My NCLEX Story (Philippine graduate in US, failed 2x, concurrency issue)

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by Maddiewee Maddiewee (New) New

Hello! This is my story for those interested or is going through the same things as me being dealing with the concurrency issue with the CA BON, being foreign educated, and struggling retaking the NCLEX RN exam.

2007 in California there was long waiting list just to get into a nursing program so I took my mom's offer of having my BSN education in the Philippines

2011 graduated from the Philippines, skipped the Philippine board exam (since I am an American citizen & don't need a PI license) and applied for the CA NCLEX.

I waited for CA BON to process and review my documents because they kept asking me for more things . . .waiting for almost a YEAR to find out I am not able to take the NCLEX because my education was insufficient! ! ! It did not make sense to me because my friend who graduated with me same school same state same everything as me and she got approved to take the NCLEX. My friend applied 2 MONTHS earlier than I did.

Turns out, between April to July 2011 the CA BON changed regulations or just got more strict with 'foreign educated nurses' trying to apply for the CA NCLEX. I don't know the exact details about the concurrency issue or I call the 'deadline' but the CA BON made it pretty much IMPOSSIBLE for me to get approved because their reason my education was 'insufficient'. They asked for my clinical rotation papers where I assisted with surgeries, the minor, major, etc. and the BON says that the dates of my assisted surgeries were not in the same time/semester as our medsurg classes etc from our class schedule. Ugh! So if I changed the dates (which I could of because those papers were really for the Philippine board of nursing) I could of surpassed their new requirement, or not.

What made it even more frustrating was the BON said I have to retake 2 classes, medsurg and OB, with their clinicals. Sounds do-able right? After calling around 20 colleges and emailing universities, NONE offered those classes separately, you have to take the ENTIRE nursing program again! No way! Also it was up to the dean of that college to make changes or accept irregular students but they never really responded. I heard/read a school in San Francisco let students take separate classes but I couldn't go there, and I bet they have a waiting list already.

Eventually, I had to accept I can't be an RN in my home state, CA, and look elsewhere. My stepdad lived in Florida and I got approved by Florida BON! because I think most states have the foreign education transcripts and papers reviewed by CGFNS or other services that approve foreign education. CA is sooo special and I think the only ones who check your education background themselves, thus able to deny you and you and you. ugh.

2012 a year and half after graduating, I took my Florida NCLEX and failed. I didn't know or realize after you pay pearson vue the $200 you have 3 months to take the NCLEX, I thought it was a year, but that was the state holding your application. I saw my deadline for my ATT was around 2 weddings and had to take the NCLEX right before my vacation to the Philippines I booked months ago. I was not focused on the test at all and took all 265 questions and failed, =(. That meant I was borderline though!

2013 I took my NCLEX again I reviewed with Hurst and they claimed that 'Everything you need to know is in this book, you dont need anything else' so I studied their book three times and did all of their online things and they did NOT COVER ALZHEIMERS! ! ! I got sooo many questions on alzheimers and dementia to leave the door open or not to put them in a room with an abstract painting I had such a hard time, and I actually took the test TOO SLOW and took the whole 6 HOURS and I did not finish the 265 I think I went up to 230ish and I didnt know if you run out of time they only grade the last 60 questions. I did not pass. I don't completely blame Hurst though.

2014 I did a wonderful local review Shiela's review in Florida, yellow saunders book, PDA la charity book, and rescheduled my test because my dog passed away I wanted NO DISTRACTIONS. I'm a really bad test taker and I know I haven't perfected the critical thinking skills but I went through the 265 questions AGAIN I kept praying and breezed through the last 100 question cuz honestly I was sick of nursing questions I've been practicing for 3 years I got the last question wrong thought I failed again did the pearson vue trick 3 hours later. . . couldn't believe it did the good pop and I finally passed. Btw the pearson vue trick is still good my first 2 times it went straight to credit card page cuz i failed and my last time it had the pop up! still works =D.

I can't believe my NCLEX journey took 3 years. . but I did it! I still want to transfer my Florida license to California because my family and friends are there but I heard CA will still look at my education and deny me, =(. But I'll work as a nurse here in Florida I am excited!

Let me know if you guys have updates on the CA Board of Nursing if they changed any regulations to foreign nurses! Cuz that would be great, =D.

Also if you are in Jacksonville, holla! I have no peeps here

Edited by Maddiewee
to change a word

Seun2014

Seun2014

41 Posts

Thanks for the informations.

nerie018

nerie018

29 Posts

Hi maddiewee. Congratulations on passing nclex and thanks for sharing your story.. I'm a Filipino too and was affected by the concurrency issue in California and now I'm studying for nclex and planning to move in florida. Jacksonville too. :) hope we can be friends! :) how's your job hunting? Hope you'll get hired soonnn!! I'm happy for you.

eine

eine

75 Posts

Congratulations! Important lesson here is we don't give up on becoming RN..well not for me yet..but I recently passed for my LVN..and yes I've been through the same thing ..3 yrs journey..issue being a foreign student and stuffs!..but we did it..I scheduled for my RN test next month..so hopefully in Gods will I can make it too!

