Preparing for the NCLEX Exams: 6 Proven Tips for Passing
Preparing for the NCLEX exams is one of the most important things that any nursing student should prepare for. But the question in many nursing students’ minds is, how do you prepare for the NCLEX? If you are asking the same question, let these tips help you prepare for this upcoming exam.
Passing the NCLEX exams is like hitting gold. It is your ticket to a better and brighter future. Before you take the exam, here are some excellent tips that you can apply to your study plan.
1. Understand the NCLEX Format.
When you understand how the NCLEX format works, the easier it will be to pass it. NCLEX uses the CAT format or computerized adaptive testing format. It means that not a single exam is identical. The algorithm produces a new set of questions based on your performance on the previous test questions. Keep in mind that the test bank is comprehensive and contains all kinds of question styles and topics of content.
The exams will produce around 60 questions minimum plus 15 pre-questions with 145 maximum questions. The candidate can pass the test when the tester has answered enough questions with correct answers at about the 95% confidence interval. The candidate will fail if they cannot maintain or rise above the 95% confidence.
It means, that to pass the NCLEX, you must get above the passing line that shows competency with marginal doubt. When the computer has determined your performance, the test can end at any point. You are given a maximum time allowance of 6 hours to do this. So, all you have to do is pass the 60-145 questions.
2. Avoid self-criticism.
The questions tend to get harder as you move forward. Don’t get frustrated when you get a few wrongs in a row and don’t automatically assume you’ve failed. The best thing you can do is to stay focused on the questions you have. Remember, the NCLEX exam determines your knowledge and tests your endurance. It is best to keep answering instead of talking yourself down each time you get a wrong answer.
3. Manage your stress.
It is expected to get worked up before the examination, but it is recommended that you find a way to manage your stress. Some test-takers get anxious before taking the NCLEX, and if you are one of them, don’t worry there are plenty of ways to deal with test stress.
One of the first things you should do is take as much time as you can to prepare for the NCLEX but don’t make studying your entire life. There is always time for everything and balancing your studies with hobbies is a must.
Be sure to include time for exercising, eating well, and going out. Keeping a balanced life during studying and doing the things you love helps ease your mind from any anxiety that you might feel before the exam. Some nurses say there is a rule to not study the day before the exam, only a quick skim through some notes
On the day of the exam, do not study. Do not attempt to take a glance at your notes or review anything. It will only make you more anxious. Instead, you need to relax, do a short meditation, and eat your breakfast before going to the exam center. In short, do something that will keep you grounded and calm.
The best thing you can do is to study appropriately beforehand. When you know that you have covered everything during your study days and are confident that you will pass, taking the NCLEX exam isn’t that scary.
4. Make a study plan.
Making a study plan means you need to create time for studying. Create a schedule for the week and set aside the hours you need for studying. Be sure to include a goal each time you are studying too. It could be as simple as answering 4 25 question practice exams or reading a few chapters on the topic you are tackling at the moment.
Keep in mind that when you do not have any goals when studying, you are wasting time. The NCLEX is not about how long you have studied or how many hours you have put in. It is about how much you understand the context of each nursing topic. Make use of your time wisely.
A. Not all past clinical experiences can help.
I have bad news for those who worked as a nurse aid, tech, or even nursing students who volunteered. Your clinical experience cannot help you when you take the NCLEX exams. Why do you ask?
The NCLEX exam is based on tested, researched, and evidence-based practices that you may have not learned in your clinical experience. Facilities will have different guidelines and protocols that are just as safe or just as effective BUT never assume that they are the same when it comes to the NCLEX.
It is best if you answered the exam questions as if you did not have any real-life experience as a nurse.
B. Practice your test-taking skills.
Make use of test-taking strategies so you can eliminate the wrong answers. It will also help you with solutions like ALL THAT APPLY or NONE APPLY. Always remember to put patient safety first before considering other options. With continuous practice, you will see that there are themes in the answers. For example:
Be sure to assess the patient first; calling a doctor is not always the best answer.
