My NCLEX story


So I wanted to share my NCLEX PN story. I really enjoyed reading other nurses' stories about their NCLEX experience because it really helped me get an idea how the NCLEX would go and how I should prepare for it...

A little background...I had to take two exit HESI exams. It was required by my school to take two exit exams and at least pass one with a 76%. If you didn't pass, you would have to take additional exams until you pass. The school would not send your nursing applications to the state if you didn't pass at least one. The Hesi exit was sort of an indicator if you would pass the NCLEX or not. On the first exam, I scored a 88% but on the second exam, I scored only a 80%. I graduated end of 2013. I got my ATT at the end of January and scheduled my NCLEX on Friday, the 21st of March. This will be my first NCLEX I have taken.

Study materials: I mostly used my Evolve Elsevier website that my school had enrolled me in throughout nursing school. As I got to the end of school, I started to use the software that came with my Saunders NCLEX PN book (the red one). I studied out of that book and used the software pretty much daily. I would do about 25 or more questions a day, depending on how busy I was and read out of my Saunders book. I went to the library and picked up Exam Cram PN (an older version) and the Kaplan purple book.

The NCLEX itself: I really felt like that NCLEX was hardly anything that I really studied. There was not one question where I was like "wow, I know the answer to that question!" It was way more difficult than I thought it was. The exit Hesi exams I took were really easy compare to the NCLEX. I couldn't focus on the NCLEX questions; my mind was wandering everywhere!! As I proceeded through the NCLEX, I really felt defeated. When my exam shut off at 85 questions, my heart raced and I felt terrible. I really felt like I failed. There were a lot of questions where I had to guess. I had many Select All that Apply, a couple drag and drop, many delegating and priority questions. Many standard precautions of certain diseases as well. A couple drug questions. I didn't have questions about lab values directly, but you might get the questions with the tabs (like the MAR) and it has the patient's lab values on it so you will need to know the norms!!

When I got of the exam, I got on my phone and tried to google some of the information that I was questioned on. God must been helping me out because the questions I guess on, I guessed right! But there were a few questions I know I answered wrong as well.

Fast forward to 6 hours later, I decided to do that Pearson Vue trick. I got the good pop up but I didn't take it really seriously. It did ease my anxiety a bit though.

48 hours, on Sunday, I got the option to pay for quick results. I really wanted to find out but told myself that I would wait until the end of Tuesday, if my license number was not posted on the BON website, I would do the quick results.

First thing Tuesday morning, I checked the BON for my number. I had the bookmarked the page that had my name already and went to the page. I saw the number! But for some reason, my brain didn't register it so I searched my name and there was a number instead of the "(Pending)"!! I was happy!!

I wish the best of luck to everyone taking the NCLEX. The exam is very difficult! Believe me!! You might feel like you failed, but don't feel like you did until you get the results. And it's a two way street, if you do fail, DON'T GIVE UP!!! Again, the exam is NOT easy!! You passed nursing school. You got through the hardest part of nursing!! Now, it's just one more obstacle you must cross to be a nurse!! Nursing is a very, very broad subject. The NCLEX can throw any questions your way on drugs, diseases that you never heard of, it's crazy!! But keep on keeping on. You CAN do it!!