We could pass NCLEX first go around at 75 questions, but could we take a patient load of 6-7? I did not feel confident that's for sure. I was told by a nurse once that you're not a real nurse until you hit the 5yr mark. I took great offense at that for the longest time as I thought NCLEX and a job made me a real nurse and then after that first year, that would make it official. But the amount of time needed to get that experience...it can be about 5yrs. Some can get "there" sooner, some might be later. They don't tell you in school you need much more experience in order to feel more confident and settled. They let you think videotaping yourself doing skills is enough. NOTHING replaces hands-on experience, real life experience. Amen sister- I am 40 years old with a BS in Science Education and wanted to go into nursing for 12 years. Finally graduated in December of 2010 with only 1 B- passed the NCLEX with 75 questions and landed a job in Critical Care 3 months later. I crashed and burned. In my clinical experience we had 1-2 patients of this caliber, but I wasn't prepared for 3-4. I know this sounds like a small ratio, but our patient's were on vents, PEG tubes, wounds, critically ill with multiple co-morbidities, huge amount of meds, paper charting, admits, discharges, procedures (we had to go with patients), non-ambulatory (constant turning), brittle diabetics, kidney failure, etc. We had a code in our 75 bed hospital at least weekly with patient's dying at least every other week. I started making errors and getting overwhelmed. Finally at 3 months they told me it wasn't right for me, but felt like I would do really well in a less-acute environment. They are trying to help me find another position within the system. For me this is like entering college again and trying to figure out what major is right for me. I never saw myself working in a Dr.'s office, but knowing how much I enjoy teaching (difficult to do with pts AO x1) and spending time with pts, plus stress level it may end up being right for me.