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!

 

6 Study Habits of Successful Nursing Students

6 Study Habits of Successful Nursing Students

6 Study Habits of Successful Nursing Students

Becoming a successful nursing student does not happen overnight. It takes time, practice, and of course, dedication. To become a successful nursing student, you must have discipline and apply it every day.

Be a Successful Nursing Student

Do you want to graduate on time? Of course, you do! Do you aim to be one of the best nurses in the field? If you answered yes, you must start developing good habits early on in nursing school.  Here are the habits of successful nursing students. 

Time management is the key.

One of the most crucial keys to passing nursing school with ease is to manage your time efficiently. Whether you are working on your BSN, MSN, or ADN, you must know how to balance time and make it work. To do this, you must break your day into blocks and decide what activity or school work fits where.. Know how much time you need for each activity so that you can manage your time more closely and allow for non-nursing-related things.

Your schoolwork takes most of your time; tests, exams, papers, assignments, reports, clinical – all of these require a lot of dedicated time. The best action to take is to plan around your study hours and remove anything that could block or affect your focus and time to study. 

Study smarter, not harder. 

Some people can miss a lecture and still ace an exam, but in nursing school, you must focus on each topic and understand how it is applied in the healthcare setting. Keep in mind that nursing exams are not always A or B, it may seem as if there are multiple correct answers but always think about the priority.  Plus, some questions can even be selected all that apply. 

When studying it is good to memorize content but also understand its function and learn how it pertains to a certain situation. Think of nursing as cause and effect, if one thing happens how does it affect the rest? 

Now don’t get frustrated with the exams if you don’t always pass them. When you find yourself in a tough situation always remember to change or add a study method to study more effectively. . How can you do it? 

For one, You have to know which subjects give you the hardest time or what areas take you the longest to learn. Don’t just study the same material for hours; instead, divide them. Let’s say you have allotted four hours of studying.

You can separate each hour into one subject that way you can study multiple areas and it may help you understand how each concept affects another. . It will be a lot easier for you to understand the topic. 

Avoid having distractions. Stay away from things that are not part of your studies. Turn off your phone for a few hours or put it on silent mode. This way you won’t get distracted by a text or social media.

Review your notes before you go to class. See if you have retained anything from the last lecture. Try practice tests too, this will help sharpen your test-taking skills and help you remember questions when you take the actual exam. 

Lastly, give yourself enough time to study. As a student, you must learn how to estimate the time it takes to understand a topic, finish a report, or complete an assignment. It will also help you open up room for some free time. 

Keep your focus.

Back in the day, social media and smartphones were not a thing, so they didn’t keep us distracted. When it’s time to study, you need to have your full attention on your notes and textbooks. Unfortunately studying rarely comes without any distractions.

While technology is helpful in many ways, it is also the source of major distraction. It is so easy to get off-track and be distracted by a text or social media, before you know it you’ve spent the 30 minutes on your phone. 

Turn your focus back to what you are doing. Eliminate distractions by organizing your space. Turn off your phone or tv when you are studying. When you stay focused, you can finish quicker and have more time to do other things you want to do. 

Join a study team.

Another good tip on how to study better is to join a group that you can learn with [1]. You can also find a study partner if you prefer a one-on-one study buddy. One advantage of studying with a group is listening to different perspectives while discussing a subject or topic. 

Learning how other people think and apply their knowledge helps you develop critical thinking and test-taking skills. Remember, critical thinking skills are developed in nursing school and are key to a nurse’s success. It will help you when it comes to taking exams and answering different types of questions. Joining a study group or team can help you with a lot of your struggles. 

Develop a study strategy.

Be honest with yourself; do you prefer studying with others or by yourself? One of the good habits of a successful nursing student is to not only know how you like to study but also what time of the day you learn best.

Do you like staying up late? or do you prefer studying early in the morning? The truth is there is no correct time to review; it is all about personal preferences! 

To be successful with your study habits, create a calendar to determine the hours of studying. If you do not plan your time, it’s easy to get sidetracked because the majority of things take longer than expected.

The best plan to have is to block out study time during your most productive hours, this way you are setting yourself up for success.

Reward yourself, as you should.