Remember your ABCs – Airway, Breathing, Circulation.
Deductive reasoning can also help you even if you have no idea about the topic.
If you have no exact answer, follow your gut. A nurse’s intuition can help you out.
As you practice your test-taking skills, you will realize that there will always be “select all that apply” questions. But if you use a systematic approach and tackle the wrong answers first, you have a higher chance to answer each question correctly.
5. Do more than just answer the practice tests.
Completing practice exams is good, but you can also go beyond that. After answering the practice questions, you can read about the answers and why they were right or wrong. Write down the concept you would like to tackle on your next study time so you are always prepared for the next day. Take as much time as you think you need devoted to a variety of study methods, they each have their benefit and will pay off in the long run.
6. Prepare for the NCLEX Exam day.
The night before you take the exams, go to bed early, or better yet, make sure that you have enough sleep throughout the week before the NCLEX. Hide your notes and try not to study. Be sure to put gas in your car, set your alarm for the next day, take a nice shower, and arrive early at the testing center.
Bring snacks for your breaks during the test, and make sure to stay hydrated. If you get cold fast, bring an extra layer of clothing or a hoodie if you are allowed. In short, be as prepared as you can be. Not only will it show that you are serious about your exams, but it also shows your character as a person and perhaps as a future nurse.
Believing in Yourself is the Key
Preparing for the NCLEX exams is not that hard. All you have to do is stay focused. You are already on your way to becoming one of the best nurses. You had proven this when you passed the nursing school. So believe that you can pass the NCLEX and you will! NCLEX is the last step towards your career as a professional nurse. Hopefully, you find these tips helpful as you are preparing for the exams, best of luck!
Misconceptions of nursing – what are they? How can we help highlight these issues? Nursing is a profession that isn’t for everyone. But some excel greatly in this career. And while nursing is a remarkable career that provides essential services, there are still misconceptions about it. What are the misconceptions about nursing? How can we uplift nurses?
In this episode, we would like to introduce you to Theresa Brown. Theresa Brown is an author of the New York Times bestseller The Shift. She earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago and taught English before flipping her career into nursing. She now holds lectures on issues related to nursing, healthcare, and the end of life.
Her new book titled Healing is out now, where she tells a powerful story about navigating healthcare after a breast cancer diagnosis.
QUESTIONS FOR GUESTS:
The questions below are some we’d like to tackle. We go off-topic all the time so we don’t expect to hit them all. If you have any ideas please let us know. Looking forward to our conversation!
What made you shift focus from academia to pursue a career in nursing? What made you choose oncology, palliative, and hospice?
During your first year as an oncology nurse you experienced a sudden death of a patient, how did that make you feel and how did you process those emotions?
Your book Critical Care is an account of your first year as a nurse, what was your biggest take away and how were you able to deal with the emotions and workload of a new nurse?
How different was the reality of nursing compared to your expectations going in?
What do you think are the most common misconceptions about nursing?
What are the struggles you’ve noticed nurses faced?
Going from nurse to patient, how was it navigating through a healthcare system that you’ve worked in?
What were your first thoughts when you were diagnosed with cancer?
How were you treated? Were physicians and other medical staff transparent and timely? Did you feel that you were getting the appropriate “help’?
Do you feel that you were left in the dark or weren’t given the full picture of your situation?
Being both a patient and a nurse, what would you like to change in healthcare or in nursing? Did healthcare fail you?
Before we end the show we have one last question we like to ask all our guests. If you had the opportunity to have a Cup of coffee with anybody, dead or alive, who would it be & why?
