My NCLEX story...RN

by SMB_RN SMB_RN (New) New

Well if you're like me you've probably been reading blogs for the last few weeks terrified about taking your NCLEX. I searched the boards all over to look for even the slightest idea of what the nclex would be like and although some post helped, others just scared me more. I told myself if I passed I would write my story for others to read. Hopefully it will help you guys.

First of all I'd like to say that many post I read were of students who had prepared for the nclex MONTHS in advance, and since I had to take my nclex early in order to go to work at my new job it made me even more nervous that I was crunched for time (3-4 weeks). I was a good student in school, I worked hard everyday studied from the time I got up to the time I went to bed. So preparing for the nclex was nothing different than what I did in school.

The main two sources I used where Saunders NCLEX book and Kaplan. I ranged from 60-70% on my Kaplan qtest and qbanks, finished almost all of the questions. I went through 850 pages of Saunders out of the 1100 pages.

NCLEX day: I had stayed with two of my best friends from nursing school at a hotel that was within blocks of the testing center. At first I was worried about not getting in as much last minute studying as I wanted to the day before the test but than I realized they were the best thing for me. They reminded me that this WAS NOT the end of the world and although it was important all I could do was my best. You go into the NCLEX room and they'll have you remove all your jewelry, hair ties, accessories etc. and put them in a locker on the wall. They'll seal it before and have you show it to them before you leave to make sure it wasn't tampered with during testing (not a big deal). They'll go over the rules before you walk into the testing room (if you need something, anything, raise your hand). They have headphones that you can use to tune out sound, I highly recommend them they helped me relax during the test. You take a tutorial before the test, it is part of your six hour time so I wouldn't spend forever on it. I took a deep breath started question 1 and 75 questions later and over half my test being select all that apply the computer shut off! I know that most people are scared or upset when the computer shuts off but I was relieved! It was over!

Less than 12 hours later my name was posted on the New Mexico Board of Nursing, talk about the proudest moment of my life :). Not everyone will be that lucky you might have to wait 48 hours to find out your results and pay the $7-8 fee.

I think Kaplan helped me the most for my NCLEX not because the questions were the same but because the way Kaplan and NCLEX look is exactly the same. By the time I got to question 30 I was completely calm I felt like I was just taking another Kaplan quiz at home (and I am not a calm test taker). The other thing about Kaplan that REALLY helped is that I knew that I was above the line at all times. Kaplan will tell you that if your getting select all that apply, drag and drop, ekg, hot spots, priority, etc. questions that your above the passing line. Well I had over 30 select all that apply, 3 drag and drop, 1 EKG and probably 10 or so priority questions. No hot spots. The other questions I had however I knew were above the passing level because they were so similar to questions I had on Kaplan. So if anything Kaplan helped me to maintain my confidence and to keep me calm.

Saunders was great for content review. So if there's an area your weak in this would be great for you to review content and to help you eliminate choices on your nclex exam.

I'm not sure what I could say to make the select all that apply easier for you. Its one of those things that if you know it, you know it. If you don't, you don't. I know they were no where near as hard as they were for me in nursing school but my school tries to make the test harder so were more prepared for the NCLEX.

As far as the pearson vue trick goes I tried it and got the "good" pass. Although I did a lot of searching to find out if it was true I found a few people that had said that they got the "good pass" and actually failed so I'm not sure what to make of it.

I also used a study guide that's floating around on here and that helped me with safety precaution patients and a couple other questions I had.

I can't share questions I had but I'd be glad to answer any questions you guys have. I know personally that these stories can either help or make things worse. I really hope this one helped.

Thanks for reading,



Specializes in Acute Rehab, Neuro/Trauma, Dialysis.


Just a tip I know I have heard from several different resources that the trick to answering SATA questions is to treat each answer as a True or False question. It made a big difference for me. Good luck to all the future test takers out there!