2 nclex attempts in three years

Published

My NCLEX/post-nursing school experience thus far has been one I doubt many people have travelled. I'm a BSN graduate who is now a cop in my local Police Department. Yeah.

The short version: I graduated three years ago, took my NCLEX two months after graduation, failed, freaked out and got the first job I could get off craigslist, never picked up a NCLEX review book again, threw out my results packet as soon as it came in the mail, got married, decided I would try the cop thing, and here I am, two and half years on the street, burnt out and wanting to push the reset button on my career.

The slightly longer version: During school, it was not easy for me. Frankly from day one I was never sure I wanted to be a nurse. My tuition was being paid for by my parents, and I would have felt guilty quitting or doing something else and taking extra time to finish school. Nothing about the hospital appealed to me. I meandered through clinicals and lectures for three years until I finally told my parents how much I really didn't want to keep going on. But they convinced me to tough it out and finish the last year. There were some redeeming moments in school; I made several friends and actually found a lot of interest in the OR and rehab rotations I got to experience. And of course, I found my wife who is a nurse (who failed her first NCLEX actually).

However by the time I graduated, I was so overwhelmed at the rest of nursing that when I failed the first time, I was actually releived more than anything. I was getting married three months later and took the first job I could find working for a delivery company. It paid well, but it wasn't a career. Not long after I got married, I began saving to put myself through police academy. Ironically, I went on two police ride-alongs as part of a "crisis nursing" elective during my senior year. I had the choice to ride with an EMT or a cop, so I chose the cop. I made it through at the top of my class in academy and just got promoted two months ago. But anyone who is married to a cop or has family in law enforcement knows how stressful the job can be. It wasn't all what I expected.

I looked back at my horrible experiences in school and realized most of what I hated was just part of growing up and getting thrown into the deep end of the "real life" pool. I looked at my wife who had her share of stressful days as a nurse, but she had several great co-workers and I know she had fulfillment from her job. After only two and half years as a cop, I was already jaded. I kept seeing the same people on the street I arrested from the previous day. The judges where I work kept letting habitual offenders off the hook. My job got meaningless real quick. To top it off, my medical benefits were cut in half. That was it.

I started studying to take NCLEX again after failing almost three years earlier. I took it for the second time last week and failed. I don't feel the stress of not having a paycheck, but I would like to pass this thing the third time around. My hope is to lay down the badge and get a nursing job that I can find fulfillment in. The lesson to you recent grads is don't give up. I'm three years out of school and STILL trying to pass boards. Hopefully I can pass the third time.

2011LPNJ29

201 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

Welcome back.Here are what people did to pass and i suggest you take your time to read all the posts.Kaplan review,lacharity( must have book),exam cram,Frye's 3000bullets(I think you should get this book to refresh your memories of what you have learnt in nursing school),saunders,Mobsy and lippicotts among others.You have to visit your contents.Lab values,infection controls,your nursing process and ABC.Read on you will find alot of info on here on how to pass.Welcome back!

ucnrs

10 Posts

thanks for the advice. I had the exact same number of questions on the second test as the first test (82). I read Kaplan through twice and did about 1500 ?'s from Saunders. Obviously I need to do more/something different.

2011LPNJ29

201 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

I will honestly suggest you get lacharity,frye's 3000 bullets and exam cram.Study that and have your lab values,infection control in flashcard and visit random fact on this forum.Goodluck!

2011LPNJ29

201 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

Kaplan didn't help me either so i know what you mean and saunders got too much wordings for me.Exam cram is straight to the point and i google definitions as well as put them in flashcards.You have to study like you never take the exam before.Goodluck.

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

Good luck with your next attempt. Hope it is the charm for you.

Ow heck! You and I got some similarities only that you are a cop, I'm not. :)

I also earned my BSN March 2008, got married March 2009. Failed Nclex twice. :smokin:

I've been thinking lately how I wish I'm a cop. How do you find the academy, is it more difficult than the nursing school?

ucnrs

10 Posts

godfather,

compared to nursing school, academy was a breeze. the physical part was not bad either if you're already in shape. I will say though if you end up going through with it, find a department with good pay, and long-term benefits. you'll definitely be taking a pay cut.

godfather,

compared to nursing school, academy was a breeze. the physical part was not bad either if you're already in shape. I will say though if you end up going through with it, find a department with good pay, and long-term benefits. you'll definitely be taking a pay cut.

I thought being a cop has more benefits than being a nurse? Or it varies from state to state? I'd like to ask you questions, if you don't mind? :) Because I'd rather hear it from someone who's been there than believing my own opinion on being a cop. Sir, in your own experience which part of the job of being a cop is the most stressful? With the monthly salary that you receive, is it worth it with regards to the things that your do if you're a cop?

ucnrs

10 Posts

I guess it depends on what benefits are most important to you. Your retirement benefits vary from state to state as a cop, but with the money you can make as a nurse, your earning power would probably equal or surpass what you would receive in retirement as a cop as long as you are smart saving your money. For me, the most stressful part is being in danger all the time. When I first started it wasn't an issue to me; but now since I have a kid on the way, I don't want them to lose their Dad cause I got shot or ran over on a traffic stop. I've had two brushes with death so far, and I'd like them to be my last. The job is nothing like what you see on TV. Starting out it was fun and money wasn't an issue, but I've seen some horrible things from my fellow man that I thought weren't possible. People can make it in this job, but it costs you something along the way. I just realized one day that I don't want to do this until I'm 50 and with the degree I have, I know I can find something I enjoy doing in nursing.

I think if the pay was better, our DA would stand up for us in court and stop dismissing felony cases, and our city would stop cutting employee benefits, I could make it in this job, but there's so much going wrong where I work. I know it can't be that way everywhere.

ucnrs

10 Posts

about the frye's 3000, is there a newer edition than the 2006?

2011LPNJ29

201 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

I think thats the latest.Happy thanksgiving!