I’m not going to lie; nursing school is hard work. I have been there, and I know how it goes! So when you have done everything you needed, reward yourself [2]. Get ice cream or a froyo. Buy those shoes you have been eyeing for a while – in short, you deserve a reward for studying long hours and for keeping yourself from distractions. Get into the habit of doing something nice for yourself after all that stress. You deserve it!

You Can Do It

Yes, nursing school is not an easy path, but if others made it, so can you! You can do it, you too can become a full-fledged nurse, but to be one of the best, you must start early. Developing these habits of a successful nursing student will guide you through, not only a nursing school but through life. Start planning your way up to the top today; good luck!

 

EP 152: Nurses Inspire Nurses with Cat Golden

EP 152: Nurses Inspire Nurses with Cat Golden

Nurses Inspire Nurses with Cat Golden

Nurses are known as carers of the world. When you have sworn the oath to care for the people and wore the badge as a nurse, you become one of the essential workers of our society. Of course, along with this profession comes a myriad of responsibilities. And sometimes, we nurses become so indulged with caring for others that we lack the support we truly need – to be our advocate. 

It’s funny because we take good care of everyone around us, but we often overlook ourselves. Sometimes the carer needs to be cared for too. 

In this episode, we are joined by our guest, Cat Golden. She is the creator and owner of Nurses Inspire Nurses. Her career in the nursing field began as a pediatric nurse, where she worked as one for seven years.

Cat understood what it’s like for a nurse to feel exhausted and isolated, which prompted her to build one of the largest nursing communities in the country. And if you are a tired nurse like many of us, sit back, relax and enjoy another awesome episode with your favorite Cup of Nurses!

Some of the questions that we asked Cat Golden:

  1. Can you give us a background about yourself and your nursing experience?
  2. What does it mean you support nurses as humans first and nurses second?
  3. You always seem to be doing your own thing; what is your current mindset journey? 
  4. How has your community felt with everything that is currently happening in healthcare? 
  5. Has your community grown in the past years? Was it affected by the pandemic? 
  6. Why do you think your community has bonded so well and grown together?
  7. How do you cultivate positivity and self-care in your life?
  8. How do you manage your day-to-day life?
  9. What are all the ways you stay healthy with all the travel you do?

Ready to learn how to inspire nurses? Check out our latest episode here 👇

You can also catch Cat on her personal Instagram account @catgolden.inspires and for business inquiries, you can click on her business page @nursesinspirenurses for more information.

SHOW NOTES:

0:00 Introduction
0:58 Cup of Nurses Introduction
2:19 Episode Introduction
2:55 Meet Cat Golden
3:32 What Cat’s Main Mission Means
4:55 What do you think nurses need most?
7:48 How Cat’s Life Has Changed
9:12 What’s the feedback of your community with healthcare?
10:52 Advice For Nursing Community
12:50 How To Build A Nursing Community
15:07 Why The Community Bonded So Well
17:51 What Shaped Cat Golden To Be The Best Version Of Herself
21:14 How To Cultivate Positivity
24:48 One Thing That Cat Cannot Live Without
29:19 How To Manage Time & Stay Organized
32:02 Hardships That Cat Went Through
38:14 What’s Next For Nurses Inspire Nurses
40:57 Where Can People Find Cat Golden

How Dental Health Affects Overall Health

How Dental Health Affects Overall Health

How Dental Health Affects Overall Health

In this episode, we would like to talk about dental health. Many people don’t know that dental health provides valuable information on someone’s overall health.

Today we know that most chronic illnesses are not down to coincidence, bad luck, or bad genes. Instead, they are the result of constant, silent inflammation in the body and the resulting chronic stress. This kind of inflammation often occurs in the mouth.

It can be found hiding in the tips of inflamed tooth roots, gingival pockets, around implants, in dead teeth, or in the cavities that are left behind whenever a tooth has to be removed.

Although research is constantly revealing new relationships between teeth and the body, doctors and dentists work in two different spheres, our medical care system is structured such that we can’t see the forest for the trees.

Importance of Dental Health

Looking inside someone’s mouth gives clues to their overall health. Did you know that many problems can stem from poor oral health? Good oral health gives a person the ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow, and impacts facial expressions to show feelings and emotions.

