Jump to content

10 years out of nsg school, you can still pass NCLEX!


Hi, all. I'm not much of a poster but more of a lurker. I learned a lot from this site that I vowed to myself that I'd give back when I passed my NCLEX. So here I am. :)

Yes, I have been out of nursing school for 10 years. And I was tired of being a caregiver that I finally decided to get licensed. I am an IEN from the Phil. who moved to Quebec, Canada. I had no more stamina to put up with Quebec's language laws so I applied for licensure in NY. Fast track so & so years, I received my ATT and scheduled my exam.

Trying to condition my brain to get back to learning was haaaard. I found my concentration was always wandering so I started slow. But first, I needed to get myself organized. I decided to stick with only a few materials so as not to get myself overwhelmed, so I chose UWorld & Kaplan.

Before starting, I searched on this site to get an idea on how to set up my own study calendar. Through searching, I found out that most of the people posting were fresh graduates. They were posting that they got 65% and higher for their diagnostics, QTrainers, and QBanks. Please don't get intimidated by these numbers, like I did! Instead, take it as a motivation and always endure to reach that peak.

So here's what I did:

  • Set up a study calendar and stick to it. Never falter. Stick to your calendar. Enlist all the help of your family members esp. if you need somebody to look after your kids.
  • Dedicate time for your review. It took me 1.5 months; 6 hours each day, 6 days a week for my review. Kaplan recommends 168 hours in order to complete the Phase 3 of their review, which is the most important part. Make sure to complete QTrainers 4, 5, 6, 7, Readiness Test and answer at least 90% of the QBank.
  • Don't be discouraged if you got 40% something on your diagnostic test. Strive harder. This test doesn't have a rationale, just determine where your strengths or weaknesses are.
  • Answer 150 questions daily. I say 150 because if I go anything higher than that, my concentration's caput! But if you can answer more, the better.
  • I answered 75 questions in the morning and the other half in the afternoon. This way, I can review each question and understand each rationale after each exam. I jot everything down in a notebook, that way, it gets etched in my memory... somehow. :) do the same with the other half. Make it a habit. Even if your familiar with the topic, look it up. You don't know the topic of the question? Look it up.
  • I resorted to UWorld because Kaplan is so short on words on some of their rationales. And UWorld does a good job on explaining rationales. Also, they have great visual aids and hot spot illustrations.
  • I never had the chance to finish all the videos. But if you have the time and need more content review, videos are a must. I bought the physical copy of the ebook and watched the video along with each topic and wrote notes on the book if needed.
  • I had an amazing instructor in my Kaplan Live Online Class: Ms. Karen Lilyquist. She did a good job explaining on how to use the Decision Tree. Utilize the tree! Don't read into the question!
  • The NCLEX study guide found in this website was also very useful. It didn't make sense the first time I was reading it but as I progressed with my review, I found out that it was a gold mine of information. I leafed through it on the night before my exam. They say to stay relaxed the day before the exam, that was impossible. I needed to do something. Study Guide: https://allnurses.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=8687&d=1310076980
  • Along with this site's study guide, I refreshed my memory with the cram sheet: Nursing Exam Cram Sheet for NCLEX-RN - Nurseslabs
  • Know your normal values!
  • I found that running for 40 minutes helped with my ability to concentrate. My mind doesn't wander like it used to. :)

I took my NCLEX in Honolulu, HI on Nov. 30, 2016. My exam was at 8AM but didn't get to start my exam til 8:30. Computer shut down at 75, 50 minutes later. Got a bunch of unending SATAs, ECG strips, drag and drop, prioritization and meds! No drug calculations, thank goodness! A little bit of delegation. Found out I passed 2 days later. As of this date: 11/30/2016, the PVT worked for me. I got the good pop-up a few hours after my exam.

I am posting this with hopes that people who are looking to come back to nursing, can always do so. It just takes a little bit of sacrifice and dedication. :)

To future NCLEX takers, good luck! Also, thanks to AllNurses.com for the insights and motivations!


Has anyone here heard of Marlon Ray Labagnoy's Review Center in Baguio City, Philippines? Is Sir Marlon still around? Thanks. :)

Edited by nicole0214

75 questions in only 50 minutes you must have killed that exam! congrats to you!

I did! I totally killed it! :) Answering questions daily really helped a lot. :)