5 NCLEX Myths That Are Holding You Back

5 NCLEX Myths That Are Holding You Back

5 NCLEX Myths That Are Holding You Back

Are you planning to take the NCLEX but there are NCLEX myths that are holding you back? If this is the case you are facing right now, this post will help debunk their reasons. Here are the most common NCLEX myths that you’ve probably heard of.

Myths About NCLEX

Myth 1. The length of the NCLEX exams matter.

Many test-takers believe that the more questions you answer, the more likely you are to pass the exams. However, this is not always the case. 

The NCLEX has a maximum of 265 questions [1], and if you get to answer them all, the myth says you’ve failed. On the contrary, reaching only around 75 questions means you’ve passed. 

While this may sound believable, NCLEX does not work that way. The length of the exams has nothing to do with you passing it. Instead, the length of your exam is based on how you are answering the questions. If you have answered correctly, the test presents you with more complex questions. The easier the questions means you have answered incorrectly. Your exam will only stop when the computer has determined your competency level. 

Myth 2. You have to be computer savvy to take the NCLEX.

Even if you don’t have computer skills, you can still take the exams. The test administrator will brief the test-takers on how they can answer the exams on the computer and work through a tutorial. In this tutorial, you are taught how to use the keys and record your answers.

Administrators will also teach you how you can answer test questions that do not require a multiple choice. So, don’t worry; the main thing you need to use during this exam is the space bar and cursor to highlight your answers and lock them. It will be a piece of cake!

Myth 3. NLCEX in other states is easier.

One of the many NCLEX myths that are holding you back is the idea that NCLEX examinations vary from state to state. In case you are planning to take this exam in a different state because it’s “easier”, stop right now!

It is not true though, keep in mind that this exam is a national exam. It means that the one you are taking is the same as other nursing students in other states. NCLEX is used nationwide, so it doesn’t matter where you take it. It is still the same exams wherever you choose to take it. 

Myth 4. The “select all that applies” answer shows that you are doing well in the examination. 

Among NCLEX myths, this one is probably my favorite. According to gossip, the more “select all that applies” or SATA choices given to you mean you are passing the exam. But are you, though? 

Again, this is not true as it could be subjective. Some may have ten SATA answers, while others may have more.  However, the best thing to do is focus on how you answer the examination and not on the types of questions you are getting. Do your best and answer all questions to the best of your ability. 

Myth 5. It will take a long time before you can reapply for an NCLEX exam.

Absolutely not; you have 45 days till you can apply for another NCLEX examination [2]. And this is enough time for you to study for the tests again. If you failed on your first try, the nursing board would send you a CPR or Candidate Performance Report. 

This report will show you which exam areas you should focus on more so you don’t have to repeat the same mistakes. It shows your strengths and weaknesses as well, which helps assess yourself. CPR also breaks down your performance and shows if you are above or below the passing competency level. 

Don’t Let the Myths Take You Down

Now that you know five of the NCLEX myths that are holding you back, go ahead and sign up for the examination. Don’t just believe the myths. Give it a try and see how you do. If you fail, do not worry, you can always try again. You just have to figure out if you are on the right track or not. We hope that our list helped you identify these myths so that you can take the next step towards your RN license, good luck! 

 

Preparing for the NCLEX Exams: 6 Proven Tips for Passing

Preparing for the NCLEX Exams: 6 Proven Tips for Passing

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!

You Failed NCLEX Exams: What to Do Next?

You Failed NCLEX Exams: What to Do Next?

You Failed NCLEX Exams: What to Do Next?

So, you studied hard, took the NCLEX exams, and waited in agony for the results, only to find out that you failed the NCLEX. What a disappointing outcome. By now, you feel like breaking down because of this result, but before you do, wipe your tears, hold your head up high, and retake the exams. But how can you retake this test? What is the next best thing to do?

A Silverlining

Learning that you failed the exams for the first time is probably one of the disappointments in your life that you will not forget. Looking back at the hours you spent studying, preparing, sleeping that you missed, and countless hours of reviewing that all came down to failing NCLEX is a heartbreaking ordeal. But with all of this, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Retaking the exams is your next best option. 

What to Do After You Failed the NCLEX Exams

If you are reading this part of the post, then chances are, you have failed the exams. But, do not worry. You can still retake the exams as long as you follow these steps and do your best next round. 

Understand Why You Failed

Failing the NCLEX exams is not the end of the world; although it is a bit traumatic, you must gather yourself and try again. Understanding why you failed is crucial at this point. Failing does not mean that you are dumb or stupid. Most importantly, failing this exam does not mean you won’t make a great nurse. The truth is, some of the best nurses in the field had their fair shares of failures. So, do not beat yourself up on this one. Some people are not good at taking tests, maybe you did prepare for this, but your nerves got the better of you. Either way, it is okay that you failed. 

