Passed in 75, 16 months post graduation.


You know those horror stories the professors tell you at the end of the year before you graduate, the ones where people have issues dealing with their BoN? Applications get lost, something get's delayed or it just falls through into limbo somewhere and everyone just shrugs their shoulders going "eh, I dunno"? That was me. I know it might not happen often, but I also know there are many others who can't always take the NCLEX as immediately after graduation as they might want, and others who fail and are also some time after graduation who are taking it as well. Therefore, I just wanted to share my story and my experience.

I graduated May 2016, completed our NCLEX review program by mid July, and submitted my application to the state in August. I then went ahead, while waiting to hear from the state, and paid for my exam in October. I waited... and waited... and waited. In November I started calling the BoN. They had my application, it had been put in the system, and that was it. No one knew why I'd not received anything yet. I had to have my fingerprints done. I should have received notice on how to set up an appointment for that. I was told the information would be sent out to me. After 2 more calls, and now the beginning of January, I finally received that information. I set up my appointment 2 weeks later, and was told it would take 4-6 weeks after that for my ATT to be sent out. Wonderful! And FINALLY! Except.. it didn't happen that way. Six weeks later... then seven. Nothing. It was now March. So I called Pearson, they hadn't received authorization from my board yet. I called the board "everything is good, you're good to go, I don't know why it hasn't been released yet". I waited a week, called again, waited a week, called again, waited another week, and still got the same response only this time it was "being escalated to the supervisor". At this point in time, I was recalling a story our professor told us about the previous year when several girls had to drive up to the BON and actually confront someone in person. It's a considerably drive, but at this point tempting. After another week, being that we're about mid April, I started calling daily. I am guessing someone got tired of hearing from me and within the next week I finally received my ATT.

Immediately I started to freak out. At this point, it's been a year since I graduated! My brain felt empty, I was terrified on how much information I might have forgotten or lost. I searched all over the boards and forums for what programs to best use to study and prepare for the NCLEX.

I started off using Simple Nursing as a sort of brush up on some of the disease processes, systems, general fundamentals. I did not purchase a subscription. A lot of his stuff is on youtube and is easy to be found. While some of the stuff is decent, I actually can't recommend it. I think it's far too expensive, and I've seen a few videos that aren't worth paying for. I found an unlisted playlist of his on another site, I am assuming he links the unlisted videos in his paid service, I am not certain on that. The particular videos were not his usual style, where he's teaching to the camera, but rather a video of a tutoring session and in the session there was a lot of back ground commentary and noise from a 3rd party. It made the videos impossible to watch.

I needed something else, so I looked into UWorld. I highly, highly, highly recommend UWorld. They have a trial you can take a look at, but I seriously can't praise it enough. I was iffy at first, thinking 'eh, it's just a question bank', but the rationales are amazing and the questions are very good. Some are a little confusing and a little frustrating, some are even contradictory, but the explanations and rationales are so worth it. I did very poorly with UWorld's tests. I was barely making mid-60's for scores. It was incredibly disheartening, some were even as low as 49%. My first assessment was dismal. Reflecting, I think a lot of it wasn't necessarily I'd forgotten the content, but I'd forgotten how to answer the questions.

I still felt like I needed something more. I have two Nclex books, but I missed having the audio/video lecture that Simple Nursing offered. I saw a mention for another program/site called NRSNG and so I decided to check them out. I used their $1 Trial, and then paid for a month of their academy. It was so worth it. The videos are professional, the information is wonderful and to the point. There is an immense amount of resources you can find and use. They also have this mock-nclex testing program (Simclex) that I found very helpful, even tho I failed it several, several times.

My UWorld scores only improved slightly at this point, and I was just in a horrible place mentally. So, I thought perhaps the NRSNG resources aren't going in depth enough for me. Maybe I've just forgotten so much more than I had believed. I looked into other review programs. Hurst, Kaplan... and my god the price points on those. There was no way I could afford them. Then I learned NCSBN has a review program and I thought.. what better a resource could there be than the people who write the exam themselves? Still somewhat pricey, but I grabbed their three week subscription and hopped right in. They had a three week study schedule, so I followed that and trudged my way through, trying to focus the most on the stuff that was unfamiliar to me. I did very well in the questions/quizes on NCSBN. I scored 70-90's, with most being in the 80's. I started to feel much more confident. Then I'd go and review more in UWorld, and score a 60. It was incredibly frustrating.