To understand more about the misconceptions about nursing, check out the full episode here 👇
00:00 Intro 01:42 What made you shift focus from academia to pursue a career in nursing? 04:55 What made you choose oncology, palliative care, and hospice? 07:34 The biggest takeaway as an oncology nurse 11:26 The struggles of nursing school 14:25 Tips for dealing with emotions after a patient’s death 23:05 Being a cancer patient 28:12 What patients really need from nurses 32:31 Realizations to improve healthcare 36:59 What would you like to change in healthcare or in nursing? 46:34 How does it feel to be out of leadership status? 50:25 Who do you want to have one last cup of coffee with?
Nurses can choose almost any specialty area to work in, in the travel healthcare sector. As travel nurses, you will be making more than a staff position in a position or specialty, it is wise to select from some of the highest paying nursing specialties.
1. Intensive Unite Care Nurse or ICU Nurse
One of the most in-demand areas for travel nurses belongs to the ICU. If you have experience in this department, you are in luck as many hospitals use nurses in the ICU to float around other units because of their broadened skills and knowledge, making them valuable members of the team. ICU nurses are trained to care for the critically ill and have a broad array of skills. As a travel nurse, you too can work in this area as long as you have the skills or experience as an ICU nurse. Most facilities look for at least 1-2 years of experience.
2. Labor and Delivery Nurse
Nurses who specialize in obstetrics and women’s health, especially in antepartum and postpartum care, are constantly in-demand. L&D nurses are also among the highest-paid nurses in the country, and one of the travel nursing positions with the highest pay. However, before you sign the contract, consider a few things first. While you will be taking care of healthy patients in this area, you must be ready to handle any emergencies that could occur. These may include emergency c-sections and many others. If you are up for the challenge, then this could be a fantastic opportunity for you.
3. Emergency Room or ER Nurse
Do you enjoy a fast-paced environment while working as a nurse? If you do, then working as an ER nurse is the best place for you. Many travel nurses can work in this department and earn more pay than their staff job. Keep in mind that working in the ER means you have to constantly use your critical thinking skills, so if you love the idea of solving problems, this could be the right place for you. When looking for an ER position it is always good to look at the hospital trauma level, it may be more acute than your used to.
4. Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Nurse or PICU Nurse/ Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or NICU
As a travel nurse, you will have the chance to work with some of the latest technology used in childcare with plenty of nursing opportunities in states like Texas, New York, New Jersey, California, and many others.
5. Medical-Surgical/Telemetry Nurse
The need for nurses with exceptional skills and knowledge in medical-surgical nursing is in demand these days. Since the number of Covid patients is still elevated, there is always a need for nurses in this area. Travel nurses can apply for this position and earn up to $5,000/week. If you are a nurse who can handle several patients and can manage time effectively, this could be an excellent opportunity to take.
6. Operating Room Nurse or OR Nurse
One of the most interesting areas and travel nursing positions with the highest pay belongs to the Operating Room. You will be a valuable asset to many hospitals across the country for travel nurses with perioperative skills. If you are certified at a specific OR skill or have a wide range of operating room experience, t you can snag any OR position,
Consider also the location of the place for your travel nursing assignment. Some states pay higher than others. Now that you know which areas pay travel nurses the most, find a good agency that can get you a position in these areas. It is also an excellent option to do more research on travel nursing before asking for an assignment. That way, you know what to expect and still earn more than staff.
Nurses are the backbone of healthcare, and we take pride in that. However, there are times when nurses don’t feel like they are as important in our community. A bad work environment can also add up to the stress that many nurses feel. In some cases, many nurses do not feel like their efforts are given enough recognition, so they don’t perform well, or worse, they don’t provide quality patient care any longer.
While many nurses take their profession seriously, some are not sure anymore. What can we do to help our fellow nurses? Is there a way to inspire and encourage them to do better? What needs to improve in a nurse’s work environment to help them feel empowered?
In this episode, we would like to introduce you to Alice Benjamin, better known as Nurse Alice, America’s favorite nurse. She is a cardiac clinical nurse specialist and family nurse practitioner with over 23 years of healthcare experience. Alice is Nurse.org’s Chief Nursing Officer and Correspondent and hosts the popular ‘Ask Nurse Alice’ podcast.