Just like in other parts of the body, the mouth houses a lot of beneficial bacteria. But remember that the mouth is the initial entry point into the rest of your body and sometimes these bacteria make a home elsewhere where they can cause damage.  Proper oral hygiene keeps these bacteria in stable conditions.

What Contributes to Poor Dental Health

Untreated tooth decay. More than 1 in 4 (26%) adults in the United States have untreated tooth decay. Gum disease. Nearly half (46%) of all adults aged 30 years or older show signs of gum disease; severe gum disease affects about 9% of adults [1].

The main factors that cause oral health are:

  • Poor hygiene
  • Diet high in sugar
    • Sugar changes the acidity in your mouth.
      • There are 2 bacteria, streptococcus mutants, and streptococcus sobrinus. These bacteria feed on sugar and create plaque on your teeth. When you get your teeth cleaned your dentist removes this plaque. If left unchecked this plaque will eat away at your enamel.
      • Sugar also attracts bacteria that eat away at your gums and cause gingivitis and gum disease [2].
  • Alcohol use
    • Alcohol drinks are usually high in sugar like beer, liquor, and mixed drinks. This leads to the breakdown of enamel, long-term tooth decay, and gum disease.
    • Alcohol also decreases the amount of natural saliva that acts as a natural antibacterial agent. 
    • Depending on what alcohol you consume it can stain your teeth. 
    • Normal Saliva PH: 6.2-7.6
  • Smoking 
    • Smoking weakens your body’s infection fighters (your immune system). This makes it harder to fight off a gum infection. Once you have gum damage, smoking also makes it harder for your gums to heal.
      • You have twice the risk for gum disease compared with a nonsmoker.
      • The more cigarettes you smoke, the greater your risk for gum disease.
      • The longer you smoke, the greater your risk for gum disease.
      • Treatments for gum disease may not work as well for people who smoke.

Prevention

  • Proper oral hygiene
  • A well-balanced diet low in free sugars and high in fruit and vegetables, and water as the main drink;
  • Stopping the use of all forms of tobacco, including chewing
  • Reducing alcohol consumption
  • encouraging the use of protective equipment when doing sports.

What Conditions are Linked to Oral Health

Your oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:

Endocarditis

This infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers or valves (endocardium) typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to certain areas in your heart.

  • The study looked at 94 participants where participant’s portal hygiene, gingivitis, and periodontitis statuses were evaluated. 
  • The authors found that oral hygiene and gingival disease indexes were associated significantly with IE-related bacteremia after toothbrushing.
  • Participants with a mean plaque and calculus scores of 2 or greater were at a 3.78- and 4.43-fold increased risk of developing bacteremia, respectively.
  • The presence of generalized bleeding after toothbrushing was associated with an almost eightfold increase in the risk of developing bacteremia [3]. 

Cardiovascular Disease

 Although the connection is not fully understood, some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.

There are a few theories on why this can occur, according to Harvard: 

  • The bacteria that infect the gums and cause gingivitis and periodontitis also travel to blood vessels elsewhere in the body where they cause blood vessel inflammation and damage; tiny blood clots, heart attack, and stroke may follow.
  • Supporting this idea is the finding of remnants of oral bacteria within atherosclerotic blood vessels far from the mouth.
  • Rather than bacteria causing the problem, it’s the body’s immune response – inflammation – that sets off a cascade of vascular damage throughout the body, including the heart and brain.
  • There may be no direct connection between gum disease and cardiovascular disease; the reason they may occur together is that there is a 3rd factor (such as smoking) that’s a risk factor for both conditions.
  • Other potential “confounders” include poor access to healthcare and lack of exercise – perhaps people without health insurance or who don’t take good care of their overall health are more likely to have poor oral health and heart disease [4].

Pregnancy and birth complications

Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.

  • Nearly 60 to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis, an early stage of periodontal disease that occurs when the gums become red and swollen from inflammation that may be aggravated by changing hormones during pregnancy.
  • If gingivitis is not treated, the bone that supports the teeth can be lost, and the gums can become infected. Teeth with little bone support can become loose and may eventually have to be extracted.
  • Periodontitis has also been associated with poor pregnancy outcomes, including preterm birth and low birth weight. However, how periodontitis may lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes is not yet fully understood [5].
  • One systematic review looked at periodontal status looked at 22 totaling about 17,00 subjects and concluded that “The present systematic review reported a low but existing association between periodontitis and adverse pregnancy outcomes.” [6].

