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What if/Is it possible?

Nurses   (1,652 Views 27 Comments)

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Let's just say, for the sake of argument, taking NCLEX is okay without a nursing degree. Would it still be possible for someone to just read all the nursing books and pass the exam? Or is it practically impossible without clinical experience? 

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Jory has 10 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNM.

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Probably. I honestly think many well-seasoned LPNs could do it.

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4 minutes ago, Jory said:

Probably. I honestly think many well-seasoned LPNs could do it.

You may be right. I know a few LPNs that “thinks” they can challenge NCLEX. 

What about well-seasoned CNAs with years of experience in a hospital. 

Edited by CollegeStudStudent

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

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Nope. It's not. Because you need to know what "normal" and "abnormal" are and you don't get that without the clinical component. We could argue about seasoned non-RN staff and how much they know, but NCLEX isn't all about the books.

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

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3 hours ago, CollegeStudStudent said:

You may be right. I know a few LPNs that “thinks” they can challenge NCLEX. 

What about well-seasoned CNAs with years of experience in a hospital. 

CNAs are allowed to challenge LVN NCLEX in California with a certain amount of experience. I know several (three) who have tried, but none who have succeeded. I'm sure they're out there, but I don't think it's super-common.

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience as a RN.

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I could pass the written part of my driver's license test without actually knowing how to drive.

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I think in theory they could do ok, but I also think that nursing school was half about teaching me how to answer NCLEX style questions. It's one thing to learn the info, it's something completely different to learn to apply it in an NCLEX-Y sort of way. 

My husband always jokes that he could have passed the NCLEX with how many practice questions I had him read me back in the day lol. 

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I don't believe so. Nursing is not just about the "facts". It is heavy on critical thinking and that isn't something that is easily learned just by reading textbooks.

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verene specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

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You could probably pass the exam with a strong background in A&P and pharmacology and spending a lot of time studying NCLEX test taking strategies, and taking practice questions. Like most standardized tests knowing how to think for the test is just as important as the actual content. (Though knowing content helps you quite a bit).

Actually being competent to practice though - nope, not at all. There is a reason nursing school includes clinical and isn't just book and classroom based. Hands on experience is necessary.

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OldDude specializes in Pediatrics.

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I guess it's possible but unlikely. Of course it's been a long time since I took mine but, what I recall, is there were always two answers that could be right for most of the questions; but one answer was more right than the other. Without some practical immersion it would be difficult to almost impossible to wade through it.

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Not sure you can actually take the NCLEX without some type of specific schooling, even with past experience in healthcare. Know you can test out of classes, but if I remember correctly, my school had to submit information before I could take it....

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CalicoKitty has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-surg.

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I think a lot of the NCLEX is good test-taking skills. I doubt someone could pass the NCLEX just reading "textbooks". I imagine with the use of NCLEX study guides, it would be possible. I also prefer learning via lectures or Powerpoints. But, really, I don't think my "clinical experience" was all that useful for tests. It helps with learning how to interact with patients, and if lucky, the start of "critical thinking".

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