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Kaplan NCLEX Prep

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Our pass guarantee is designed to help you pass the NCLEX® exam and begin your life as a nurse as quickly as possible.

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Kaplan Test Prep knows that can’t-sleep, stomach churning feeling that sets in before a big test. Our job is not just teaching you the material, but also giving you confidence in yourself. With prep, there’s a teacher by your side who’s done this many times before and won’t quit till you’re ready. And on the morning of Test Day, nothing feels as good as knowing you know your stuff.

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  1. Kaplan NCLEX Prep

    Tips to Kick Off Your NCLEX Prep

    It means no more sleepless nights spent studying for finals or reading textbook after textbook. The only problem is there's just one more obstacle that stands in your way from getting that license - the NCLEX examination. Beginning your NCLEX prep If you've already started planning for the NCLEX exam, you're one step ahead of many other nursing students! As you begin to think about preparing for test day, there are likely many questions on your mind: When should I begin studying? How many practice questions will I need to study each day to feel ready on test day? How can I possibly remember everything from nursing school? Should I open all my old textbooks and study every topic? Rest assured, we're here to help. Build your confidence One of the most crucial aspects of preparing for the exam is building your confidence. You've made it this far, so you should feel ready for the challenge. While the NCLEX is difficult, the right prep can make test day feel much simpler! So how should you prepare for the exam? Here are of our tips to get ready for the last obstacle on your path to licensure. Prioritize NCLEX prep You've probably realized it already: studying for the NCLEX requires a lot of time and focus. In the final weeks and months leading up to test day, your schedule should revolve around NCLEX prep. Do you need to spend every hour of the day reviewing? Of course not. However, we recommend carving out time each day in your calendar to review for the exam, complete practice questions, and take practice tests. NCLEX Prep needs to be at the core of your schedule between graduation and test day, although we recommend taking one day to rest each week as well. Stick to the resources that work for you There are so many NCLEX resources available to nursing students these days. Many students make the mistake of picking bits of pieces of everything rather than sticking to the resources that work best. As you begin to explore your options, consider how you learn best. Do you prefer some extra guidance? A class might be your best bet (if there are no classes in your area, remember that many NCLEX classes are offered online). If you're schedule is tight but you still would prefer the extra guidance, consider an online self-paced program. If you prefer to study on your own and just need some extra practice, consider purchasing a Qbank with reliable NCLEX-style questions and rationales. You can also purchase Computer Adaptive Tests to build test-day familiarity and confidence, as well as online study resources and books. No matter which resources you choose, aim to complete between 50 and 75 questions each day and take the time to review the questions you answered incorrectly. A mistake made today is one you won't make on test day (as long as you learn from it). Find an effective work space Your work area is just as important as the resources you choose to use. Scout a location that is conducive to focused studying. You should pick a place where you feel comfortable and focused. Ideas include your local library, an office or private work room, or even a quiet corner of your home or dorm room. Your priority should be an area that makes it easy to focus. While it's important to be comfortable, we recommend avoiding your couch or bed, as these places tend to make us feel more relaxed than focused. Instead, find a desk or table with a comfortable chair, as this kind of environment will be similar to the one you'll find on test day. Practice the drive to your test center On test day, you want to be sure you know where you're going and that you have enough time to get there. The best way to prepare for this commute is to practice driving to your test center, especially if you're unfamiliar with the location. A day or two before the exam, set aside some time to head to the test center. This will help reduce the potential of arriving late or getting lost.
  2. Kaplan NCLEX Prep

