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2 nclex attempts in three years

by ucnrs ucnrs (New) New

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.


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!

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.


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!


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.

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?


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.


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?

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.

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


Has 1 years experience.

I think thats the latest.Happy thanksgiving!

Wow! You have a story right there and good to know that you're out in harm's way during duty. I have to agree to what you shared, danger is the most stressful part of the job. Reality check! No wonder we still have a high demand of police force maybe because nobody is willing to put his/her life on the line and in harm's way just to protect people just like what our soldiers do abroad and how much more if you got a family. It is just too risky. Sad but true.

That's why I agree to wage increase and better benefits for you guys. No price can pay the life of a man when he puts his life on the line, knowing that every day could be his last. Just what that black man said, "These ************ wear that uniform for you boy! To protect you and make the community safe!"

Be proud ucnrs. Because you wear the uniform that only few would dare to wear. :yeah:

And if that's the case, maybe I should just stick to nursing and let the thought of being a cop just be a wishful thinking. lol

Going back to nursing. Welcome to this site by the way.

Are you really going back to nursing field for good? Well it's been 2 years since we're out of the school of nursing. Maybe you need a refresher course. It could be useful with your situation right now.

Edited by Silverdragon102
changed to all ******

yeah godfather I'm going to go back to the nursing field for good I think. I am going to keep my law enforcement certification, because if I allow it to lapse after one year, I would have to go back through basic training. I'd prefer not to get tased, pepper sprayed, and sit through four months of classes again.

Hi There,

I finished nursing school in 2008, got married, failed boards, had a tumor over my LT eye,, has scheduled board don' give money back, took boards after surgery could not see, Janauary 2009 failed, sight got better took board in April 2009, failed. Mother fo sick and died, December 2009, Husband had stroke Aug.,, 2010. I have failed 5 times . But I am not giving up getting ready to start studying again. My problem I see everything out there and want to try it all. So you are not alone. I am a LPN, working fulltime. I don't like computers.

well, I took my third overall attempt this morning, and I checked five minutes ago with the "trick" and it is coming back that I passed. I am hoping that it really works, but I can't let myself believe it until I see it.

I had 156 questions

wow so you took the exam again. so how was it?

BTW, what was the exact message that you got, is it the 2nd statement from the PVT thread?