Pneumonia

Certain bacteria in your mouth can be pulled into your lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.

  • A study looked at over 122,000 participants with no history of pneumonia with a median age of 52.4.
  • The mean systolic blood pressure and fasting glucose were 125.5 mmHg and 96.7 mg/dL. While 49.6% of participants had periodontal disease, 2.7% and 6.0% had five or more dental caries and missing teeth, respectively. 
  • According to the self-reported questionnaires, 45.0% of participants brushed their teeth three times or more per day, and 26.0% replied having professional dental cleaning at least once per year.

It concluded that:

The risk of pneumonia was higher in groups with more dental caries and missing teeth. In contrast, the risk of pneumonia was lower in the frequent tooth brushing group and the regular professional dental cleaning group. 

  • There was no significant difference in the risk of pneumonia between groups with and without periodontal disease. 
  • A number of dental caries and missing teeth, and the frequency of tooth brushing and professional dental cleaning, were associated with the incidence of pneumonia. 
  • The risk of pneumonia was significantly higher in the group with a higher number of dental caries and the group with more missing teeth. 
  • Risks of pneumonia decreased significantly in the frequent tooth brushing group and the regular professional dental cleaning group [7].

Fluoride: Is it the best means of fighting tooth decay?

Fluoride is considered an essential part of dental care. Almost all toothpaste contains it. Roughly 73.0% of the U.S. population with public water access in 2018 received water fortified with fluoride. In Germany, however, no fluoride is added to drinking water—and yet rates of tooth decay have dropped.

Fluoride can store and lock calcium and other minerals in tooth enamel, which sounds like a beautiful, helpful attribute. But just like many things, it also comes with unwanted side effects.

There are ongoing studies linking fluoride to chromosomal changes, bone cancer, and impairments to intelligence, while many other studies declare its innocence of these allegations.

The concept of holistic dentistry is based on avoiding overburdening the body with artificial substances as far as possible. If we eat well and get all the nutrients we need, there is no need for additional fluoride. Saliva’s job is to store minerals in teeth. That is its natural function, and it does not require extra fluoride to get the job done.

Tough Foods Make You Tougher 

Chewing food is easier to digest. But did you know that adequately chewing our food can protect us from infections? Researchers recently discovered this when they took a closer look at what is known as Th17 cells in our mouths.

These cells are part of the immune system and can ward off harmful bacteria to our health while leaving friendly bacteria in peace.

Furthermore, Th17 cells form in the mouth, so the more we chew, the more cells are produced. In addition to this, eating foods with a more rigid consistency, or simply chewing well, ensures a better immune defense in the mouth.

Good Dental Hygiene Practices

Taking care of your oral health may take a lot of effort. However, if you add them to your daily routine and practice them daily, it will not feel like a chore but more of a natural habit. Here’s how you can practice good dental hygiene:

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day
  2. Use mouthwash daily
  3. Floss daily
  4. Drink more water
  5. Eat more crunch fruits and vegetables
  6. See your dentist twice a year

Watch the full episode on this by clicking here:

TIME STAMPS:

0:00 Introduction
1:00 Sponsor Ads
2:15 Cup of Nurses Introduction
4:04 Episode Introduction
6:36 Importance of Dental Health
10:44 Statistics About Gum Disease
13:28 What Contributes To Poor Dental Health
13:39 Sugar changes the acidity in your mouth!
15:42 How Alcohol Affects Dental Health
18:08 How Smoking Affects Dental Health
21:59 How to Prevent Poor Dental Health
22:45 Conditions Linked to Bad Oral Health: Endocarditis
23:23 Study About People with Endocarditis
25:13 Conditions Linked to Bad Oral Health: Cardiovascular Disease
28:24 Conditions Linked to Bad Oral Health: Pregnancy & Birth Complications
31:51 Conditions Linked to Bad Oral Health: Pneumonia
37:36 Fluoride: The best means of fighting tooth decay?
44:13 Tough Foods Make You Tougher