    Medical Surgical Questions on the NCLEX®

    Medical Surgical nursing (commonly referred to as "med/surg"), is typically the foundation of a nurse's career, the place where many begin to lay the initial groundwork. Med/surg nursing often involves a heavy client load and long, arduous hours, which is why it often gets a bad rap. With the right study tactics and skills, students can efficiently learn medical-surgical content, but that's not where the challenge ends. Students must also be able to answer med-surg questions on exams, which is another skill in its own. Here are a few tips to better help nursing students approach and conquer these questions on test day: Secret to medical-surgical questions In order to begin with a strong foundation when answering medical-surgical questions, nursing students should understand the pathophysiology of the disease. In particular, students should study the signs and symptoms, complications, nursing interventions, tests ordered and treatments for the disease or condition being tested. Of course, med/surg questions involve more than just understanding pathophysiology. Once you have learned all the content you need for your nursing course, you're ready to apply your new knowledge and skills to exam questions. While some questions will ask you to recall your knowledge, many will ask you to think critically and apply these questions to client scenarios. To answer these questions successfully, you can take a few different approaches: What You Need to Know STEP 1 Understand normal and abnormal anatomy for the disease or condition being addressed For example, think to yourself, "What does the client with pneumonia look like?" In many cases, knowing "normal" anatomy will help you to distinguish what abnormal looks like. STEP 2 Study the anatomy and physiology of the disease Those of you who have taken Anatomy and Physiology I and II in nursing school should remember what "normal" looks like for the disease in question. Understanding this information will help you to apply what you know and eliminate answer choices in the questions. STEP 3 Know the signs, symptoms and nursing interventions for the condition expressed in the question The foundation for this strategy is to recall the nursing interventions for a particular disease, but understanding concepts like "what should the nurse do first" or "what is the best nursing action" are critical thinking skills you will need to apply for tougher priority questions. STEP 4 Understand why the client is experiencing signs and symptoms A great place to start is your anatomy and physiology notes. Understanding the "why" behind the "what" will help you to identify the big picture when addressing NCLEX or nursing exam questions. STEP 5 When analyzing select all that apply (multiple response) questions, treat each answer choice as a true/false Especially on the NCLEX, there are times when each answer choice might feel correct. To help you navigate these questions, ask yourself "is this true or false" for each answer choice and choose only those that apply. STEP 6 Remember the "ABC's" (Airway, Breath and Circulation) for each question For priority questions ("what should the nurse do first), you should always pick an answer choice dealing with the patient's airway (for example, respiration or administering oxygen). If no airway answer choices are present, look next to breathing, then to circulation. STEP 7 Focus on the stem of the question and avoid the distractors With med/surge math questions, instructors (and the NCLEX) may sometimes add extra information that you don't need to answer the problem. Understanding what the question is asking (the stem) will help you better identify what in the answer choice is relevant, which will help you get to the correct answer much quicker. Practice makes perfect Don't let all this information overwhelm you! Now that you have this new knowledge, we recommend you start practicing! Practice questions can help you to strengthen your critical thinking and application skills, which will help you perform better on your exams, including the NCLEX. We especially recommend working through application questions that include rationales so that you can investigate why you answered a question correctly or incorrectly. The more medical-surgical questions you tackle, the more prepared and comfortable you will be for questions on your exams. Always remember to stay calm, read the question carefully, and think about what the stem of the problem. You've got this!
  3. Kaplan NCLEX Prep

    Tips for managing your NCLEX® study time

    We often take for granted how challenging it can be to study for a standardized exam like the NCLEX®. It can be difficult to create a study plan that both fits into your busy schedule and satisfies your remediation needs. Your study schedule might include in-person or online classes, practice questions, practice exams, and time to review topics from nursing school, not to mention the other responsibilities you might have. Sometimes, there are other barriers in your way to creating an effective study schedule. Nevertheless, the NCLEX is an exam that demands some serious study time. Whether you have a job start date coming up, a planned vacation or something else important in your life, studying for the NCLEX needs to become your top priority if you are hoping to pass the exam and begin your career as a licensed nurse. In fact, when I was studying to take the NCLEX, I encountered a situation that made it difficult for me to focus on the boards. After my college graduation, I began the arduous task of studying and preparing for my NCLEX exam. I attended an in-person three-day course and made a plan for studying based on a six-week timeframe. Then, without warning, my study plan suddenly came to a screeching halt. A friend of mine unexpectedly passed away, and the grief was so overwhelming that I found it very difficult to focus. Studying seems insignificant in comparison to supporting and spending time with family and friends. When I was able to get back on a routine study schedule, I realized that I now only had a short time left to finish studying. My time available had shrunk significantly. As a result, I had to change my study plan to fit the few days I had left before test day and focus on the content that I knew were my weakest areas. Thankfully, I successfully passed my NCLEX, but the experience taught me a few lessons about how to successfully plan my study time. Balance your strengths and weaknesses while studying Focus on the content areas identified as your weaknesses but sprinkle in some time with your strengths to refresh previous knowledge and build confidence. This will allow you to focus on the areas that need the most help while activating previous knowledge. Treat yourself with small rewards Plan breaks every other hour and treat yourself to small rewards. For example, you might take a short walk outside or indulge in a favorite drink. Giving yourself a new point of view can not only be revitalizing but it also can be the encouragement that you need to stay focused on the task at hand. Sleep well and eat nutritious foods It goes without saying that sleep and nutrition play a vital role in your health and your performance on exams. During your studies, I recommend sleeping at least eight hours each night. I also suggest eating a healthy snack once every four hours. These actions will ensure that your brain can rest, recover and get the nutrients it needs in order to retain information and process complex ideas. Surround yourself with positive people Positivity and confidence can make all the difference as you get ready for test day. Especially in your final few weeks of studying, spend your free time with positive people who support your NCLEX goal. Spending time with people who are encouraging and who understand your goals will inspire you to keep going and reinforce the importance of the NCLEX. No matter where you are in your NCLEX journey, remember that an effective study schedule and time management can make it much easier to pass the exam. These tips should help to pave the way to stronger NCLEX results. Good luck!
  4. Kaplan NCLEX Prep