The last week before my exam I turned my primary focus to NCSBN. I had completed at least 90% of UWorld's test bank, and the final assessment put me in the 94th percentile and "very likely" to pass the NCLEX. I had scored 72%. I had hundreds and hundreds of questions to practice on NCSBN and since these questions were supposedly ones used on previous NCLEX exams, I thought these would best prepare me.

No matter what I studied, or how many questions I did, I did not feel prepared to sit for my exam Friday. I had stressed myself out so much in the weeks before that the day before my exam I woke up with not one but two cold sores. Seriously. Just my luck. When the exam started, I felt like every question that came up was foreign to me. I had even suddenly forgotten what side of the body the liver was on. I started to completely work myself into a freak out. I then remembered what I told so many of my friends who struggled with out mock NCLEX exams in nursing school; don't second guess, don't nit pit, don't over think it. Read the question, read the answers, read the question again, then pick the answer that first sticks out to you. Select it, move on, do not go back. So that's what I did.

My exam was at least half SATA. I had only a few med questions, a couple priorities, no calculations, no hot spots, and a few put-in-order. The rest were just "normal" multiple choice. When I hit submit on question 75, my screen went blue, and the straight into the new format research section. I didn't know what to do, I felt dreadful, and I was pretty sure I failed. My exam started at 7:45am. I rose my hand at 9:15am. Now, I've always been a quick test taker. Even in school I was usually one of the first, if not the first to complete my test. I am a quick reader. Sometimes that gets me into trouble. Still, I felt absolutely dreadful.

I went home, waited an excruciating 6 hours before attempting the PVT. I got the "good" pop-up. I refused to believe it. There was simply no way I could have passed this thing in 75 questions, in 90 minutes, being so far out of school, with the scores I was getting on my practices. I couldn't. So I distracted myself, played some games, took a long nap, a hot shower, and did my best to wait for the 24 hour mark. When the 26 hour mark hit, I checked it again. I still got the "good" pop-up. Seriously? I really, seriously did it. I was still skeptical, but so excited.

It wasn't until today, when my quick results were available, that I learned I really did actually pass. I passed.

So, to everyone else who is freaking out, second guessing themselves, stressing out, and crying into their pillows. Take a breath, you've got this. If I had any study tip to give, outside of the resources I used; study to understand, not to memorize. I learned that nursing school was so much easier when I paid attention to what was happening with the patient, rather than tired to memorize signs and symptoms and everything else. Knowing and understanding what is happening to the patient's body when they have (insert disease) gives you all the information you need on what it's going to look like, what tests you need to do, what medications might be given, and everything else you're expected to know and understand.

Anyway, I hope this gives some amount of help/hope/comfort/support to someone who may be in a similar situation, or simply had taken time to read through.


257 Posts

Congratulations and thanks for this detailed input. It is very helpful for those of us who are about to writ the nclex. Could you please tell us if the questions you saw on the nclex were clos to the ones you did on UWORLD and NCSBN.


234 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac Stepdown, PCU.

Definitely NCSBN. They write the nclex and I believe I read somewhere that use questions from previous versions of the nclex. As much as I really like Uworld sometimes the questions seemed purposely more difficult or misleading. Other questions would contradict previous ones. The detail of the rationales and the way Uworld teaches is really great tho.

Specializes in LTC. Has 4 years experience.

Interesting that this thread (from JULY) came up in my search today for NRSNG posts ~ and someone from NRSNG had actually been here and posted on it today.

I've been searching because I have purchased the NRSNG Academy program... without having a 3-day trial... because I purchased it on Amazon. I got all excited about the lower price, and the free "scrub cheats" that were thrown in for the package deal.

I'm not sure it's really what I was looking for, and now I'm having some serious buyer's remorse. This was not a cheap program. Does anyone know if I can just process a return through Amazon? I've emailed NRSNG, but not heard back yet, with it being the weekend.