Updated: Sep 9, 2021
How to pass your boards on the first try.
So before we dive into passing, I want to discuss the NCLEX, the National Council Licensure Examination; this examination assesses the student's knowledge, skills, ability to think critically. The test is based on the skills and knowledge of an entry-level nurse, and before being licensed, the PN or RN has to pass this test to be recognized as a nurse. The NCLEX-PN is for nurses who have completed requirements for the licensed practical nurse compared to the NCLEX-RN, which is for nurses who have completed requirements to take the RN examination.
1. Attendance: this may be obvious, but many students, for one reason or another, miss valuable hours-days of critical information because they are absent be present; osmosis is real!
2. Study – We will get into the intricates of this below
3. Register through https://www.ncsbn.org/nclex-application-and-registration.htm
5. Make sure you have all the required documents when taking the test well in advance. If you do not have the documents, you must find them.
4. Apply for the test after you get your authorization to test (ATT). Go to https://www.ncsbn.org/index.htm there you will register for the exam (Try to register online; it's a lot easier).
5. Show up, again make sure that you have your ID, and make sure your name on your ID is the same name on your ATT. (You are not allowed to bring anything into the testing center, they will provide you a locker. They pat you down; they examine your glasses: no gum, no paper, no pen. If you have a hoodie, they make sure you have nothing in it. You are not allowed to bring anything.) They will provide you with a whiteboard and marker; you cannot erase anything you write on the board. (NCSBN, 2021).
6. Remember why you wanted to become and nurse; whatever the reason is, you know that you are more than capable if you have come this far. Try to be positive; you have completed the most challenging part, which was school; most schools require you to do ATI, Hesi, Kaplan, some form of an exit exam if you passed that you are more than capable of passing this test
7. Make sure that you take time for yourself. I would reward myself if I completed my task on time or earlier I would go by myself something small.
8. DO NOT WAIT! I know too many nurses who doubt themselves, and months turn into years; you know the material. However, research and studies show that waiting to take the test does not aid in the success of you passing the test.
9. Use your resources, whether it is books, teachers, peers, study groups. Use them!
Let's talk about studying. This can seem intimidating, but in reality, it can be reasonably simple.
First thing first, do you know what type of learner you are? If you do not know, now is the time to figure it out. This will save you a ton of time and help you find ways to study that best fit your learning style. There are seven types of learners:
1. Visual- images, visual aids, pictures
2. Verbal- speech, written, talking
3. Aural- learns by sound
4. Physical- touch, feeling, kinesthetic
5. Logical- You use reasoning, systems
6. Social- prefers working in a group setting, teams
7. Solitary- You prefer to work independently
Make a schedule that works for you; this makes you accountable and provides measurable outcomes (whether you were able to achieved or not)
The NCSBN offers a thorough practice test for individuals to take before taking the actual examination https://nclex.com/index.htm to figure out what subjects you are strong in and determine the areas you need to familiarize yourself with.
Once you know how you learn, apply it! Whether you are reading how to put a catheterization in, or mocking it (I used a cleaning bottle and made it into an indwelling urinary catheter, and it saved me (I went to excelsior, and I refused to have to repeat the CPNE, so I had a lot of mock simulations and YouTube tutorials to aid in me passing my clinical.)
Know your ABCs, know how to apply them. Know and learn Maslow's Hierarchy and when I say learn, I mean know how to use it and apply it to a scenario. Know ADPIE (Assess, Diagnosis, Plan, Intervene, Evaluate) you need to know this inside out you cannot intervene if you have not assessed, you cannot evaluate if there is no intervention. Assess the patient, diagnose the patient based on the assessment, plan based on your diagnosis, intervene once the plan is in place, evaluate after the intervention. With this in place, you can determine the effectiveness of your intervention.
Do not study the day before; there is no point; you cannot pump and dump on the NCLEX; instead, relax, look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are a nurse, you will pass.
Moxley, E., et al., NCLEX-RN® Success: An Integrative Lesson Plan, Teaching and Learning in Nursing (2017), http:// dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.teln.2017.01.001
NCSBN. (2021). Exam day process. https://www.ncsbn.org/1219.htm
Overview of learning styles. (n.d.). Learning Styles Online.com - including a free inventory. https://www.learning-styles-online.com/overview/