Process your NCLEX Results

A single day can make a big difference in your ability to process the results of your NCLEX exams. Taking the following steps is crucial, but before you do, take time to go through your results and reflect. Of course, there might be some feelings of discouragement, but don’t give up yet. Give yourself some time, and evaluate how you feel before moving forward. Once you feel better, proceed to the next step. 

Select a Date for the Following NCLEX Exams

After reflecting on your emotions (and maybe crying hysterically on your pillow), take time to educate yourself on retaking the test. Keep in mind that you can take the NCLEX exams at least eight times per year with 45 days waiting period between attempts. So, all in all, there is hope for you. 

The National Council will send you a notice about the options for retaking the exams. If you want, check their website to find out the details in the re-application process for this. But, if by chance you feel lost, ask your school to assist you with the process. Of course, the council will also inform them that you failed the exams, so it is best to work with your school for this step. However, if you want to do it yourself, you can visit NCSBN.org for more information.

Your NCLEX Study Plan is Essential

After securing the date for retaking the exam, check how much time you have left to study for the NCLEX. Come up with a strategy so you can nail the exams this time. Check how you prepared in your first attempt; what did you do that helped you? See what study habit works best for you, and be clear about how you alter your approach in this next attempt. Be sure to have a proper amount of study time too. You can also use the NCLEX Candidate Performance Result or CPR to determine which areas you need to focus more on. It will also help as your study guide since you already know which topics you are weakest at and those that are not.

Study Plans, Study Plans

Creating a study plan and calendar is helpful. Writing down the details and activities in this calendar will give you timeframes as well. Find the focus of your study and dive deep into the areas you are not confident in. Be sure to include test strategies and practice questions as well. Include at least five days for studying with two days for rest. Keep your study hours to not more than 6 hours a day. Make sure to have breaks in between for 45 to 60 minutes. However, you create your study plan, be concrete on following through with them until you are ready for the exams. 

Go and Retake the Exams

As you enter your test room, relax. Have confidence in yourself. You already know the dynamics of the exams; you studied and prepared for it, so you got this. Don’t think of the failure you did, do not dwell in the past. Focus on how you tackle the test questions and apply the strategies that you learned. Be mindful of your pace, and always understand each question before answering. Do not rush or panic. Take it easy, pray, and do your best! 

So what if you failed the NCLEX exams

Failing an important exam such as NCLEX can be heartbreaking, but do not panic. You have all the options and time to get it right. But this does not mean you should fail every time you try! So you failed; we have done this one way or another. It is not an excuse, but it is not a reason not to keep trying either. You have all the access you need to pass the exams, use them wisely, study well, and most of all, keep trying! Passing the NCLEX is within your reach, so don’t ever give up! We hope that this post sheds light on your path, good luck!

 

How to Avoid NCLEX Prep Burnout

How to Avoid NCLEX Prep Burnout

How to Avoid NCLEX Prep Burnout

Preparing for an exam is stressful, especially if it is something as crucial as NCLEX. This examination will determine your capacity to become a full-pledged nurse by really testing what you know.

But how can you avoid NCLEX prep burnout? If you are asking this question right now, then you came to the right place. This post will talk about burnout and how you can avoid it. 

Plan out your tasks

To avoid NCLEX prep burnout, you must plan your steps well. Take note of how long you have till the actual examination and explore your study options before proceeding.

Do you want to review on your own? or do you want to use web-based testing resources? Gathering the materials you need for review is also essential, and choosing the study method is just as vital. 

Creating a schedule for your study time also plays a significant role in your preparation. Alternating your plan for study and review will also raise your chances of retaining information for NCLEX. 

Take one day at a time

Making efforts by preparing too much can lead to burnout. The key is to set time on how you can prepare for your exams. Talk about one or two hours of studying each day. When the exam day comes, put your notes and books away and let go.

Overthinking will make you anxious. So, taking it one day at a time will help you with overwhelming feelings that could make your mind spin. 

Break your studies into parts, especially if you are dealing with an important topic. It will help you master the content as you go and avoid NCLEX burnout in the long run. If you work with a test prep provider, they usually break broader topics into smaller ones so you can manage and study each section for your benefit.

However, if you choose to do this, make sure that you stick to the plan and not fall behind with your studies or work because it does take a little bit more time. Following through with the objective will give you confidence and keep you on course

Don’t forget to exercise and eat right

Studying all day and night will not help you, trust me. It will help if you take time off the books and take care of yourself as well. Getting enough exercise and eating well also enables you to prepare for the NCLEX.

