New Grad Needs Help

Nurses General Nursing


I just graduated nursing school a couple of months ago. It is now time for me to take the boards. I'm so nervous!!!!! Any helpful hits from you pros out there? I really need it before I lose my mind!


34 Posts

first and foremost congradulations!! and settle down, don't drive yourself crazy. when i took boards i studied day in and day out and just about went bonkers. i took the board exam and afterward thought"why in the world did i kill myself for this" in my opinion you cannot study for board, it what you have learned throughout the entire program. just hits the hot spots and areas you are not comfortable with. do not get me wrong boards were extremely difficult, but just relax and feel confident in yourself.

good luck



859 Posts

Nikki, I have always done well on standardized tests, so I don't think I was as nervous as you are,'s my few tidbits for whatever they're worth.

I do recommend review, more for your self-confidence than because I think anyone really needs it. You don't need an expensive course, just get a few of those review books and do all the self-tests at the end of the chapters. It just gets you into that "multiple-multiple" mode.

One thing our test proctor mentioned which I found very helpful: remember that some of the questions are designed so that you won't immediately know the answer--they KNOW you won't know--but the question writers want you

to be able to extrapolate from what you DO know (e.g., side effects of an unfamiliar drug in the same general class as a common one). I found that knowing I wasn't expected to know everything, just how to figure it out, a calming idea.

Another thing common to these kinds of tests is this: some of the questions don't HAVE a right answer. Instead, you have to pick the answer that is least wrong.

Remember to go through and answer what you do know first. Skip any question that is taking you longer than 30 seconds to answer and go back to it, if possible. Get plenty of sleep the night before, take a deep breath, and good luck!!


338 Posts

Hi there,

relax- you will pass boards. ALl of the above is good advice- but don't skip questions on the new computerized NCLEX- it doesn't let you go back. SO that would be icky. I recommend doing a lot of practice questions. If you get really stuck on a question, either answer it and go on, or you can write out- they give you scrap paper, whya each option is wrong or right, and that may help you figure it out. There were a lot of questions wiht no actual right answer- very annoying, just pick the best answer (Pretend you are in a third world country where no heart monitors exist, (how would you assess a rhythm? or whatever) 85% of first time test takers pass the NCLEX. You'll do great.


5 Posts

Nikki, once agian congrats nursing school in no easy thing as you found out. Keep your head up, you'll do fine on the NCLEX. I took my 3years ago and remember all to well how you feel. I suggest reviewing weak material such as lab values, drugs, etc. and practice answering quetions. Also take your time reading the guestions, remember that it's not the right answer but the BEST answer. GOOD LUCK!!!!!


2 Posts

Hey relax!!! There are plenty of things out there to help you prepare for boards. I personally took a review course, took a mock exam on laptop computer offered by some company that came to our university, and did practice questions on computer. I took the time to sit down and do a computer test from Mosby I believe, that had the maximum number of questions to prepare me just in case.

I passed boards my first try with the minimum number of questions. Don't stress yourself out over it. If you don't pass you take them again and then you will know what you are up against.

Good luck


294 Posts

You took how many tests in school? Don't worry- the boards have much worse hype than they deserve. They are meant to test minimum safety to practice- not a thorough knowedge base.

I did take a 5 day review course, which was excellent, but I did it more for anxiety than any real concern for failing. It presented some info in a different way but didn't teach me anything I didn't learn in school.

What I found useful was to remind myself of 2 things at every hard question: 1) that every test has 15 questions that are beta questions- being considered for the following year's exam. Right or wrong, they don't count. So if the question is stumping you, pick the best answer you can and let it go. There was a question on my boards that I ran by a couple instructors later- no one knew the answer. Hope they threw that one out!

2) If the question is stumping you, that's a GOOD sign. Hard questions are worth more points- for the computer to give you a hard question means you are doing WELL- when you are doing poorly, the questions get easier but are worth fewer points.

Relax and get a good nights sleep beforehand. You'll do fine!


13 Posts

Originally posted by NurseNikki2001:

I just graduated nursing school a couple of months ago. It is now time for me to take the boards. I'm so nervous!!!!! Any helpful hits from you pros out there? I really need it before I lose my mind!

I want to thank each and everyone of you for your helpful hints. Im still waiting patiently for my dates. I will let ya'll know what I did on my boards. It is so nice to have colleagues that you all.


11 Posts

Hello there fellow grad,

I just wanted to let you know that I have been reading your posting and everything else all the nurses were posting because I am a new grad as well and will be taking my boards on the 8th of February. Your posting has helped me to. Good luck to you, tell me how you did and I will do the same. P.S.. I am still nervous but the words of wisdom so to speak are nice to hear. We are not the ONLY ones that have gone through this....

Take care


100 Posts

Congratulations to all the new grads out there.

All the previous replies are wonderful and true. I remember when I took state boards (about a hundred years ago)it took 2 days of testing.

My only advise to you is to get a good nights sleep and eat a good breakfast (yes, I am a mother too LOL). Good luck to you all and welcome to the most fulfilling profession that there is.



If you enjoy word puzzles come visit me at


10 Posts

Congratulations !!

I just took the boards and Passed! The best advice I can suggest is to RELAX!!! Use 1 book, Mosbys or whatever you were given in you NCLEX review class. The spend time doing questions. I learned the most from the questions that I answered. I used the NCLEX-2000 diskette. Relax and get some good sleep the night before.

Good Luck


6 Posts

Dear NurseNikki,

Congratulations on finishing nursing school!! I am a recent grad myself and remember VIVIDLY the test anxiety before the NCLEX eek.gif YOU WILL DO FINE, TRUST ME. As far as any pointers----1) use your common sense, many of the questions want to test your ability to prioritize, 2) just study the most common basics when it comes to drugs/lab values, the board is not going to test on obscurities (on those issues), 3) there is only 1 answer, if you are having trouble deciding, reread the question for meaning, 4) Make a dry run to the test center before your test, allow for plenty of travel time and pack your 'stuff' the night before!, 5) REMEMBER THE ABC'S. The night before my exam, I inadvertently made dinner plans that I couldn't change, so I spent the night prior to the test just having fun (yes, I tried my best not to think about it!) and it turned out for the best- there was NOTHING that I learned the day before the test !!! YOU WILL PASS smile.gif Take care and keep us posted....

ps. Chaseloff- you mentioned that you grad from TX- i, too grad from a TX school! Do you feel the eyes upon you ? wink.gif Good Luck on your exam also...

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