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Joined: Dec 6, '12; Posts: 69 (6% Liked) ; Likes: 5

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  • Feb 15 '13

    I know that many of you are freaking out about this important exam that determines your future, I know because I was constantly thinking about it and I was constantly on this website reading success stories.

    I was inspired by many people who posted about their NCLEX experience and I like to share my experience with you, and also share some of my notes that helped me. I did about 5000 questions, I went over the content a couple of times. Honestly, the most important thing is doing questions and reading EVERY single rationale.

    Virtual ATI was my primary source. I am totally a visual and tactile person so I used a book with lots of pictures. Example: CHF, CF, pulmonary edema, left and right sided heart failure, copd, etc).

    While in school, I HATED ATI, it was really hard and some questions were completely wrong and the rationales were not that clear and specific. I also hated the virtual ATI, but I had to take it.

    2 weeks before the NCLEX, I started to like ATI and I was getting pretty high scores. I felt confident, now that I passed the NCLEX, I can honestly say ATI was 1000000 times harder than the actual NCLEX. NCLEX test style questions were so so so similar to ATI. I did not tell anyone when I was going to take my NCLEX, so no one could pray for me.

    I posted here and asked everyone to pray for me and reading the comments had therapy effects on me lol, I felt so good and confident. A special thank you goes to those who prayed for me, I really really really appreciate it. I did not do anything the day before the exam (I mean studying). However, I got a massage, which I loved every second of it, I got mani and pedi, I went shopping, watched a movie and I went to bed at 9:30.

    Anyway, I feel like I'm writing a book and I know that many of you don't have the time or patience to read posts so let's just get straight to the NCLEX tips and tricks!

    Tips & Tricks

    Priority questions: this is the most important information make sure you read it 1 or 2 days before the test and I guarantee that you will answer all the priority questions correctly!!! Remember: NCLEX does not want you to kill any patients or damage any of their organs or parts of their body. This is what determines competency.

    Ex: if you have to administer medication and you have no freaking idea if the med is given with food or without food, and you get that question will NOT kill the patient *and NCLEX doesn't take those questions seriously. But if you miss a blood clot, stroke, heart attack s/s, blood and medication reactions and anything that can lead to death or loss of body function......that question will weigh a lot on your score, it will drop you from the top of the graph to the bottom. *Memorize: Lab values ABGs Cranial nerves Normal changes of aging Child development Math formulas In disaster: help the ones who are most likely to live Most likely to be sequential order: ( anything that has a lot of steps is likely to be a sequential order)*Examples:*Urine culture Starting a new iv *Administering meds via g tube Drawing insulins ( clear or cloudy)Inserting foley catheters ( males and females)Sterile field Personal protective equipment( what would you wear and how you would take the off) Abdominal assessment: always start with RLQ*Performing exams such as breast and testicular exam Administering ear and eye drops

    Delegation: remember that the RN can only delegate stable pts to NA and LPNs. In NCLEX, you are one nurse (no other nurse is available to help you). You have only one patient. All the orders you need are written (no need to call a doctor). The only time the nurse needs to call the doctor is after she has intervened and there's nothing else the nurse can do! When you call MD about concerns: never call about something that is expected with the disease process. Such as: the pt has voided 20 cc/hr instead of 30 cc/ hr but the pt has chronic renal failure. The doctor is going to say, "Are you stupid?" Duhh!

    Only call MD for something that is not expected with the disease process, in order to know what is expected and not expected you need to know signs and symptoms of the disease. The nurse assistant CANNOT do these: Position hip replacement Total knee replacement ICP Acute CVA Above or below knee amputations

    Priority Patients: These are the conditions/patients you would see first:
    Compartment syndrome Central line with s/s SOBEpiglottitis (pt is dying, MD). Autonomic dysreflexia Epigastric pain (in pregnant woman) = preeclampsia**, Pain in LLQ= diverticulosis, Pain in RLQ= appendix ... Must see the above patients firsts, severe conditions can lead to death or loss of body function. Remember: acute problems comes first, chronic later In case of a disaster and need to make room in ED for new pts. These are the patients you would send home: Copd and CF laporoscopy w chest pain or shoulder pain (it is expected) Chronic conditions Meniers disease Bloody urine Kidney and gallbladder stones. These people can survive they are not dying, they can always wait a couple of days. Not priority: Teaching Sending/ drawing *lab values Pain Bleeding (unless it is coming from a major artery) *Increased/ decreased BS Documentation I personally summarized this information from my ATI books and class online.

