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Specializes in ONCOLOGY/ HEMATOLOGY. Has 17 years experience.
How long did it take you to finish your RN and did you use this method the entire time? Thanks for your tips. :-)

My post sounded perfect, but I certainly did NOT start out efficiently! That's the 'trial and error' part, which is why I try to tell people not to repeat the mistakes I made!

I was officially enrolled on Oct 2011 and took Information Literacy right pleased with myself:)) I paid for my first exam (Lifespan) and bought a huge textbook. Needless to say, it was too much content and took me too long to review. I slacked off and got busy doing other things, 2 kids, new house, full-time job.....Got a call from one of the counselors FIVE months later, who told me that I would be done in 4 years if I went this slow! Oops..that was the wake-up call I needed. I took an exam every 5-6 weeks for a year. I could not transfer any credits from my LPN program as the school had a no-transfer policy. I could waive some general education credits because of my Bachelors in English. I took all nursing exams 4 weeks apart. The FCCA took 8 long weeks! Submitted my application for the CPNE in Dec 2013. I took Contemporary Mathematics (ugh) while I waited for my CPNE date. Cpne prep took 3 months. All-in-all, it took me just over two years to complete the program, a total of 17 exams and 58 credits!


253 Posts

Thank you so much HemOnc for the reply. I hear this so often that people wait so long to get started and am worried I may do the same. Another question, how do you feel about being prepared for the NCLEX? Do you feel you were ready and did you pass the first time after graduating from Excelsior?

Specializes in ONCOLOGY/ HEMATOLOGY. Has 17 years experience.

The biggest disadvantage with online/ non-traditional learning for me was the lack of a peer network. I was all by myself and it was a total learning experience. Does Excelsior prepare you for the NCLEX? I would say, it somewhat does. It familiarizes you with exams at Pearson Vue. Excelsior recommends resources for exams, but you ultimately decide if you are learning for the purpose of just an exam or really build your knowledge base. While preparing for the CPNE, I learned a lot but couldn't retain all of it.

The NCLEX is very different from the Excelsior exams. I watched a video on youtube by Kaplan that explained what the NCLEX is all about. I took my LPN boards in 2006 and the computer shut off at 86 questions. NCLEX-RN stopped at 79 questions. I passed both exams, but the questions didn't seem familiar both times. The NCSBN review course helped a lot, I couldn't have passed without it. I came to know about it through Excelsior gives you access to ATI and I found that very useful as well. I personally feel that prior experience as a nurse puts you at a disadvantage while taking the boards. Reality is different from the material printed in textbooks. Strategy, Prioritization, Critical Thinking, Delegation, and Assessment- know these and you will be fine!

I very strongly believe that education starts when schooling stops. Take the plunge and deal with situations as they arise, don't worry too much:))


253 Posts

Thank you. Very helpful. :-)

Has 20 years experience.


How did you prepare for Contemporary math. I take this exam next month and I am ROTTEN in Math.