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by Snowbird 1019 Snowbird 1019 (New) New

Hey everyone, I've stayed in the shadows of this website for a few years, reading posts and getting advice but never actually posted anything, but I have to share my excitement with people that I know will understand, and with the people who have unknowingly given me advice and encouragement along my difficult journey here! I know this is probably just one of SO many posts about passing, but I just have to share. I graduated from nursing school at the end of 2013, but about halfway through the program I realized that nursing wasn't where my passion was. But I was so close to finishing I decided that I needed to finish and at least have nursing as an option if I changed my mind or whatever...it was better than just having so much time in school wasted! I originally took the NCLEX about 4 months after I graduated and failed with 120 questions. I wasn't completely surprised, even though I studied, because I just didn't put much effort into it because it's just not where my heart was...but I was devastated nonetheless of being a "failure." I told very few people that I failed - roommates, fiance, one well-trusted friend, and my mom - because it's just embarrassing, you know? I didn't want to have to explain it to everyone, and I just needed to deal with it alone. Even though I didn't know if I really wanted to be a nurse after all, I NEEDED to pass this test, because I didn't go through all that school and spend all that money to not have a license in the end. Well, life happened...I got married, moved 4 times, got really sick, and realized new passions that I began pursuing...and although I prepared and studied off and on for a long time and planned to take it a couple times since then, I was never able to take the test again. I even had it scheduled one day last year, studied hard...and ended up in the ER the morning that I was supposed to take it. UGH! Well in the whole year since then, It's just been nagging me in the back of my mind that I still hadn't passed, and I realized that there was still an interest and passion in healthcare in my heart so I decided to try again. I spent the last couple of months non-stop studying, was able to take the test this Monday, got around 160 questions and definitely left there thinking I failed. I didn't do the Pearson Vue trick because I wanted a couple of days of at least thinking I had a possibility of passing, haha...but after 2 LONG days of waiting, I found out yesterday that I PASSED!!! I really didn't think there was any possibility of passing on my first try after such a long time, but I did it!! I was totally expecting to see "fail" and have to take it again in a couple months...I wasn't even upset about that, it's just what I was realistically expecting...so I just about had a heart attack when I saw those words, and then saw my actual license listed on my state BON website!!

I'm so happy and relieved I don't even know what to say. I prayed a LOT for this test, and the few people who knew the truth were praying for me too, and I know that that's a major thing that made a big difference, because I know I couldn't have done this all on my own! And I want to just shout it from the rooftops that I passed, but I really can't because pretty much everyone thinks I already passed a couple years ago. So I just needed to at least announce it here, since I know there's not judgement, and you guys have all really helped me a lot through this process and reading these posts has been a big reason why I never gave up. I don't really know where I'll go from here...I've begun to pursue other passions and have a good job and am happy with what I'm doing now, but I've definitely been considering being a nurse after all. I know that maybe the torture and chaos of nursing school may have been what made me think I wasn't passionate about nursing, but I know that the real world is so much different and I think I could really enjoy being a nurse! So even though I don't really know where I'm going now, and I know that at this point it would be more difficult to get a nursing job...it's just a big relief to know that this is an open door for me now, as opposed to an obstacle. It's such big weight lifted off my shoulders, and I am just so ecstatic that I can FINALLY put those 2 letters that I worked so hard for behind my name now. I've joined the RN club, and it feels good!

So, long post I know...but I just wanted to say THANK YOU to all of you who are so encouraging on here, the ones who have taken it multiple times and not given up and reminded me to persevere, and the ones who had really good suggestions for study resources! I may not be able to announce my passing on Facebook or tell the whole world, but I can tell all of you and it feels SO GOOD!