QUESTIONS FOR GUESTS:
The questions below are some we’d like to tackle. We go off-topic all the time so we don’t expect to hit them all. If you have any ideas please let us know. Looking forward to our conversation!
Being in over 20 years in healthcare, what are some changes you would like to see in healthcare?
How do you think the pandemic has affected nurses?
How should new nurses empower themselves going into this profession in 2022?
What do you think about the RaDonda Vaught case?
She was sentenced on Friday to three years of probation in a Nashville criminal court. After the probationary period, she could ultimately have her conviction dismissed.
Found guilty in March of two charges, criminally negligent homicide and abuse of an impaired adult, after a medication error contributed to the death of 75-year-old Charlene Murphey in December 2017.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have taken on recently?
What is something nursing has thought you that you can apply in life?
Before we end the show we have one last question we like to ask all our guests. If you had the opportunity to have a Cup of coffee with anybody one last time, who would it be & why?
Learn how to become an empowered nurse by watching our full episode. Click here for more 👇
00:00 Intro 01:35 About Alice 02:30 What are some changes you would like to see in healthcare? 06:26 How can we improve the healthcare system? 09:46 Reasons for some patients’ noncompliance 15:24 One-size-fits-all patient treatment does not always work. 17:57 How should new nurses empower themselves? 20:26 How to be a better nurse 24:13 What are the challenges of being a nurse 29:52 Thoughts about the RaDonda Vaught case? 43:31 The last one cup of coffee with?
It’s incredible how time flies; just like that, we are on our 100th episode before we even know it! We wouldn’t be able to do all of these without your support for Cup of Nurses. We owe it to our followers and supporters to let you guys know that our channel will make some changes. As we move along, we will tackle topics we are more passionate about.
We are excited to announce that we will be transitioning to Frontline Warriors as we want to focus more on health, consciousness, and wellness. Today’s episode will also be the last one for Cup of News. We’ve enjoyed our time doing this show, but like the changing season, we also embrace the changes. And we are pumped to have you guys join us in this new chapter for Cup of Nurses! So, stay tuned and be on the lookout for our new episodes. We can’t wait to share them and help inspire you to become the best version of yourselves!
Why We Started Cup of News
We started the Cup of News for one specific reason: to keep up with the C-19 surge and keep everyone informed about what is going on during the pandemic. We believe we kept our part. Covid-19 is still a thing. However, it has become more of the norm, and breaking news is not as “breaking” as it used to be.
Our Favorite Episode Topics
Over the last few years, we’ve covered several good topics in Cup of News. Today, we will talk about some of our favorites and why we enjoyed talking about them here in Cup of Nurses. Here are a few:
We really liked doing this one. Even though we don’t fully believe in horoscopes we still find them entertaining. They do hold some benefit because it allows you to think about yourself and your actions in a way you may not have before. It also offers a focus for you for the month or year to help you grow.
Family matters will be of importance this month. You will face a lot of challenges with your career, but towards the end of the month, you will make things better. Your health might take a toll on you if you are not careful.
Trust that you are ready to meet your soulmate this month. You have been waiting for a while now, and the time has come for you to get out there. Your social life will be perfect.
You will be okay financially. Your career will improve, and you will get that promotion that you have been waiting for. Taurus love life will have some challenges because you do not see eye to eye with your partner.
Your health will be perfect while your travel prospects are also bright. You will have to work harder when it comes to your studies to achieve all your goals and aspirations.
To have a happy and fulfilled life, married couples should ensure that they stay away from conflict. Do not always pick a fight with your spouse. Fighting in the family can cause the children to feel unloved. Always strive to be a positive example to your children.
You will finally get that leadership position that you have been working for at your workplace. Your superiors will appreciate your leadership skills and your ability to mobilize your fellow coworkers.
