facts and fail. Knowing a lot of facts is fine. But seeing the rationale behind those pieces of knowledge is better because if you know the rationale, then you can apply that rationale to a topic you know nothing about. That is how nursing is anyway in real life. As a nurse, I was always meeting new challenges, the unexpected and having to take what I knew to be true and applying it to that new situation. Meds change. Staff members change. Clients change. Protocols change. Charting has changed incredibly since I was a nurse. But one thing doesn't change and that is the basic nursing process.

People kept saying to pay attention to the rationales and they were right. Besides knowing Jesus Christ, that is what helped me the most. Prayer played the biggest role in my passing. I know that and I am so grateful to God.

I thought the rationales in Saunders were thorough. Nevertheless, I did like the way that on the Mosby's CD, after you answered the question, if you got it wrong you could see why that rationale was incorrect. You could literally click on all the answers to see why each individual answer was right or wrong. I loved that because often I would see a question and be stuck between two answers. If I got the question right, then during my review, I would click on those other answers to see the rationale behind why they were wrong. Mosby's also had a way that you could bookmark the question to come back to later. Since I reviewed every last question any time I reviewed, that really didn't help me. But it is there if you need it. It might be especially helpful if you're answering more than 100 questions. I checked my rationales on the problems I got right. I never skipped reading a rationale. I wanted to make sure I knew why the answer was right. I tell you that because sometimes I was tempted to just look at the ones that I got wrong. But I soon realized that this was a not helping me. I liked the outline format of Saunders in the book. I read many of the chapters and outlines and answered the questions. So the two together were better than having just one of them.

Sorry for the length but I am sharing with you what I wished someone had shared with me.

Many many blessings,


nkara, CNA

Specializes in Med/Surg/Pedi/Tele. Has 2 years experience.

Don't give up... Take a breather and just open those books to start studying. It's not the worst thing to happen. Good luck :1luvu:


Has 10 years experience.

I had an epiphany this morning on how to explain this to you without divulging any sensitive information by using an analogy. We have all had to think critically throughout our lifetimes. When we are around 5 years old, it is our mother that is presenting the principles. Mom says to be kind to others. She says I should share my toys with my brothers and sisters. She says that I should never say a mean word or say a bad word but let my words be full of nice encouraging things. Mom says that I shouldn't talk to strangers. She says that if a stranger walks up to me that I should yell, "Mom, Mom!!" and then run back to her. She told me that the stuff she buys for me costs her and Daddy a lot of money so that I should take good care of my things. Now comes the unexpected and the little five year old has to apply the principles to real life situations that he or she didn't anticipate through what Mommy said. This requires critical thinking that can sometimes be crucial to their lives.

1. A woman walks up to you that looks a lot like Angelina Jolie and says to you, "I lost my puppy. Can you help me find him?" You should:

a) Say, "Sure, I would be happy to help."

b) Yell, "Mom, Mom!"

c) Say, "You are so beautiful."

d) Start mapping out the park to remember various places where the puppy might be.

2. You are on the park bench with your brand new American Girls doll that Mommy and Daddy bought for your birthday. A friend walks up and wants to play with the doll in the sandbox. What do you do?

a) give the doll to your mom and ask her to put it in the car

b) give the doll to your friend

c) take the doll to the sandbox yourself so that you and your friend can play together

d) leave the doll on the park bench while you and your friend go to the sandbox

I haven't given you the rationale in the answers. You have no way to know what the rationale is except to draw from the principles given in the beginning. I know as an adult you know what the answers are. But the 5 yo has to think critically through each of these to arrive at the right answer and the same thing applies to nursing principles.

So then, a stranger is anyone that you don't know whether the are beautiful or not. So, "B" is the answer. Yes, we should be kind but the PRIORITY at that moment is your own personal safety and so Mommy is better able to help the stranger find her dog than you. Safety is the priority over and above being kind.

Yes, you should share. But the doll is very expensive. You would have to know that an American Girls doll costs close to $100 and so you would never want to take it to the sandbox. The FACT that it costs $100 is a fact that you would need to know to answer the question. I didn't give you that information. It is assumed that you already know that part. But it is really the principle of taking care of the things that cost Mommy and Daddy so much money that would be the PRIORITY at that moment.



i really appreciate it everyone, thanks for your words of encouragement. i wish id be strong enough or have the courage enough to retake the exam. again, thanks everyone. im so thankful there's a support group here, im really down.

spongebob6286, BSN, RN

Has 7 years experience.

i just wish you all the best on your 2nd try. just study as if you've never studied before. pray! concentrate more on your weaker areas, mine is infection control.

i am really sorry to hear that. try to keep your head up. i heard this is all normal grieving. try not to be too down so you can get back to studing for the next text. you can do it and God willing you will pass

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