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NCLEX advice


Hello! I took my NCLEX-PN earlier this August 2014 for the second time. To start off, I'd like to say never give up!! Long story short, I graduated 2009 and I took my NCLEX-PN last year and failed. I knew I failed when I walked out of that testing center. I did the PVT (Pearson vue trick) right when I got home and it took me to the credit card page. 2 weeks later, I received a big envelope with my results and failed. I felt depressed and wanted to give up on nursing. Anyways, a year later, I passed! Here's my tips:

*Read Saunders

*Hurst ( it's a great refresher course especially if you've been out of school for a long time!)

*Kaplan Qbank (the questions are harder than the nclex but somewhat similar. It is very helpful though!)

*Do questions 85-100/day no more than that (your brain needs to rest lol)

*memorize labs (ABGs, therapeutic med ranges, Coumadin, etc)

*Hot spots (you will have/may have questions where you have to place a spot on an area like where is the femoral pulse, brachial pulse etc.)

* I had some exhibit questions (where I had to look at the charts and determine which meds I should give or hold, look at vital signs)

* memorize Insulins

* I had several OB and pediatrics (questions vary depending on how you're doing;weakness etc)

* I only had one calculation or close to it lol Naegeles Rule but you should know your units and conversions

* injection sites (subq,IM,which meds can be given IV etc) or which site is best for infants?

* Car safety infants

* I had lots of medications questions (medications I've never heard of) but look at the endings (olol, prazole,pam etc.) know what it's for, side effects,ranges

* Diets ( know the celiac diet, foods you can or can't give to certain conditions like Hyperkalemia etc.)

* Nursing rules ( I would read Saunders) you will also have some delegation and prioritization rules

* study your procedures (catheters, NG tubes) I had several in which I had to place in order

* Infection control ( you must study the donning and removal process and also which precautions you'd put them on such as TB, chicken pox, rubeola etc.)

*Know your content!! ( you cannot memorize and study everything. Believe me, I was just like YOU. I was very stressed out and paranoid (should I study this and that or what if this and that) STOP that NOW! Lol

* have a calendar ( get organized, have your priorities set. I worked a full time job and had a second job that I eventually had to let go of. I kept my full time job, wrote my work and study schedule down. Stick to it!

* Eat right (eat healthy, don't eat too much when you're about to study, or don't eat too little, just eat enough so you're able to focus. Have snacks as well. Hydrate! Water, Gatorade, and a little coffee (it won't hurt as long as you can tolerate it lol)

* Have a break! ( that means go out and watch a movie, or relax! Although I stopped going out for drinks, I still had some wine or beer here and there but nothing heavy! It's all about balance!

* Get rid of distractions that means if you're on Facebook like every 5 minutes, get rid of the app. That 5 minutes could have been used to memorize lab ranges! Think about it. I downloaded that app Nclex Mastery LPN/RN. It's a great app on the go. Stethoscope app is also good to have if you wanna listen to lung sounds, bowel sounds, murmurs etc.

* Have faith! I seriously thank god for giving me the strength I needed! I talked to him every night. God is good! Oh and every morning, I'd listen to my contemporary Christian music on Pandora. It helped me overall. Mentally and spiritually. Trust me, trust in him!

* I thank allnurses.com because when I felt like I've lost hope and wanted to give up, I'd read people's stories on here. It gave me hope to try and try!!!

* I had a lot of SATAs (select all that apply q's) my tip on this is, think about what the question is asking. What would a SAFE nurse do in that situation?

* Google (I'm a visual learner, so when I read something, I'd look it up, YouTube it)

* Stop spending all your money on softwares and books! You've got all the info in one book. There's no shortcut. I know and I understand where you are coming from. Trust me, you cannot memorize everything but just try to understand it. Make Mnemonics)

* if you guys have any questions, just ask me and I'll try to answer :)

So earlier this August 2014, I took my test. I prayed, I ate breakfast. Not heavy but enough to last me in case I had to be there for 5 hours. I did meditate right before I got out of my car, in line, and when I was about to take my test. ( do not let your anxiety get to you! I know it's hard but just try to relax. Anxiety can mentally block information which happened to me the first time I took my test!)

