preparing for the nclex

Our Personal NCLEX Experience

Education and Background

We did our prerequisites at a community college for two years and then attended a university for another two years to receive our Bachelor of Science in Nursing, BSN. Many of you will be coming from a BSN program, but some of you will come from an and, or even overseas. 

But it doesn’t matter where you’re coming from or what degree you have. The NCLEX exam will still be the same. You don’t automatically become a nurse by graduating from nursing school. The NCLEX is your final step. Many people pass nursing school and get stuck on the NCLEX, and that’s okay. You can make multiple attempts, and you’ll succeed if you work hard and focus. There are also people that pass on their first attempt with the minimal amount of questions. The key takeaway is to get it done and pass. 

How we felt about the NCLEX

In the beginning, we felt the same way as everyone else: stressed! Once you graduate, you realize that it’s time to study for and pass the biggest and most important exam of your life. Everyone is nervous! The best way to calm your nerves is to slowly ease yourself into it. Look up some free Qbanks online to familiarize yourself with the format. Remember, it’s just an exam. It isn’t going to eat you up. 

Before you dive deep into studying, make sure you’re having fun in your free time. This will provide an escape from studying and thinking about the NCLEX. You have to be able to relax to pass the exam. Some nurses have struggled to pass the NCLEX because all they did was study and didn’t take time off for themselves. Learn what helps you relax. 

Here are a few things you can do to relax:

  • Work out
  • Go to a sauna/steam room
  • Meditate
  • Do yoga
  • Make a change in your environment
  • Enjoy free time

Whatever helps you reduce your stress as your NCLEX date approaches is good preparation. You’ll feel more confident and be more likely to pass. Driving to the test center is not hard mentally, but once you finally walk in and sit down, your cortisol starts to increase. Remember to stay calm and understand that you’ve taken multiple practice exams almost identical to the one you’ll be taking. In general, we felt confident and both passed the NCLEX on our first attempt. 

Post-NCLEX

Once you’ve completed the exam, you have to wait a few days to get your results. Those days will be some of the longest in your life. We were nervous during those days as well, but once you get your results you feel a giant sense of relief. Finally, you can practice nursing! If you didn’t pass on your first attempt, that’s okay. You’ll get there. 

Didn’t Pass the NCLEX?

We know tons of nurses that had to retake the exam, and they’re some of the best nurses we’ve ever seen. If you didn’t pass, it’s time to take a week’s break and then repeat the process with extra effort. You may need to devote more time to it or use multiple studying methods such as Qbank and audio formats or even reading. Don’t get discouraged. Study harder and smarter, and you’ll pass.

Overall, the NCLEX is a hard exam, and studying for it is not easy. Studying takes a lot of time. but it’s something you have to do. When it comes to stressing about the NCLEX, realize that it’s normal. You need to devote not only time to studying but for yourself as well. This will keep you motivated and prevent you from burning out.

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