    Busting Myths About the NCLEX-RN

    Let's bust some of the most popular myths surrounding the NCLEX-RN so you can get to the business of studying for-and passing-this exam. Myth: Over 75 questions on the NCLEX-RN? You're failing Reality check The NCLEX-RN follows the principles of its format as a computer adaptive test or CAT. This means the testing format is interactively based on how you respond to the questions. Everyone answers a minimum of 75 questions to a maximum of 265 questions, and the exam can last up to six hours. It's not the length of your exam that matters most. Every question has been analyzed and vetted for difficulty, and it's how you respond to each question that affects when the exam shuts off. As you answer more questions, you'll get some right and some wrong. Based on that, the test determines your competency level-which is the whole point, right? Myth: Some testers get a set number of questions Reality check No one taking the test is ever randomly selected to take a designated number of exam questions. The exam ends when it can be determined with 95 percent confidence that a candidate's performance is either above or below the passing standard. That happens no matter the number of items answered or the amount of testing time that's passed. Myth: "Select all that apply" means passing-level competency Reality check If only it were that simple! Unfortunately, "select all that apply" (SATA) questions can be written above passing-level competency and below minimum-level competency. Granted, SATA questions can be difficult, but that doesn't mean you're answering passing-level questions. The best way to think of these questions is that you want to practice them as much as possible, just as you want to do with every aspect of your NCLEX-RN prep. Myth: Getting similar questions means you're answering wrong Reality check You may get a question that seems very similar to the one you've already answered. Don't assume that it's because you keep striking out on your answers. The NCLEX-RN doesn't work that way. It won't change or rephrase questions that you've answered incorrectly. All of the exam questions are randomly chosen from a pool of thousands of approved questions, which means that any similarities when it comes to topic or disease are just a coincidence. The bottom line: Focus on the answer you think is right for each individual item you're presented with-even if it feels like deja vu. Myth: Most people fail the NCLEX-RN the first time Reality check In 2015, 157,882 people took the exam. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) statistics show that, out of that number, 84.53 percent passed on their first go-round. Let that boost your confidence. With a little prep, strategy, and determination, the odds are ever in your favor. Myth: You have to remember everything to pass Reality check You don't have to remember every detail you learned in nursing school, even when it comes to things like medications, disease process, and nursing diagnosis. The NCLEX-RN is organized according to the framework "Meeting Client Needs" and has four major categories and eight subcategories: Safe and Effective Care Environment Health Promotion and Maintenance Psychosocial Integrity Physiological Integrity The main point to keep in mind is that the NCLEX-RN tests how you use critical thinking skills to make nursing judgments. With the right tools and a strategic approach, you can break down each question and systematically reach the answer. The exam has one mission: to determine if it's safe for you to begin practice as an entry-level nurse. It's the most important test you'll have as a nursing graduate. By avoiding the myths and keeping your focus on the realities of great preparation, you'll succeed.
  5. With over 100 types of nursing careers to choose from, the sky's pretty much the limit-and yes, that includes being a flight nurse. One of the great things about nursing is that it can pave the way to so many career paths and possibilities. Maybe you already know what you'd like to do and have it all mapped out, and that's wonderful. But what if you want to explore your options before you graduate? What other meaningful careers exist in nursing along with the hospital or surgical unit, obstetrics practice, or public school? Glad you asked! Here are just a few of the fascinating options available to you. Keep in mind, not every job is easy to find, and they don't necessarily mean you'll make more money. Still, they're viable choices that may let you use your degree in different ways that better suit your personality. Addictions Nurse This challenging but deeply rewarding role could be for you if you're committed to preventing and treating addictions such as alcohol dependency, eating disorders, and gambling. Camp Nurse There's never a dull moment in the world of the camp nurse, from treating injured staffers to handling anaphylaxis, all in a most unusual-and usually seasonal-setting. Corporate Consultant Your days involve helping corporations bring about positive change in the health care industry. You may find yourself working with a hospital's leadership team one day and doing product training with health care providers the next day. One of your main roles is to make sure you're connecting the corporate business strategy with effective delivery of patient care. Domestic Violence Nurse In this relatively new and fast-growing discipline, you'll care for children, women, the elderly, and other patients who are dealing with the physical, emotional, and mental wounds of domestic violence. Along with examining and supporting the victims, you'll also document patient injuries so you can provide detailed records when they're required for the judicial system. Information Technology Nurse As a nurse who chooses to work in information technology (IT), you could be a systems trainer, consultant, or informatics nurse specialist. You'll work with medical records software and medical imaging systems. Insurance Company Nurse Insurance companies need nurses to manage certain cases and perform medical coding, clinical research, and insurance audits. You may also get involved in developing treatment plans and evaluating illnesses. Medical Sales Representative If you're looking for a more flexible schedule and higher earning potential than many traditional nursing jobs, sales could be the route for you. You can help put the right product in the hands of the right customer and build lasting relationships with other medical professionals. Nurse Entrepreneur If you're resourceful, want to combine nursing with business, and enjoy exploring your creativity, this is an exciting career path to consider. Nurse Writer You'll help develop textbooks, create articles, or edit and proofread technical material. You could also consult on television shows and movies, craft books, and produce blogs. Parish Nurse When you want a spiritual dimension to be central to your career, consider becoming a parish nurse. You'll focus on promoting health while sharing the values, beliefs, and practices of a faith community. Research Analyst Leverage your nursing degree to evaluate data, gather information, and research technology. You may be called on to help hospitals determine the best way to acquire technology or services, or you may choose to teach in clinical or academic settings. If you enjoy the idea of partnering with scientists from other fields, you could join with them to address complex questions within disciplines such as pharmacy, nutrition, and engineering. With so many choices available, you're sure to find a career path that makes the most of your passions, aptitudes, and the time and energy you spent earning your nursing degree.
  6. Kaplan NCLEX Prep

