So...I typically do not right in forums or am the "type" that likes to share my story, however, I am the type that seeks encouragement from others who do share their story and so in this particular case I feel it appropriate to give back. This is for the people who feel like s**t because they just failed the NCLEX.....
I was in your shoes 45 days ago, for 45 days, for 45 nights, etc....basically until I learned today, OFFICIALLY, that I passed on my second attempt. I have so much I want and feel that I need to say, but first, to just gain some credibility for what I will say in the rest of this post, I will tell you how I did on both exams. I BOMBED the first time, failing at 75 questions, and I passed the second time with 76 questions. So when I tell you in these next few paragraphs, in many different ways, that if you failed the NCLEX the first time it does not mean you are dumb, not meant to be a nurse, are a failure, weren't prepared, didn't try hard enough, or whatever it is you are telling yourself. And it is definitely not the end of the world.
What it does mean is SOMETHING...and that something is what you need to figure out before you retest. I'm a believer in Christ and so when I failed I was encouraged by many posts on here from other believers whose posts encouraged me to pray and tell God how much I wanted to pass and that in his timing I would. I'm also someone who loves quotes. One quote I ran across was "Real life is about failing and I'm the best failure you've ever seen". This quote helped me to put my experience into perspective, laugh it off to an extent, and gain control over the situation in order to prepare to take the exam again.
I took two days off from hearing my results. I prayed, sought encouragement through the web, and gave much thought to why I failed the first time and what that meant. In my opinion it meant that God was telling me to slow my a** down. In one year I had a baby, supported my husband through a job change, finished my BSN degree, started a nursing job, completed the Hurst review program, and failed the NCLEX. Whoa...., God was like, slow down!!!
So I did slow down. I was out of a job because I didn't pass my license, so I was able to jump right back into studying. I contacted Hurst and did their remediation program, I purchased the La Charity book everyone on here talks so highly about and I went to the Library everyday for 3 hours to study and I came home and studied for 1-2 hours after my baby went to sleep. I missed some days due to trips, events, and sickness, but for the most part I studied all 45 days. I kept track and I did approximately 2000 questions before I took the test.
To summarize this. When you fail, do not feel like it's the end of the world and do not feel dumb. There's a reason you failed and if you embrace that and seek out that reason, fix it, and apply yourself, you can and will pass the next time. Give it to God and he will reveal what he wants you to change before you move on with the next part of your life, which is becoming a nurse.
The other bit of encouragement I want to give is the encouragement to study, because oh my gosh aren't we all tired of studying??? Here's some proof of this importance....I have a friend who has taken the NCLEX 4 times without being able to pass....she doesn't study in between taking the exams. I passed my second time around. The thing about studying is that all you are doing is increasing your knowledge. You are learning so much and that is all going to be applicapable for the rest of your career. So while everyone else who passed their NCLEX is getting hands on experience, at least you are able to study and learn "why" they are doing "what" they are doing. Reviews are great and I REALLY liked and would recommend Hurst. However, you have to do questions, despite what Hurst says, you cannot just learn content. At least I couldn't. What I love about Hurst is that it recapped Nursing school, explained concepts in ways I could never understand in school, and ultimately gave me confidence to be a nurse...all for 300 dollars. Pretty cheap for confidence. Heres an example, in school ABG's were so hard for me, my professors used to have us memorizing arrows and stuff to figure them out, it was like impossible. I was at the point where I was like whatever; I'll just let the Respiratory Therapist figure those out. Well now, I'm so good at ABG's. They're easy, and so fun, and so freaking easy!!! So do Hurst, but...also do questions and not just their questions.
I loved loved loved the La charity book, plus on my exam a lot of the questions looked familiar, as if maybe they were worded differently in the La charity bookbut actually the same??? I don't know??. So definitely do questions and so you are getting exposure. READ rationales...what a waste if you don't.
Ok last thing and I'm done, surely by now you feel encouraged. : ) This last part is only going to make sense to people who are similar to me. When I take an exam I'm the type that has to write notes, talk out loud (if I could), and basically just write. The first time I took the exam I didn't write on the exam board....I was too scared I was going to get in trouble or something!!! OMG so stupid. The next time I filled up two white boards with notes to help me process through questions. I didn't "brain dump" to clarify, but when a question came up I would kind of write my thoughts out to process through it. I also wrote out A B C D for each question and physically eliminated answers before I even touched the mouse. Keep your hand off the mouth if you tend to get click happy....
The NCLEX is hard, it's tricky, and it's probably a bit unnecessary, and it probably could be more applicable, but either way it's there and we have to deal with it. So whatever time this is for you to retake it....DO it, conquer it, and don't let it overtake you. Seek God, simplify your life, and be dedicated. You failed for a reason but that reason has nothing to do with your intelligence or capabilities; it honestly could be something as trivial as being "click happy" with your mouse. So give yourself a break, be appreciative of what you do have (especially with everything going on in the world : S, keep seeking your dreams, and realize that there are so many people, U.S. born and internationally that would love to be a nurse and YOU may not have passed the NCLEX yet but at least you are in a position where you are eligible to take it. It's your last step to becoming a nurse....don't give up.