Maddiewee

Maddiewee

8 Posts

Weee awesome nerie! Good luck on studying! Stay focused! From what I know Florida = Hospice care and I have home care experience being a caregiver for some time and there are lots of job openings in home care! Hospital jobs. . that would be a different story for me since I have no experience and all of their requirements states that you must have hospital experience so home care it is! Let's keep in touch then! & THANK YOUUUUUU ! ! ! :D :D :D

Maddiewee

Maddiewee

8 Posts

Oh my gosh ein I almost gave up sooo many times! & knew that I can't be the only one going through this and just kept reminding myself that God has a plan for me and to keep going! Good luck on your NCLEX toooooo ! ! !

nerie018

nerie018

29 Posts

Hi maddiewee, me too I don't have a hospital experience. A friend told me that hospitals there prefer BSN and your care giving experience counts because when she got hired she doesn't have hospital experience too but she's a caregiver while she was studying. I have read from some of the post here that even they require hospital experience still bring your resume personally to the hospital, talk to the HR and call for updates regarding your application. These are their suggestions. I hope this helps. Yes let's get in touch!! I'm planning to move there work as a nurse at the same time study for the required subjects in California and go back because all of my family is here in Cali too.. If I can just give you my number here! Hehe. Is there any way that I can send you my number? Hehe

steppybay

steppybay

1,882 Posts

Here's some information on endorsing back into CA: https://allnurses.com/nurse-registration/endorsement-back-into-746541.html

Here's a topic on the concurrency issues and how even the Filipino nursing association in CA agrees with CA BRN decision to enforce the written policy established in 1987, just that this is not any kind of a brand new rule or regulation, it's been there for almost 30 years and the CHED is very aware of this and choose for many years to simply ignore them. Click here: https://allnurses.com/nurse-registration/position-statement-concurrency-901106.html

There are a few CA schools that others have got enrolled in, you need to search and be very persistent and read the few threads in this section of the schools and yes, there's a waiting list and class sizes are very limited average size is 12) and this applies to several other students and nurses in other countries from India, UK, Russia, several other European nations, some Latin American countries and not by any means singled out the Phillipines. The last number I heard of just the Phils students and nurses alone looking for these schools is now over 6,000 and that number will keep growing.

If you're looking for a hospital job in CA, click the following: https://allnurses.com/international-nursing/end-phillipine-nursing-885162.html However, there are more possible jobs in the non-hospital positions such as a caregiver, LTC, SNF, clinics etc. Just know that the new grad programs (in CA) are mostly if not all going to those educated in CA or US educated and don't forget to qualify as a "new grad" in most states, you are considered if you graduated within one year (not the month and year the NCLEX is passed) and have zero to less than 6-12 of hospital experience.

With regards to the CA BRN relaxing the regulations, I don't that will happen for the next decade or two, given that there's more than enough CA or US educated nurses and new students graduating already that is going to still face having a tough time coming fresh out of school, even when many of the older nurses decide to retire. There are other states that might hire more Phils nurses but it's not CA.

steppybay

steppybay

1,882 Posts

You do know that if you "altered" the course dates or cases dates so that they do match up properly that you're really committing a "fraud" and should one day, the CA BRN decides to audit or closely review your transcripts again (and I'm sure they have the right to do so), they could very well either suspend or revoke your license.

This is partly why the CA BRN is cracking down on these transcripts and every application coming from the Phils is looked under the microscope. But you did the right thing and didn't commit a forgery or present falsified documentation, you can sleep at night and not have to worry over your shoulders during your entire nursing career about getting "discovered" and finding yourself in hot water from the CA BRN and possibly from being dragged into court and maybe paying a fine and possibly going to jail.

But I'm sure everyone here knows of a friend or friend of a friend who did do this very greedy and selfish deed and they are the ones who helped bring light of the situation that has put a damper or in many cases, changed their nursing career forever to be working and living in CA, you can say "thanks" to them for stabbing you guys in the back and twisting the knife and leaving you there.

These people should be reported to the CA BRN Enforcement Dept and you can do so without giving out your name, just give them the name and if you have their license number, great, if not, they can still do their investigation.

It's up to us to help the CA BRN get rid of this frauds (yes, I'm talking about your friends, your whatever) and maybe if we can show to them that we are policing ourselves, maybe, no guarantee, the CA BRN might change their stance on the stricter policy. If you do know and don't wish to report them, that's fine too, but just know that you have become part of the problem now.

Please do NOT send me the name(s) you suspect of this terrible injustice, you know them, I don't and will not pass judgment on them.

Edited by steppybay
++ info

Maddiewee

Maddiewee

8 Posts

@steppybay I totally agree with you about the applicant frauds in the past even going as far as fake diplomas! Ruining it for us future foreign nurses. I'm pretty sure it's the people who already got caught by the BON years ago but I know nothing about current RNs with fraudulent education, and they definitely wouldn't be my friends! The changing my case date idea was unnecessary of me to say I shouldn't of said that evil idea. It just didn't sound realistic to do 25 cases in 1 semester (18 weeks?) since we BARELY had OR days in our clinical rotation and more than 100 students. . . it just wouldn't work. Hopefully my dean worked it out now with the curriculum and hospitals but am not sure if that would even cut it for the CA BON. Thanks for being honest!

Maddiewee

Maddiewee

8 Posts

Also thank you for the extra info! Super helpful :D :D :D