This is my NCLEX experience. Hope this will help calm some nerves. I passed NCLEX on my first try in 84 questions--let me tell you I was super pissed when the computer did not shut off at 75!! At that point I didn't even care if I passed or failed I just wanted it to stop!! By number 80 I was able to compose myself and started mentally preparing for all 265 --I think its 265? Thankfully that was not the case and after a few more questions the computer shut off. I can say "thankfully" now that I am in a better state of mind but at the time my first thought was NOOOOO!! How could it shut off at 84, I had not even had the opportunity to "prove myself." I walked out 50 minutes after starting my test 84 questions later thinking -I just failed miserably!! I was thinking the test seemed way to "easy" and if I was getting "easy" questions it must be because I was submitting incorrect answers and basically the computer was below the level of passing.
I found out 48 hours after taking the test through quick results that I "unofficially" PASSED! A week later my license number was posted to the states website. About a two and a half weeks after finding out I passed I received my official paperwork in the mail.
Heres some things I learned...
-if you can pass nursing school you CAN pass NCLEX
-you cant possibly learn everything there is to know in every field of nursing*don't even try!!
-NCLEX was not dumbing down my questions I did in fact learn the information I needed to know in nursing school!! ( who would have thought!?)
-RELAX the thing is unlike nursing school where if you fail you fail even if you don't pass NCLEX on your first try you CAN test again. It may not be ideal but it is not the end of the world! You live and you learn and if at first you don't succeed try, try and try again.
-99.9% of people leave their test feeling like they failed!! Guess what_ they didn't!
- Don't second guess yourself, go with your gut.
Heres my advice.....
1.) Wait the 48 hours and if possible buy your "unofficial results." DONT do the Pearson Vue trick!! Its over and your done! Take a deep breath and accept that you did your best-- don't stress yourself out more over something that is out of your control.
2.) DONT over study. Yes you can over study. I would suggest purchasing only the Qbank from Kaplan. The practice questions with rationales can definitely be beneficial. I purchased the whole online Kaplan course which as a whole I didn't feel was very helpful. I have spent years in nursing school and have learned to answer NCLEX type questions so I didn't find the "decision tree" helpful for myself. Each lesson was also incredibly long--we are talking hOuRs!! It just was not realistic to go through all the online material..it would have been a full time job in itself.
The thing is if you were a decent nursing student from a reputable program (I know its hard, but again deep breath) put some faith in the fact that you already know what it takes to be a "competent nurse."
3.) Make sure you know your basics. NCLEX is not trying to trip you up--your not going to be asked questions that would scare even a seasoned nurse. Make sure you basics like .......
a. Lab values- I can still hear my professors say "if you don't know whats normal how are you going to know whats not?"
b. Delegation- This one can be tricky especially if you already work in the medical field because whats correct in NCLEX world may not hold true to the real world experiences. Remember always go by the book answer!
c. Prioritizing- Know who to see first. Keep in mind acute illness/injury vs chronic and know whose stable.
d. Precautions- Safety is always a priority not only for the patient but the nurse as well.
e. Know your calculations ** no one wants to be the patient of a nurse lacking basic math skills
f. Then you have everything else you have been studying for years as part of your nursing curriculum. Again don't kill yourself trying to memorize every little detail. NCLEX is not about memorizing!!! Again its NOT about memorizing!!! It will not benefit you to recite back facts you need to be able to apply your knowledge to real life situations. Have faith in what you have already learned in school, stick with practice questions, read rationals and most importantly DEEP BREATH--you CAN do it!!