~Kelly, RN :)

This is awesome! Congratulations!!!! I actually have a very similar story. Graduated 2013, scheduled my test shortly after, but missed it because I was out of state on a family emergency... long story short, nasty divorce, deaths in the family, basic survival... I just kept putting it off for one reason or another... Finally scheduled it again for yesterday, Dec 1. In the true fashion of how my life had gone since nursing school, one of my children became ill, & after a visit to urgent care & meds weren't helping, by Tuesday he was hospitalized... naturally I picked something up due to the stress and lack of sleep the past few weeks, and after sleeping in a chair a few days next to my son in the hospital, not studying at all...I was tempted once again to reschedule, but instead I sucked it up and went in for my NCLEX-RN for the first (and hopefully only) time, sick as a dog... 3 years after graduation! I felt horrible and got all 265 questions! Now here I am obsessing and waiting for my results while reading through all of these forums trying to grasp onto anything I read that gives me hope! Thank you for posting!! And you're not alone, I also haven't shared much about this with any of my friends and family. After taking the test though, I do wish I'd have done it sooner, because it certainly wasn't bad enough to justify all of the anxiety I had over it!

What review did you use ?


Specializes in Psychiatrist.

Congrats! I found I passed my board too!

I'm beyond happy and excited!

Just found out I passed too!!!?

Congrats, hukneeb!!! That's so exciting! I was so excited to read your response to my post and see that someone else was in the same situation I was in...definitely helps a lot to know you're not alone! I'm so glad that we can both put this crazy test behind us after the rollercoaster of life we have gone through!

Thanks for the congratulations, NurseKel16, and congrats to you too! Nothing feels better than passing this monster test and having it behind you! Best Christmas gift ever, in my opinion!

TAS1987 - I've used quite a few different reviews over the years. My school really focused on ATI, and set me up with the Virtual ATI review after graduation, which I used for a while. It was nice to have my own instructor, but I really didn't feel it doing for me what I needed it to. I bought a Kaplan review book last year, which was really good for understanding test taking strategies, but didn't really go over enough content, which for me being so far out of school, is what I really needed. Finally a couple months ago when I decided to really go for it again, I got the Saunders comprehensive review, and that is what really helped me. It really had amazing content review and the questions at the ends of the chapters were good. It really made everything easy to understand, and did a great job at condensing all the content and important things from nursing school into one book. I realized during my test that the Saunders questions had been a bit easier than actual test questions, which made me a little nervous, but I guess it all worked out for good! I also had an Exam Cram book that had about 5 250-question practice tests with a DVD, and I did those from time to time for more practice questions. Kaplan also has free courses and practice tests from time to time, and I did a couple of them. Looking back I wish that I had just been able to stick with one review the whole time, but unfortunately I had to try a couple of them to find one that worked well for me.

I think I figured that my main issue, aside from having to re-learn a lot of content, was that I tend to rush through questions. I would do practice questions and literally not even see a word that completely changed the question, like one of those "which is NOT true" questions. Then after studying for so long my brain was mush and I started seeing words that actually weren't there too...so I really had to concentrate on making myself slow down during the test, I had to make myself literally point at every single word on the screen as I read it, read every question and choice about 3 times, just to make sure I was really thinking about what the questions was really asking. I found that those questions like to trick you up, and once I slowed down it made everything a lot easier! I've never been a good test taker, and this test was the biggest beast I've ever faced...I'm just so glad to have it over with I can't even put into words how happy I am! Best Christmas present ever!!!

Yes I am a repeat test taker and used hurst and kaplan and was not successful. I also have a lot of anxiety over this test been out of school and life happens and I work full time and have a son so they just pole up. And this test is frustrating. I know my content I score high on practice questions but can't pass boards .


Specializes in Pediatrics. Has 1 years experience.

Congrats!!! :nurse:

Yes I am a repeat test taker and used hurst and kaplan and was not successful. I also have a lot of anxiety over this test been out of school and life happens and I work full time and have a son so they just pole up. And this test is frustrating. I know my content I score high on practice questions but can't pass boards .

Are you reading the rationales on your your practice exams? I really think this is a key to passing the NCLEX-RN, because it helps you "think" like the test.

Yes I read all the rationales