Cancer natives will have a positive month. All aspects of your life will be on the right track. As long as you keep doing the great things you are doing, all will be well with you. Do not listen to people who tell you that you are worth nothing.
Keep being you and live your best life. Focus on the things that bring light and positive vibes into your life.
Family life will cause you lots of problems that might affect your mental health. It will be a prosperous period for Leo natives who are in business. Finances will not be a problem for you this month.
Children will do well in their studies, and you will be extremely proud of them. You will also travel a lot with your loved ones.
Health will pose no problems for you this month. Your career prospects are, however, not encouraging. You need to change the approach by which you handle your professional life.
Single Virgo natives should be careful to protect their hearts from hurt. Exercise due diligence before choosing to fall in love with anyone.
Be true to yourself and live an honest life. Also, be careful with your finances. Misuse of funds will cause you to regret it in the near future. Ensure that you develop a good habit of saving for rainy days.
All your travel commitments will bring in great profits. You will also be able to meet new people who will help you grow your business.
You should be serious about your marriage. Show commitment to your spouse, and you will enjoy lasting happiness and joy. Also, show commitment to your children and your availability in their lives.
Your love life will be exceptional this month. You will be able to find someone that fills your heart. As a Scorpio woman, you need to be careful with your reproductive health.
Business people will have great financial flow. Invest in businesses that will assure you of great profits. Pursue your passions and work towards achieving happiness in all you do.
Your education will head to the next level as you will get a scholarship to study abroad and broaden your area of study.
Trust those great things will manifest in your life. Do not take anything for granted. You should also be patient with yourself. In your career, take one step at a time, and you will eventually get there. Also, make good use of your talents and gifts.
Be well-equipped to handle your children when they start misbehaving. Ensure that you bring them back on the right track.
Your health will be okay this month, but you need to make some lifestyle changes. You will face some challenges with your studies because of school fees arrears.
Business people will profit greatly from their businesses.
Your marriage life will be exciting and filled with passion and romance. Always appreciate your partner and remind them how much you love them.
This month you will safely invest knowing that you are doing the right thing. Nothing should scare you from living your best life.
EP 86: Cannabis and C-19
As nurses, we enjoy learning and here at Cup of Nurses, we are happy to share what we have researched. Our goal is to spread information about health and how people can utilize this information so they can live a long and healthy life.
A study conducted by JCI Insight in 2017 found that CBD lowered the blood pressure of human participants. It reduced their resting blood pressure as well as their blood pressure after stress tests including mental arithmetic, isometric exercise, and the cold pressor test.
CBD has been proven to help reduce inflammation and the neuropathic pain it can cause, according to a study by the Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research.
Preventing relapse in drug and alcohol addiction
A 2018 study discovered that CBD can be useful in helping people who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction. A preclinical trial with lab rats determined that CBD reduced the stress-induced cravings, anxiety, and lack of impulse control that often cause people to relapse.
Treating anxiety disorders
Anxiety is perhaps the most common affliction that people have used CBD for, and a preclinical study found that CBD could be effective in treating generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Treating gastrointestinal (GI) disorders
A recent study found that CBD and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids can effectively be used to prevent and treat GI disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, and more. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties are key to reducing and preventing symptoms.
Decades of research have gone into using CBD to treat epilepsy and other seizure syndromes, and a recent study showed it can have positive effects in reducing symptoms and seizure frequency.
Not only has CBD been used to help alleviate the effects of chemotherapy, but studies have also found it can prevent cell growth and induce cell death in cervical cancer cell lines and it has numerous anti-cancer effects that can help prevent a variety of cancers, treat tumors, and benefit the immune system.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.
There are about 3 million deaths in the US
Cardiovascular disease alone accounts for almost 1/4th of the total deaths in the US.
One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease.
Heart disease costs the United States about $363 billion each year from 2016 to 2017. This includes the cost of health care services, medicines, and lost productivity due to death.
Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing 360,900 people in 2019.
About 18.2 million adults age 20 and older have CAD (about 6.7%).
About 2 in 10 deaths from CAD happen in adults less than 65 years old.
In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds.
Every year, about 805,000 people in the United States have a heart attack. Of these,
605,000 are a first heart attack
200,000 happen to people who have already had a heart attack
About 1 in 5 heart attacks are silent—the damage is done, but the person is not aware of it.
According to heart.org, almost half of the US population has some type of cardiovascular disease.
According to 2017 figures, 116.4 million people had hypertension, almost half of the US population at that time, and that is just hypertension alone.
Cardiovascular disease is such an issue that the AHA had to lower its guidelines for what hypertension is from 140/90 to 130/80 so that people can get treated sooner.
1 in 5 Americans reported having adequate aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening activity to meet the physical activity guidelines.
Estimates for 2035 are showing that more than 130 million people will have some form of cardiovascular disease and the total cost to the healthcare system would be $1.1 trillion.
EP 52: World Economic Forum Plus Political News
At Cup of Nurses, we don’t only tackle issues related to health but everything that is happening around us. In this episode, we gathered all information we could about what is going on around the world in terms of economy and politics. These are our 2030 Predictions for the world and general economy.
Products will become a service
There are people that do not own a car, don’t own a house, don’t own appliances or clothes, they don’t own anything.
Global price on carbon
China took the lead in 2017 with a market for trading the right to emit a tonne of CO2, setting the world on a path towards a single carbon price and a powerful incentive to ditch fossil fuels, predicts Jane Burston, Head of Climate and Environment at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory. Europe, meanwhile, found itself at the center of the trade-in of cheap, efficient solar panels, as prices for renewables fell sharply.
Drop-in US dominance into a handful of powers
Instead of a single force, a handful of countries – the U.S., Russia, China, Germany, India, and Japan chief among them – show semi-imperial tendencies. However, at the same time, the role of the state is threatened by trends including the rise of cities and the spread of online identities.
Less hospital care
The hospital as we know it will be changed, with fewer accidents due to self-driving cars and an increase in preventive and personalized medicine. Open organ surgeries and organ donors are out, and tiny robotic tubes and bio-printed organs are going to be developed.
Rather like our grandparents, the meat will be a treat rather than a staple, writes Tim Benton, Professor of Population Ecology at the University of Leeds, UK. It won’t be big agriculture or little artisan producers that win, but rather a combination of the two, with convenience food redesigned to be healthier and less harmful to the environment.
Refugees will be CEOs and share the future
Highly educated Syrian refugees will be old enough to have an impact on the community by 2030, making the case for the economic integration of those who have been forced to flee the conflict. The world needs to be better prepared for populations on the move, writes Lorna Solis, Founder, and CEO of the NGO Blue Rose Compass, as climate change will have displaced 1 billion people.
Western values will be tested
We forget the checks and balances that bolster our democracies at our peril, writes Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch.
Moving closer to Mars
What’s more, once we get there, we’ll probably discover evidence of alien life, writes Ellen Stofan, Chief Scientist at NASA. Big science will help us to answer big questions about life on earth, as well as open up practical applications for space technology.
To find out more about the changes we’re doing for Cup of Nurses, check out the full video here 👇
00:00 Intro 00:45 Plugs 03:28 Reminiscing how it all started 06:28 How we stood up for what we believe 10:34 A podcast that will help everyone 12:32 We are our only cure 19:09 Favorite Episodes: The Challenge 21:42 Favorite Episodes: Out in Nature 22:25 Favorite Episodes: Horoscope 25:47 Favorite Episodes: Cannabis and C-19 31:10 Favorite Episodes: Heart Heath #1 Killer in America 34:59 Favorite Episodes: What is The World Economic Forum? 37:22 Wrapping up the show