    Unfortunately, we cannot share questions from NCLEX because it is against the law and you will read all about it before you get to sit. I studied all the common conditions and procedures that are common and we hear about it everyday, everything I wrote helped me a ton!!! The priority tips alone helped me answer 30 questions or more.*I have more notes to post I just do not have time to type them all at this time.*I hope you find these notes helpful and good luck, and believe in your inner strength. *If you have any questions about anything, feel free to send me a message or comment in the page. Peace and love! DO NOT KILL PATIENTS or their organs or their body parts and you will PASS! Notes: to be continued

    From Failure to Success: My Tips for Passing NCLEX (added by staff for further learning

  • Feb 12 '13

    I found the thread that explains how to do the PVT --

    Believe me, this trick works! My computer shut off at over 200 questions and I passed. I tried the PVT upon coming home, got the good pop up.

  • Feb 7 '13

    Hello Everyone, I am taking the NCLEX tomorrow & I am a nervous wreck! I started browsing sites to try and find some helpful tips from others of what they did they day before and came across these..I found them to be helpful so I hope it's helpful for anyone reading as well!!!! Good Luck!



    Make sure you get plenty of sleep leading up to the exam.�

    Your priority should be to get to bed early and get a good night's rest. Alcohol will not enhance your performance in the exam and you have worked too hard to get this far to make the day more difficult than it needs to be. Also watch out for excessive caffeine intake, as this may make it difficult to settle down and concentrate during the exam.
    Dress in layers for maximum comfort. The exam centre is air-conditioned and you may feel too warm or too cool at times during the exam. Also take some high-energy natural sugar food such as apples, bananas, nuts or trail mix and a bottle of water for the 10-minute mandatory break, which you will have to take after 2 hours of testing.
    Once in front of the computer, take time to read the introductory screens. A scratch card will be provided, so you can make notes to yourself on key points to remember and you can also do maths calculations as needed. There is also a drop down calculator as part of the exam.


    Once you begin the test questions, be sure to read each question carefully and read all the answer choices before you make a selection. Don't allow the level of anxiety to cause you to rush to finish. You have 6 hours to answer as many questions as necessary. There is no problem if you are the last one in the test centre; this is not a race.
    If you sit for the total possible questions of 265, you must pay careful attention to the last question. If you pass the last question you will pass the whole exam, if you fail the last question. This is because at 264 questions without the computer shutting down you still have not shown your ability enough for your exam to be over and so the outcome is based on the last question! Tough but true.�
    Expect to feel like you are only getting half the questions correct. Even if you are performing far above the passing level, remember that the NCLEX test is designed to challenge to your test knowledge, so you should expect to only get about half of them right. Just keep going and concentrate on one question at a time. Focus on what is on the screen and you'll be much more likely to give an accurate answer.
    Be confident in the time and preparation you have invested in preparing for the exam. You have done well to get to this stage. Remind yourself of all you can achieve; a positive attitude is crucial to a successful exam outcome!

    Also remember
    • Read the questions and every option thoroughly and carefully! Ask yourself, what is the question really asking?�
    • Pay attention to KEY words (example: Early, late, never, best, immediately, initial).�
    • Use Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Theory guide you in prioritizing (example: Physiological needs come first).�
    • Use ABCs to prioritize(Airway, Breathing, Circulation)�
    • Use the Nursing Process to prioritize (Assessment, Analysis, Planning, Implementation, Evaluation)�
    • Always focus on the client's feelings FIRST! If an answer reflects the client's feelings, select that answer!�
    • Know the six rights of Medication Administration (Right client, dosage, route, time, drug, documentation).
    • You are always taking care of a patient.�
    • NCLEX is not the "real world".�
    • Don't pass the buck - this is a nursing exam and therefore it is testing the RN's knowledge, not the role or responsibilities of other health professionals.
    • Take care of the patient first and then the equipment.�
    • Memorize lab values.
    • Communicate therapeutically.�
    • Learn your positions and how to answer positioning questions - are you trying to PREVENT or PROMOTE something
    • Don't ever delegate assessment, teaching, or evaluation to anyone else - these are the RN's responsibility

  • Feb 4 '13

    My exam is next week and am stressed out..

  • Feb 1 '13

    I'm taking the NCLEX-RN (first time) this Friday the 1st at 2pm. I am taking QT 7 tomorrow and that's literally ALL I have left available to me to study. Any last few days studying tips or encouragement? 😊Thanks!