* I hid the part where it shows in which number you're on. When I finally decided to check it, I was on 96 and 3 questions later, it stopped!

* I did the Pearson vue trick right when I got home and got the good pop up "Our records indicate that you have recently scheduled this exam. Another registration cannot be made at this time" or something like that. I was still in denial and of course, I rechecked many times!! Lol

* 2 weeks later, I received my results (envelope this time) stating that I passed!!!

* paid my $150 fee and now waiting for my actual license :)

* one last thing, I know it's hard to be going through all of this, studying, working, and stressing but without my family, boss, friends, and god, I couldn't have achieved this. You've got to let your friends and family know that you are doing this for you and your future. Let them know how you feel and let them know that you need to sacrifice for a couple of months. :) It will be all worth it in the end!!! Good luck to all the future nurses!

Edited by Justdoit86

Hi Justdoit86

This is such an awesome post! I graduated Dec 2010 and failed NCLEX twice with Kaplan. I knew I needed a content review as the questions I had difficulty with were the most basic content questions. I'm planning to stop bouncing around from book to book and to focus on Hurst, PDA, and SATA book. One thing that I started loosing after nursing school was my organization skills. I will start a planner and I need others to respect my time as you mentioned. I have an incredible busy schedule but I feel like my future is on hold until I receive the envelope.

Thank you again!

You're welcome!! :) just let me know if you need help! Good luck and I'll pray for you!

congrats Justdoit! Im gonna take mines for the second time very soon!! im so nervous and keep wishing that I dont forget the things ive been reading. During the first test I only used kaplan questions to study and failed, since I was poor with content.

Now Ive recently finished the q bank, studied from Hurst review videos, did the PDA questions, read thru saunders and reviewing the 35 pg study guide. I need to pass this exam!! Any advice with the arrangement questions? I always get it wrong based on ONE tiny step, its really frustrating, the way they word the questions. Also how did you answer questions in which you had NO idea what they were asking, such as meds you had never heard before, or procedures? PLEASE PRAY FOR ME, I think Im gonna have a seizure, as the days approach.

Hello!! I know exactly how you're feeling! Overwhelmed? Anxious to get it over with? So when I didn't know the medications, I looked at the ending. I looked at my options. Process of elimination! When there are SATAs q's, I look at my options. Sometimes the ABC's (airway,breathing,circulation) may not apply. Pick the answer that is SAFE or won't harm the patient. Do not start analyzing everything. Breathe, and know that you will do well! :) Good luck and I will pray for you as well! Just let me know if you have any other questions :)

Oh and try to study at a place where you can't be distracted! Starbucks, library, park, anywhere where you won't be tempted to fall asleep, to stress eating, catching yourself watching TV, or doing anything else not related to your studies!


Specializes in OR Nurse. Has 2 years experience.

Congrats! :) going to take mine in 5wks. Still paranoid and scared because I dont think I learn enough from what Ive studied. My practice test scores varies 53-65% thats all. Plus I do have a baby and I am working too. Thank you for the tips

You will do well! :) You've got all the info you need! Stay focused, positive, and believe that you can do this! Good luck! I'll pray for you!

You will do well! :) You've got all the info you need! Stay focused, positive, and believe that you can do this! Good luck! I'll pray for you!

Hey Justdoit86, do you have an email address, I have something to ask you please? Thanks :)

Hello! Can you send me a message??

Hello! Can you send me a message??

U mean here at allnurses? How? Lol im new to this whole thing. Sorry bout that :snurse:

Click on my profile. Then I think there's an envelope looking on the top right

Click on my profile. Then I think there's an envelope looking on the top right

actually tried it but this thing says private messaging has been disabled cos im not an active user, like i need to have at least 15 comments/posts blah blah before im allowed to use it :|

Lol oh no! Hmm okay what's your email? I'll email you