    5 Benefits to Building a Nursing Student Community

    An unknown sage once said, "We'd all be worse without a nurse." No denying that! But here's a slight twist on the statement, with its own ring of truth: We'd all be worse nurses without a nursing community. Building a nursing community-in the sense of enjoying fellowship with a group of other nursing students because of shared attitudes, interests, and goals-has a number of benefits. Let's explore a few of the rewarding reasons it's good to build a community with your fellow nursing students. You Learn From One Another In most hospitals and health care organizations, nurses make up the largest number of employees. That represents a lot of diversity-and a lot of opportunities to learn from one another, especially in nursing school. Whether the differences are multicultural or multigenerational, there's much to discover about one another and how different experiences can improve your work and personal life. Another learning opportunity comes from getting to know nurses from your chosen area of interest or specialty to talk about what's new, what's working, and what's not working. Talking with other nurses who can introduce you to other relevant experiences is a great way to expand your horizons. It can even get you thinking about next steps on your career path. You Learn Leadership Skills Joining a student nurse society or other organization at your school is a great way for you to build your leadership skills in a safe environment. And signing up for leadership positions, such as president or secretary, can prepare you for greater leadership roles in your nursing career. You Build A Job Search Network You have a great chance to network when you're part of a nursing student community. Networking is a proven and highly effective way to find a job-at any point in your career. Many positions are never posted or advertised but are only available by word of mouth. You Make Friends Where would we be without a little help from our friends? Just having someone to talk to and laughing with others creates a sense of camaraderie and can also transport you out of the inevitable stresses of nursing school. It brings real meaning to the old cliche that laughter is good medicine. You Encourage One Another No doubt about it: Nursing can sometimes be tough on mind, body, and soul. Being part of a nursing community allows you to encourage those who are struggling with the challenges. In turn, you'll have the strong support of others who know what you're dealing with on a daily basis. You can lift each other's spirits with the deep understanding that comes from being in the trenches together. Build A Community Of Fellow Nursing Students Are you thinking a nursing community sounds like a great idea? Now you just need to find-or create-one! How To Start Your Own Nursing Community Start Small. Reach out to a couple of people you know and suggest a time and place to get together. Be Consistent. Set up another time to meet again. To keep the momentum going, try to make the next meeting relatively close to the first time you met. Use Social Media. If you haven't already, start an account on a social networking site like Twitter or Facebook. Or set up a Meetup account to tell other students about the club and invite them to it. Expand Reach. If you get the green light from your school, go the low-tech route and put up fliers around campus. A community of student nurses allows you to experience a beautiful give-and-take that will benefit you and your nursing career.

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