I posted this in the NCLEX forum, but thought I'd post it in this thread in case some of you don't check that forum:
My NCLEX experience was pretty rough. I wasn't the best of students in school and didn't make the best grades. I struggled with tests because I had a bad habit of over-thinking the wording of the questions. I've had a lot going on in my life and have been very stressed out. My stress level has been so high that it made it very difficult for me to focus and study the material. Add my general performance/test anxiety to the mix and well, it hasn't been pretty.
The night before my test date, we had tornado warnings, and so I was in the bathroom (for safety) with 3 other people and 6 animals when I wanted to be resting. I woke up early and made it to the testing site with plenty of time. When I feel anxious, I tend to experience GI issues. During school, I took a bottle of Maalox with me into the tests (yes, I'm odd). Since I knew I wouldn't be able to do that for the NCLEX, I took some Zantac, and Immodium before I left my house and put two chewable Pepto Bismol tablets into my mouth as I went through the check-in process. It's better safe than sorry, right? I had a few more chewable Pepto tablets in my pocket, and I asked if I could open them into a tissue and take it in with me. They said that wasn't a problem.
As I sat down to take the test, my hands were trembling. I went through the tutorial and started the test. Egads! I had a ton of mother/baby questions and drugs -- my two worst subjects! I kept watching the clock and was racing through questions. I kept telling myself to slow down. At one point, a question comes up that is based on a medical term that I don't know. Frustrated, I put my head in my hands, closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths and tried to relax. Wait! I do know that word because I studied it during 3rd semester; and look, there's an answer that's appropriate!
In the end, I had 75 questions and it took me right at an hour to finish. I only had two alternate response questions, and both were SATAs. No med calcs, no ordering of answers, nothing like that. When the test stopped at 75 questions, I was shocked. Surely I failed! With all those mother/baby and drug questions, there's no way I had passed this thing. I wanted to shake the computer and beg for more questions. Don't stop now; let me show you that I do know something!
When I got to my car, I couldn't help it. I cried. I felt terrible and knew I'd let everyone down who believed in me and supported me. How would I tell them?
I spent the next 48 hrs as a basket case, obsessively checking the website to see if my results were available. On Friday morning, they still weren't available when I got to work. After we finished the first surgery, I used my phone to check the Internet for my results again. They were available! I went over to the BON website and my name wasn't listed. Oh no! Shaking like a leaf, I found a secluded computer to enter in my credit card information and looked at the screen:
That is such a beautiful word! Relief rushed through my body and I couldn't believe it. I passed; I passed!
I was all giggly the first time I signed my name as an RN. :)
I'm sharing this because I thought there may be other graduate nurses out there who were in similar situations. Trust me, if I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT!
Thank you so much for all of your support. These El Centro/NLC threads were a lifeline to me.