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NCLEX journey


I can still remember my first post here at Allnurses about a year ago about my confusion on what to do to be able to finally sit for NCLEX-RN to have my license and hopefully continue paving my way to my dreams. I've been a lurker in this site. The nurses here have been very helpful in sharing what they know and what they think will help. So I promised myself to also share what I went through and hopefully help others too.

I graduated outside the United States. I applied for California RN license with the Board of Registered Nursing (CA-BRN). I submitted the rest of the docs they were asking on early December (Dec 2013, started July 2013). Though I know that there was a huge chance of rejection, I waited. Two months after, the big news came. Aside from needing to take OB and MS II again (concurrency issues), they said I lacked OB/OR cases.

With news came a list of schools I could attend. I emailed and called every single one. Good news- there were two to three schools which offered it but there was a LONG waitlist and they only were to take students whenever someone drops out or a slot becomes available. It was pretty expensive too.

` I decided to apply for RN license in Texas. I also started applying for LVN/LPN license here in California. It was easy applying for LVN license. I did it with the BVNPT instead of CABRN. In my case since I had a BSN deg, I applied through #method 3, equivalent education/experience. They only asked for transcripts, record of nursing program, and pharmacology hours plus they asked for my clinical rotations. I got my eligibility April 2014 (I applied March), then I registered with Pearsonvue. I got the license. With my TX application, the longest wait was with the CGFNS CES. My fingerprint card got rejected once so I had to redo the whole process. The application was easy. Applied online, paid the fee, took the NJE and passed, applied to Pearsonvue, submitted my fingerprint cards and paid the background check and waited for the ATT. At that time, as soon as my papers were released from CGFNS, it took 2 weeks or less to get the ATT.

I got my ATT. I rescheduled twice:p I thought to myself, I don't want to mess this up”. I didn't do anything nursing related for a year so it was really hard trying to get used to studying again. . I got my ATT July, and I just started being real serious with studying by August until September- My testing month.

NCLEX- PN Review: Saunder's Comprehensive Review for NCLEX-RN 5th Ed, NSNA NCLEX-RN Review 6th Ed, Kaplan NCLEX-PN Strategies, Practice and Review (2013-2014)

NCLEX-RN Review: Saunder's Comprehensive Review for NCLEX-RN 5th Ed, NSNA 6th Ed, Kaplan's online review with Kaplan review books (package), La Charity's Prioritization, Delegation and Assignment, and I filled my study nook with A LOT of posters and sticky notes of stuff that I always forget and my room with motivating words to keep me going and focused.

1. I only used ONE review material for the content and that was Saunder's, I finished it cover to cover when I took my NCLEX-PN. I determined first what areas I usually find easy and what not. I studied last those that I find difficult and those with so much to remember like Pedia and OB.

2. For Med-Surg, personally, since I had limited time, I studied disorders by understanding the pathophysiology first. From there, it was easier figuring out the nursing treatment and not having to memorize a lot.

3. NSNA provided me with additional info I didn't get from Saunders and the rest. For instance, there were disorders that I haven't heard of that surprisingly I found on that book. Having multiple materials just ensures that you've already covered pretty much everything that needs to be covered.

4. Kaplan review book was a supplement too. The online on-demand review greatly helped with my test-taking abilities and critical thinking. It was a great help in training yourself how to approach a question and to determine what answer fits the best.

5. Every time I encounter something I didn't know or remember something that seems to confuse me a lot, I try to locate where I read it or I look it up online and write it down right away.

6. I read my magical numbers (lab values, numbers and ranges) everyday :)

7. I followed my schedule religiously. I have to finish at least 1-2 chapters a day. And whenever I was not able to do this, I would compensate and study more the next day to balance it out.

8. After I took my Kaplan diagnostics, I read up again on the top three areas where I got low scores. I located the chapters on Saunder's and read those chapters again for the second time, just to brush up on these areas, and I repeated the online lectures also.

9. One week before the test, I stopped reviewing. All I did was complete the Qbank. I finished it 100% before the test. My QT scores range from high 60's to mid 70's.


I'm usually generous when it comes to sleep; I don't deprive myself of that when I study. I go to the gym, watch my favorite series as a reward, go out and eat out too. Bond and spend time with my friends and family. To make it short, I condition myself first before I study, so my mind is set and I'm holistically ready to sit for hours :)

I stopped at 60. I took me almost two hours. I just wanted to share my experience and how I did it. Hope it helps :)