I finished my test in 98 questions, and so many of the questions felt like they covered topics I could not remember from school.
A Nursing Legacy
I come from a family of nurses. My grandmother, mom, aunt, and brother are all nurses, so it’s for sure in my blood. I’ve always been drawn to the empathy and compassion that makes up nursing, and I can’t imagine ever being anything other than a nurse.
I’m an alum of the University of Iowa’s nursing program, and I had so many amazing people that I was able to meet and befriend in my time there.
Near the end of my last semester, we spent a lot of time together on things like weekend dinners, since we knew it would be hard to get all together once we’d all graduated. The rest of my time was spent preparing for the NCLEX.
Conquering the NCLEX
Studying for the NCLEX was the worst. I thought that my last semester of nursing school would be the easiest, but that definitely wasn’t the case. So I had to focus on my hardest semester on top of studying for the most important test of my life.
I’ve always had testing anxiety, so the NCLEX was a huge hurdle between me and my future. The studying itself was always the worst part for me. It took a lot to get down into my materials and just study, and my test date arrived before I knew it.
I had a job offer that was reliant entirely on if I passed the first time, so the pressure was on, and I was convinced I failed. I finished my test in 98 questions, and so many of the questions felt like they covered topics I could not remember from school. I called my mom as I left the testing facility, certain that I’d failed and lost a job in one fell swoop.
I didn’t fail.
I checked the Minnesota Board of Nursing’s website the next day, and it said I passed. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, and it took several days for the reality to sink in that I was a nurse, letters behind my name and all. But with that came all the responsibility of beginning a new job in a cardiovascular intensive care unit. Lives are in my hands every day I put on my badge.
Now I’ve left what I’ll call the “honeymoon phase” of my job. Don’t get me wrong, I still have the best job in the world, but it comes with its hard days, and sometimes you get a lot of hard days in a row. I still have so much to learn, but I have a great community of nurses at home and at work to help me through everything that comes my way.
A final word of advice: Your first year of nursing is your fifth year of nursing school. Give yourself grace. You’re not supposed to know everything right away. A lot of nursing is learning on the job. Be patient. I promise it gets easier.