I just wanted to share about my NCLEX experience.
I graduated June 21 and took my NCLEX shortly after. I put a lot of time and effort into studying, but still struggled with recognizing many of the medication names/classes along with their actions/side effects and with several other big areas. I could have postponed, but I just wanted to get it over with.
I knew failing wasn’t the end of the world, but I prayed for God to help me pass the first time. I told Him that he had a plan for me, that He brought me through nursing school and to this point, that He could lead me through this also. I asked Him to direct me to the correct answers, and if I didn’t know an answer, that I would just go with my gut, assuming it would be His leading.
Kaplan and Uworld NCLEX Prep
I prepared using Kaplan’s program, and then the last 5 days, I only used Uworld. I did all of Kaplan’s required tests and 90% of the qbanks to make sure I could get my money back if I failed. Of the 2, I found Uworld’s questions to be the most like the actual Nclex questions. If I had it to do again, knowing what I do now, I would save my money and do just Uworld.
Practicing with NCLEX questions was vital for me.
Uworld’s rationales are amazing!! I read them all, even if I got the answer correct, because it also explained well why the other choices were not correct. Kaplan’s decision tree was very helpful initially, but I don’t think it significantly played into my actual test. I was averaging 60% on Kaplan’s qbank questions but was barely getting 50% correct on Uworld.
Between the 2, I did well over 3,000 questions during the month preceding my test. I never cracked a single textbook after classes. I did purchase a month subscription to Simple Nursing and watched Mike’s videos specific to content areas I felt the most weak, which I believe did help me get a better handle on them (thanks, Mike!).
The Day of the Test
I tested on Thursday. During the test, I kept waiting for hard questions. I was not getting many questions that I felt I did not know. For those few that I was unsure of, I read the question several times, eliminated at least 2 answers that I knew were not correct then went with what my gut (or heart?) was telling me, as I told God I would do.
I got a LOT of SATA (I did not keep track, but if I had to guess, I would say at least 30)! I remembered that people had said that getting a lot of SATA means you are well above the line, but they were all questions that I was familiar with from all the practice questions I had done, so they didn’t seem hard to me. I also got a lot of prioritization and contact precaution questions. I got very few medication questions and NO dosage calc. Because I was getting no dosage calc, I felt for SURE I was doing poorly.
As I watched my count approach 75, I wasn’t getting what I considered “hard” questions. I started praying for it to not stop at 75! I was like “I can do better! Just let me keeping trying!” So on question 75, one I again recognized the material from all the practice I had done, I hesitated before hitting next. I was thinking “Don’t shut off! If you shut off, I know for sure I failed!”
-click- Blue screen… and an immediate let-down feeling! “Noooooo!!!! That was horrible!! And I did so horrible that they don’t even want to give me more chances!!!”
I left feeling so dejected. All that time wasted and now I have to do it all over again, but with even more intensity. I did not want to bother doing the Pearson Vue trick, but I had a long drive home, and I knew it would bother me the whole way, the not knowing… so I did it…. and got the “good pop-up”!
“What the heck?!?!” I was in total disbelief. “This can’t be right! Is this real life?” Well, it ended up being right because my nursing license went active the next day! I am finally a Registered Nurse!!!!!
Practice Paid Off
I guess all that time and practice really paid off. And of course, God! I asked Him to help me, and He came through for me. I did my part and relied on Him to do His. I just want to encourage others to study hard. Do a minimum of 150 questions a day (more is better if you can) and review ALL the rationales. It will help you when you see the information on the test.
Thanks for reading if you made it this far!
About the Author
Charity Gregson, RN was a stay-at-home mother of 12 when she decided to pursue her dream of nursing at 41 years of age. After completing her BSN, she hopes to work as a labor and delivery nurse for 3-5 years then become a Certified Nurse-Midwife. Find out more about Charity on birthjunkie.com