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Passed NCLEX RN without studying and being out of school for more than a year

NCLEX   (6,486 Views 6 Comments)
by Nursynursenurse Nursynursenurse (Member) Member

4,456 Profile Views; 109 Posts

I promised myself I would post my story if I somehow passed the NCLEX and I found out I did today! I frequently used this website when searching for nursing related questions throughout my journey as a student and want to inform others that it is possible to beat all the odds.

I finished nursing school in December 2013 but didnt graduate until May 2014 when I finished my last pre-requisite. I was busy working so I procrastinated a bit before finally getting my ATT. I scheduled my exam for the beginning of January so that I'd have a good 2 months to prepare. However, I found it extremely difficult to get any studying on days I had work (which was most days), so it never got done. I took a week and a half off of work prior to my exam date to cram. However, in early December I found out I was pregnant which was a huge shocker. It was unplanned and so unexpected that I couldn't focus on anything else. I was in a state of extreme stress, panic, and fear. A few weeks later, it began to sink in but that's when the severe morning sickness came in. I couldn't get out of bed let alone study. I pushed the date of the exam back to January 22 which was the last day I could get before the ATT expired.

In those few months, at most I did a few practice questions a day from Saunders Q&A. I think I did around 250 questions total. Of those I averaged 68% correct. In nursing school (a whole year ago), I maintained B's with a grading system of 85%-92% being considered a "B". I graduated with honors though. I got an 984 on the HESI exit exam. I didnt study AT ALL for that either.

So I had nothing to lose by winging the exam. I got there an hour early and studied heart rhythms and the difference between placenta previa vs abruption. That was literally all I studied beforehand. My test went beyond 75 questions and I knew I must have failed. The questions were getting harder and harder and I felt like I was guessing on all of them. Finally it shut off a little over 100. A few hours later I went home and tried the PVT. It got the good message! I felt less hopeless. (TIP: Use the wrong expiration date on your CC if you do not want to get charged if you fail!)

Today I pain the money to get my official results. Passed!!! I wouldnt ever advise anybody to risk it all and do what I did. I've always been a terrible procrastinator but I absorb a lot of information during lectures. I've always been the student that would do as good as the other students on tests who actually spent a bazillion hours studying. Sciency stuff makes sense to me. I have a fairly good understanding of nursing rationales. Additionally, I work in a hospital as a phlebotomist so I try to learn as I go. I eavesdrop on nurse/doctor talk to understand medical conditions. When I here the nurse tell a patient "I'm giving you so-and-so medication" I remember the purpose and side effects.

Moral of my story: DON'T DO WHAT I DID! BUT... if you find yourself in a similar situation, don't lose hope or give up. It is possible to pass the NCLEX without studying even if you've been out of school for more than a year!

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Wow that's something...that's great that you absorbed all that info and have a medical background which helped you...in essence you were actually prepared for the test because you were proactive at work and during school..wish I cld say the same, I studied for 6 whole months, when I finally took it I was overwhelmed and just wanted to get it over with. I passed with 75q...best feeling ever

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109 Posts; 4,456 Profile Views

Wow that's something...that's great that you absorbed all that info and have a medical background which helped you...in essence you were actually prepared for the test because you were proactive at work and during school..wish I cld say the same, I studied for 6 whole months, when I finally took it I was overwhelmed and just wanted to get it over with. I passed with 75q...best feeling ever

I think how well you did in school is the best predictor of how well you'll do on the NCLEX. Studying is overrated in my opinion. Most people's fear of failure is what drives them to study but I think those types are already the most prepared. I bet you were prepared before studying but just didnt FEEL prepared. In fact, I dont think anybody can feel ready for such an important test.

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I don't think studying is overrated at all, I think that the majority of us aren't going to pass no matter how well we did in school if we don't study. It is human nature to forget what doesn't directly effect us and until we are practicing everything feels more like a theory and less like real life. Testing strategies and understanding HOW to answer questions comes naturally to only a small percentage of people. You can be the smartest person in the class, have the greatest understanding of concepts and still tank tests because the question format is NOT natural. For the lucky minority who can breeze through tests and pass without studying, then studying is not needed....but most of us are not in that category.

I passed the NCLEX in June, but I think if I had to take it again tomorrow after 6 months of not studying, I would fail.

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You didn't beat the odds. The odds are excellent that anyone who graduates from a decent program is, in fact, prepared to pass the basic licensure exam for which the program is designed. Most people do not take expensive review courses (and I used to teach in one, and I can tell you that a good 95% of the students in my classes didn't need to be there). That's sort of the point. The pass rate in most states is more than 9 of 10.

 

Congratulations!

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109 Posts; 4,456 Profile Views

Thanks! I graduated from a very good program that I feel prepared me well. I agree that I didnt beat the odds after the fact. It is completely normal to not feel ready and fear failure. I think that many people who pass attribute it to a review course or studying a ridiculous amount of hours per day but I think they'd be fine without it. My theory cant be tested because nobody in their right mind would risk what I did just to prove it. Also, I dont think time away from school means you'll forget everything. The rationals make just as much sense as they did a year ago. I didnt actually forgot too much considering the huge gap of time.

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