  • Jan 31 '13

    Hello all,
    Just wanted to share my NCLEX experience and study tips with everyone since as of today I can now call myself an RN!!! I've been on allnurses since like 2008 or 2009 and I wanted to share my experience because reading everyone else's helped me.
    I finished my ADN program 12/4/12 with pinning ceremony 12/12/12. I was a pretty decent student, A's and B's throughout the two year program. I took the HURST review for the first time in the summer break between my third and fourth semester. Found it to be extremely helpful and humorous at the same time. During my fourth and final semester we had both Hurst and Kaplan reps come and speak to us on campus to talk about their review courses. I had no interest in Kaplan because for one, it was more expensive, and I had heard mixed reviews about it. Our names were entered into a drawing and I actually was picked as winner of the whole course for free! So I thought, what the heck. I couldn't take another 3-4 days off of work because I was already signed up to take the HURST review a second time for free in December.

    So I signed up for the live online Kaplan course. I liked it pretty well. To be honest though, now that I've taken my NCLEX, I never once used the decision tree during the exam. What I did really find helpful with Kaplan was the the amount of practice questions and materials available. It was hard to sit down and study for NCLEX after graduation because none of us in our class had our ATT letters yet. That finally came a month after pinning and I scheduled as soon as I could since I had already secured a job. Scheduled my exam for this past Tuesday January 29th.

    Then the nerves set it....oh my gosh I now have a deadline! I went over some of the Kaplan recorded lectures because I felt my weaknesses were some medications and lab values. So I started the Kaplan practice tests. My scores were as follows :

    Kaplan Diagnostic test - 71
    Q Trainer 1 - 67
    QT 2 - 69
    QT 3 - 59.....yikes!
    QT 4 - 75
    QT 5 - 70
    QT 6 - 70

    Never did test 7.
    Readiness test - 71

    Qbank 89% complete with an average of 65%.....I will admit I was trying to do some of these at work and there were about 4 separate times I would be called away for a patient and my timer would run out and I would score in the 20% range!! lol!

    My HURST Q reviews were 70, 88, 90 and I only took three out of my alloted 6 or 7.

    I had been using the Saunders NCLEX book since my first semester thanks to the great reviews on allnurses about it so I had been using that as a supplement for all 4 semesters for study material so I never looked at it again after my last final. Same with my HURST book, never opened it after taking it for free the second time as review.

    I also bought the LaCharity PDA book which I thought was pretty helpful even if I never made it all the way through it.

    I also really liked the Saunders NCLEX review app for my iPhone. I believe it is usually like $40 but I got it over a year ago on a huge sale and it was like $10.
    I would do about three separate Qbank quizzes which equaled 150 questions a day and then at night lying in bed I would use the 50 question Saunders app for about another 150 questions.

    Might seem excessive for some but I felt guilty if I went to sleep without reviewing at least a little.

    The weekend before my test I spent about 7 hours just doing practice tests on Kaplan. Probably ended up doing close to 1,000 questions last Saturday. I know everyone says to take the day before the exam off and not study but I did it opposite. I took Sunday off and then since I was off work Monday and Tuesday. So I reviewed some on Monday, not as much as before, honestly I felt brain fried. Tried looking at lab values again but just could not focus. Did not sleep well, too nervous.

    Arrived about an hour and a half early for my 0800 test time Tuesday, I'm always an early person anyways but the testing center was located in the heart of downtown and I had no idea where it was outside of test driving it on google maps! haha! There was only about 6 of us and they let us in at 0730 and I was starting my test at 0745.

    My heart did not stop racing until around question 25, then I got into the test zone and it felt just like any other test. I would get excited when I would answer a question and the next one would be a SATA. I last looked at the question number count around 73 and when my computer screen went blue I sat there for about 5 minutes just in disbelief that it was over. I did not believe I would be one of those who only got 75 questions.

    The post survey was a blur. I took the elevator down to the lobby and immediately went on my phone to try the PVT trick. It said delivery successful and I got the good pop up probably 10 minutes after I ended my test! Super excited!!!

    I was going to try to get my quick results this morning since today would make it 48 hours but I tried the Texas Board of Nursing website and there it name next to RN and my license number!!!! Woooohooooo!!!!!!!

    Since I cannot really talk about specifics with the test itself I will say that I got about 20 SATA, 5 or 6 drag and drops, only one med calculation, and a lot of prioritization. I walked out thinking...."that's it?" I wouldn't say it was easy because you definitely need to know your stuff, but I felt the Kaplan tests that I had been doing were WAY more difficult than NCLEX. I heard people say that on here but I didn't believe it until now. There was only like 1 med that I had never heard of so I am glad I did not stress too much over meds while studying.

