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Should I quit my job to study for NCLEX?

Nurse Beth   (199 Views | 1 Replies)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Writer Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

18 Followers; 103 Articles; 234,757 Profile Views; 2,059 Posts

Dear Nurse Beth,

I graduated nursing school in 2019 and am scheduled to take the NCLEX this March. While I was waiting for my ATT, I applied for a job as a patient care technician at a hospital, where I've been working since December. I am currently working full time nights and am coming to find that it's a struggle trying to balance the job with studying for the NCLEX.

Although I consider myself a decent test taker, I'm not feeling as confident because of the high stakes and the fact that the job is quite draining. I tried negotiating with my manager to see if I could go part time/PRN for the meantime so I could focus on studying but they're so understaffed that my request was denied.

My number one priority is to become a registered nurse, so I am willing to sacrifice pay in order to secure the license. However, I am concerned that leaving the job entirely will look bad on my resume given my short time on the unit. Do you think it's reasonable to resign for the sake of the NCLEX? Or would it be better career wise to tough it out and risk failing?

Dear Concerned,

Congratulations on graduating!

I personally believe that long waits to take the NCLEX are not beneficial. You passed all of your nursing classes and you know the information. You are framing this as an either/or: "Either I work as a patient care technician (PCT) or I pass boards."  Cramming may relieve your anxiety but studying and studying some more does not necessarily increase your chances of passing the NCLEX.

Having said that, if working full-time nights as a PCT is increasing your anxiety, and you don't need to work, then resign. Resigning as a PCT for the sake of studying for your boards is easily explained and won't be held against you.

The only exception is if you plan to apply as an RN to the facility where you are working as a PCT. If you resign, then you lose current employee status. Many facilities give preference to current employees. 

Best wishes on your choice, and good luck on your NCLEX!

Nurse Beth

Author, Your Last Nursing Class-how to land your first job...and your next! 

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beachbabe86 specializes in Oceanfront Living.

62 Posts; 250 Profile Views

Absolutely not.  Most of my success  from taking my boards, is what I learned by working.  Please don't worry, you still have time to study.

Honestly you shouldn't have to study. You should have been taught what you need to know.

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