It is also an excellent way to manage your anxiety and stress. Whenever you feel like you are knee-deep studying, stop. Stretch your muscles and do simple exercises. It will awaken your sleeping muscles and increase your endorphins to help motivate you further [1].

Eating the right food will also help nourish your body. Remember, you need to be in good condition when taking the exams. Adding superfoods like blueberries and dark chocolate to your meal will surely help you retain what you have studied. Don’t forget to hydrate appropriately too!

Take time to relax and reward yourself

You cannot study all the time. Sure, you need to learn, but you also need to take a break. Studying too much or trying to digest all topics at once can lead to burnout. Take a break, and do not feel guilty about it! It is necessary to take a breather; don’t forget to reward yourself for all the hard work.

Go to your local coffee shop or your favorite park. A venue change will freshen your mind and brighten your mood to study again. Eat ice cream, grab some nachos or chocolate, anything to help you feel better. Once you do, you will feel refreshed, and you will avoid NCLEX prep burnout!

Your Takeaway

Preparing for the NCLEX exam is no doubt stressful and overwhelming. Of course, this will determine your career as a future nurse! But if you follow these tips, you will surely avoid cramming at the last minute. So, relax, follow through with your plan, take a deep breath and enjoy the process! Good luck!

 

Cannabis as a Treatment For COVID-19?

Cannabis as a Treatment For COVID-19?

Cannabis as a treatment for COVID-19?

For full disclosure, this certainly isn’t to say that smoking marijuana will protect you from COVID-19. It’s not the reason why a person gets COVID either. Generally, it doesn’t have anything to do with cannabis. Regardless of your view on cannabis, the results are intriguing. But can cannabis be used as a treatment for Covid-19?

SARS-CoV-2

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) or the COVID-19 pandemic includes at least 272 million cases worldwide. It has resulted in 5.3 million deaths, and over 600 000 new cases daily as of December 2021. Its crown-like protrusions on its outer surface characterize it. 

SARS-CoV-2 features RNA strands that encode its four main structural proteins. It has a spike, envelope, membrane, nucleocapsid, 16 nonstructural proteins, and several “accessory” proteins. 

These proteins bind to the host cell by recognizing the receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). ACE2 is a homolog of ACE. It then converts angiotensin I to angiotensin 1–9. The ACE2 is distributed mainly in the lung, intestine, heart, and kidney, and alveolar epithelial type II cells are the principal expressing cells. 

ACE2 is also a known receptor for SARS-CoV. The S1 subunit of the SARS-CoV S protein binds with ACE2 to promote the formation of endosomes, which triggers viral fusion activity under low pH [1].

Is it possible to use cannabis as a treatment for COVID-19? 

This study was published in the Journal of Natural products. The Oregon State University (OSU) research shows hemp compounds prevent coronavirus. It shows that it prevents it from entering human cells. 
 
Findings of the study led by Richard van Breemen at OSU found a pair of cannabinoid acids. It binds to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. It is blocking a critical step in the virus’s process to infect people [2]. 
 
The compounds are cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA, and cannabidiolic acid, CBDA, which inhibit the same spike protein
 
This compound is the drug target used in COVID-19 vaccines and antibody therapy. These cannabinoid acids are abundant in hemp and many hemp extracts. But, it doesn’t have any controlled substances like THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana
 
Richard van Breemen demonstrated through research that they were effective against variants of SARS-CoV-2. It also includes variant B.1.1.7. It was first detected in the United Kingdom, and variant B.1.351 was first seen in South Africa.”
 
When researchers created antiviral interventions, any part of the infection and replication cycle is a potential target. It targets the spike protein means cell entry inhibitor. It blocks and shortens infection by preventing virus particles from infecting human cells. In addition to that, binding to spike proteins will prevent the spike from binding to ACE2 enzymes

The Research Method

Van Breemen’s team used affinity selection–mass spectrometric (AS-MS). It is a discovery of natural ligands to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. It ranked these cannabinoid ligands by affinity to the spike protein. As two CBDA and CGBA have the highest relationships and proves to block infection.
 
AS-MS involves incubating an important receptor like the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. This protein with a mixture of possible ligands such as a botanical extract. 
 
The ligand-receptor complexes separate from nonbinding molecules using one of several methods. These are ultrafiltration, size exclusion, or magnetic microbeads. The ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS) was used to characterize the affinity-extracted ligands.
 