    Of the 5 of my classmates who graduated with me and took it the same day as me, 4 of us shut off at 75 questions and the other shut off at 89 questions. All of us got the good pop up and found out today we were official!!! 2 of them felt like it was the hardiest test of their lives and the rest of us felt like it was just like any other test. Not sure if my school just prepared us so well (pass rate last semester was 99.9%) or if we just really knew more than we thought!

    Please ask any questions you have and I will try my best to answer them. Good luck and best wishes to all of you out there preparing for this test!

  • Jan 31 '13

    Bw2012, the most important thing to do is remain positive and believe in urself!!! We can do it!!!!

  • Jan 31 '13

    Good luck k.durham!!!! In less than 48 hours ull be an RN... How EXCITING!!!!!

  • Jan 30 '13

    Hi I've never posted on this forum before. I am scheduled to take my exam in less than 3 weeks. I am just a bundle of nerves right now. I have a full time job riding on this after I pass. Lots of pressure. I am also traveling 4.5 hours to get to the testing site. As of right now I am doing practice Saunders questions and some of the Kaplan questions on my iPhone. Also doing some ATI questions. I work full time and have 2 young kids. I feel super stressed. Alot is riding on this exam. Help! I need to feel better and reassured. I study but on almost all my practice exams I've been getting 70%. Uggghh what do you need to pass the NCLEX with a definate "pass rate".

  • Jan 30 '13

    I too am doing NCSBN 3 week review and Saunders. My pretext score was 68% and all of my review section post tests are just below 75%. I feel as ready as ill ever be at this point being just out of school and reviewing this much. I take my test Feb. 12 and I am hoping that I know enough to pass it

  • Jan 30 '13

    how are you approaching ncsbn review? do you read the content and then do the post tests? or do you do questions then backtrack? I got a 69% on the pre test.. ugh. I've been averaging 60-65% for the most part, got 56% on one section in the Kaplan Review book... I take it next week (Feb 7th) and I feel by turns ready and not ready. I just want to get it over with! :P

    Good luck!

  • Jan 28 '13

    Just wanted to vent that I feel like my brain will pop and I'm ready to get this show on the road! Thanks for listening!

  • Jan 17 '13

    This is a scene from the movie, "Facing Giants."
    As you just watched, the coach asks his players to do a warm-up called the "death crawl." Each player gets on their hands and feet and crawl 10 yards while carrying a teammate on his back. After the warm-up, one of the players asks if the opposing team is ready for this week's game. A teammate doubts the readiness of his team. The coach asks, "You've already written this weeks game as a loss?" The player replies, "Not if i know we can beat them." The coach wants to make a point by making the player do another death crawl. The coach asks how far the player thinks he can go, which is 30 yards. Optimistic, the coach bets 50 yards...blind-folded. Because the coach doesn't want him to be tempted to stop when he feels he's done enough. The player begins the death crawl. We see him struggling. everything hurts. but the coach encourages him to give it his ALL. his ALL. 10 steps. He doesn't feel like he can do it. 5 steps to go. He's almost there. 3 steps. 2. and 1. and guess what. he's in the end zone (starting from the other end, he went 100 yards). He did better than what he thought he could do, and more, because he gave it his all.

    i guess the moral of the video is to not rely on how far you NEED to go, but rather on how far you CAN go.
    I think we can relate this to studying for the NCLEX. This is my second attempt and I cannot even begin to tell you how scared I am to fail. I know my parents mean well when they try to encourage me to keep going, picture a date in mind and set your intense one-month study plan, but all i feel is pressure. this video motivated me to not pay attention so much as to how much material i feel i need to cover before test day, let alone how much i need to crunch in into a month. rather i should give it my all and study the hardest i can until i have nothing left. not necessarily to the point of burning out, but to not give up.

    Keep going. don't be overwhelmed by the amount you need to study. pray. destress (workout/walk/powernap, but not too long). have faith in yourself. make a goal and watch yourself exceed that goal. forget the stress of overwhelming material and maybe you'll do more than what you thought you can do.
    also, don't discourage yourself with the failure of someone else or with the scares they had. they're not YOU. you have the potential to pass this exam. and you will!

  • Jan 16 '13

    I just love this post and I'm so glad you passed I love what your boyfriend wrote on the white board too - so sweet and inspiring

  • Jan 16 '13

    Wow! You truly inspired me! Thank u soo much!! Good luck on your career! And you really do deserve to be a nurse!