This was originally posted by me in July, 2006 about my NCLEX Experience, and this may (sort of) sum up a bit of what you experienced:
I passed NCLEX-PN on June 3rd, 2006 with 85 questions. From there, I was so freaking relieved that I ran the streets, forgetting all about books, had a note burning party, etc. And, I did not even look at anything to do with NCLEX, but today, I decided to check the site and see how anticipating test takers are doing, and my heart tugged, because I KNOW how you all are feeling!!
This may be difficult to comprehend until you actually sit for NCLEX (those that understand this, let me know), but there is no real preparation for WHAT questions appear on that exam. I remember feeling bewildered, shocked, disillusioned, and simply walking away from the exam saying "What the heck was THAT??" I did not see any of the things that nursing school drilled into our heads relentlessly, like diabetes, endocrine disorders, heart failure and pediatric cardiac disorders (remember what disorder is a right to left shunt??) Not even insulin.
I don't know if I am expressing myself correctly, but the message I wish to convey is that you should find a study system that agrees with you and use it, may it be Mosby, Kaplan, Saunders, the Learning Extension Program, etc... and, as hard as it may be, try not to purchase too much material out of fear. People may see posts and say "So and So says Saunders is best, or another group of people say that Kaplan sucks...but I am using Kaplan. Should I stop?" Don't take on other people's experiences of NCLEX and make it your own, because you will panic FOR SURE. It may be best to not mention to many people you encounter daily that you have made your date, and curtail even the on line communication down to a few. This is not a criticism to sites like this, because this can be therapeutic, but if it gets to the point where it makes you panic, then, maybe check posts less frequently. Have faith in the system that you choose to study, and minimize the distractions and things that bring about panic. We cannot control what will show up, we can only continue to do what we CAN do, which is to continue studying, doing questions (make sure that you read the rationales) and critically think. Don't beat yourselves upside the head trying to add some other item into your method of studying if you have been consistant.
When I walked out of NCLEX, I believed that I failed. NCLEX-PN also proved to me that certain things were really out of my control, and that I literally did all that I can do, and I was sort of comfortable with that...knowing when I walked out of there that I was not sure, but I literally did the best that I can do, and I can walk away with pride. Of course, it was better to have passed, but I knew then, that NCLEX was in the hand of the Creator, not mine...and that it was NOT ME that did that exam, it was a Higher Power.