“Our earlier research reported on discovering another compound, one from licorice, that binds to the spike protein too,” he said. “However, we did not test that compound, licochalcone A, for activity against the live virus. We need new funding for that.” Licorice is an herb that grows in parts of Europe and Asia.
 
Fun fact: In November 2017, The World Health Organization announced that CBD showed no evidence of abuse or dependence potential in humans. There is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with using pure CBD. 

In January 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its prohibited list, no longer banning its use by athletes.

Cannabis and the Cytokine Storm

One of the main events that occur in patients with COVID-19 is a “cytokine storm.” A cytokine storm is when your body releases pro-inflammatory cytokines, leading to increased inflammation. 

Cytokines are small proteins released by many different cells in the body. This includes those of the immune system, which coordinates the body’s response to infection.

Unfortunately, excessive or uncontrolled levels of cytokines are released in some patients. Similarly, it activates more immune cells, resulting in hyperinflammation. It can seriously harm or even kill the patient.

What happens is COVID patients suffer from lung fibrosis. It is an untreatable condition that leaves lung tissue scarred. This makes it more difficult for them to breathe. 

C.Sativa is a type of cannabis in a cytokine storm study to reduce multiple cytokines and pathways related to inflammation and fibrosis.

Two of the cytokines that C.Sativa facilitated were TNFa and IL-6. These are the main targets when trying to block a COVID-19 cytokine storm.

A 2020 mouse-model study found that CBD, an active cannabinoid compound found in cannabis, the results suggests a potential protective role for CBD during ARDS.

It can extend CBD as part of the treatment of COVID-19 by reducing the cytokine storm, protecting pulmonary tissues, and re-establishing inflammatory homeostasis [3].

How Else Could Cannabis Benefit COVID-19 Patients?

The symptoms of COVID-19 include body aches, sore throat, headaches, and pain. Research shows that Cannabis can help treat these symptoms.
 
In a study in 2018, 2,032 medical cannabis users have examined. These ranging from 21 illnesses treated with Cannabis showed promising results. It has shown significant potential as a pain reliever. Its potency showed its ability to increase serotonin effects, a neurotransmitter that can induce pain relief [4].
 
The endocannabinoid system distributes throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems. It is a part of the inflammatory and pain processing. It also plays physiological regulatory roles across every organ system. 
 
This system interacts within its pathways and major endogenous pain pathways. It includes inflammatory, endorphin/enkephalin. THC is 20 times more anti-inflammatory than aspirin. It is also twice as anti-inflammatory as hydrocortisone. It has well-documented analgesic and anti-inflammatory benefits. This includes arthritic and inflammatory conditions.

The CB1 and CB2 Receptors

The CB1 receptor is the most abundant G protein-coupled receptor in the brain. It is also one of the most productive in peripheral and central nervous systems.
 
CB1 receptors connect to the presynaptic peripheral and central nerve terminals. They’re found through the anatomical pain pathways. These receptors are also present in other neurological central and peripheral locations. The CB1 receptor with the “high” felt with some cannabis strains.
 
These receptors are within the peripheral tissues and immune cells. It helps the release cytokines, chemokines, and cell migration, including neutrophils and macrophages. Some are present in the central nervous system. It may also contribute to pain relief by dopamine release modulation.

Anxiety 

For many COVID-19 Patients and patients in general, hospitalization can be stressful. As WHO stated, there aren’t any physical dependencies associated with CBD. They believe that the compound could help reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Besides that, CBD can increase serotonin activity and lower cortisol levels.
 
Reducing these chemicals is helpful for anxiety management as serotonin reduces anxiety. Cortisol is a stress hormone at higher levels in patients with anxiety and depression [5]. In a 2019 Double-blinded placebo trial with CBD. They took 37 18-19 Japanese teenagers with social anxiety disorder.
 
One group (N=17) took 300mg of CBD for four weeks, the other group took a placebo (N=20). The results state that CBD could be a practical option to treat social anxiety.

Watch the full Episode 86 and learn more about how CBD can help Covid by clicking here 👇

TIME STAMPS:

0:00 Introduction
0:52 Sponsor Ads
2:01 Cup of Nurses Introduction
3:35 Episode Introduction
10:29 SARS Cov-2 Update
13:38 Is it possible to use cannabis as a treatment for COVID-19?
14:57 The Research Method by Van Breemen’s Team
21:23 How We Should Deal with C19 Vaccines
24:34 Fun Fact About the Use of CBD
25:08 Cannabis and the Cytokine Storm
31:48 What is C. Sativa? The compound in the Cytokine storm.
33:03 Mouse-Model Study of CBD
33:54 How else could Cannabis benefit COVID-19 Patients?
42:12 The CB1 and CB2 Receptors