Attending a nursing school with a high NCLEX-RN pass rate is essential. Research local programs and learn about their success rates. Nursing school should successfully prepare you for your NCLEX-RN exam. I was fortunate to attend a very well recognized nursing program with an excellent reputation and success rate.
After completing my nursing program, it was strongly recommended that we all attend a review course to prepare for our upcoming exam. The course was very thorough, but it was a lot of information packed into a short period of time. While I learned some key points from the course, I know myself and I tend to learn better reviewing smaller sections of material at a time by reading and completing review questions. The course did provide me with study materials and practice questions which were helpful and I was able to review them again at my own pace.
I created a very concrete plan for myself. I dedicated certain blocks of time each day for studying and practice questions. It was important for me to stay on schedule since I was working and had to balance my time. For me, being busy was essential because it forced me to stay on schedule and not procrastinate. My goal was to take the NCLEX-RN as soon as possible, one because I already had a job offer and two because I did not want to focus on other students’ experiences, especially if they were not positive.
Once I actually scheduled my NCLEX-RN exam, I mapped out the route and took a test drive. I wanted to see exactly how long it would take me, where the test center was and if there was sufficient parking available. For me, this greatly decreased my stress level especially because this was before everyone had GPS programs on their cell phones and you had to depend on written directions or maps. I still recommend a trial run around the same time of your test so that you can estimate the amount of time required and identify any potential issues.
On exam day, I arrived early and stopped to get a doughnut as a snack. I parked and while waiting for the test center to open reviewed a few of my notes one final time. Finally, I just decided to listen to the radio for a few minutes and relax knowing that I had prepared as much as possible. I felt confident when I entered, yet still a little nervous. I began my exam and quickly progressed through 75 questions at which point my computer shut off. I initially panicked and was convinced that I has done do poorly that I failed because I felt as though I never got to the harder questions. The next several weeks were tough because I began to doubt whether I had passed, everything seemed to be in slow motion.
I was working when my result arrived at my house, and well, my nosy mother and sister opened them. They called to let let me know I had passed the NCLEX-RN exam and congratulated me. At first, I was mad that they had opened the envelope and asked them what they would have done if I failed, but they responded they had confidence in me and I quickly forgave them for not waiting for me. I sighed a deep breath of relief and then shared the news with my colleagues. It was now time to celebrate and start my new nursing job.