I was recently sharing some of my NCLEX tips with one of my girlfriends who’s in her last semester of nursing school. Midway through our conversation, she was extremely engaged and paused to say, “Umm Terry, all the things you’re saying are great, you definitely need to mention them on the blog”. Honestly, it never crossed my mind that people would actually want to hear from ME (the girl who almost dropped out of nursing school), but nevertheless, here I am! I’m sharing my tips on how I went from potential dropout to passing my NCLEX in 75 questions, flat!
1. Change Your Mindset and Victory Is Yours!
Seriously! Passing the NCLEX is 90% mental. First, you have to willingly accept that your life is on PAUSE until you pass this test. I graduated, celebrated for one weekend, and the following Monday I got right back into my books like nothing happened! For one month I didn’t go out, I didn’t do brunch, I didn’t go on vacation with my friends, I didn’t do anything because I was focused! In reality, what is one more month of no social life for a lifetime of credentials? Okay then.
2. Pick ONE Study Guide and Study It…. Religiously!
I swear by the Hurst Review. It provides a condensed manual for everything you need to know to pass the NCLEX. After I paid the $250 to sit for my exam and $425 for the review, I was left with a whopping $6 to my name, and I would do it time and time again. My school offered the live review for those who paid for the course, but honestly I didn’t learn much in class. I just watched the videos religiously! While watching the videos, I followed along with the Hurst review book and paid attention to every little detail.
3. Get a Solid Study Group
I cannot imagine passing nursing school or the NCLEX without my girls Cece and Tamara! The three of us complied an informal “study guide” of which chapters we would study individually and we met weekly to REVIEW them. We did not study together, I really don’t believe that’s effective to anyone; we simply reviewed what we learned every week. We quizzed each other and got on each other when we were slacking. I appreciate those moments and miss those hot summers days sitting outside of Starbucks studying for hours on end. Those days made us.
4. When In Doubt, Pull Out Your Practice Questions
After you finish the content portion of studying, quiz yourself until you are nauseated! Pull questions from any creditable source that you can find: Hurst, books, apps, classmates, anything that is up-to-date and credible! In the last few days leading up to your NCLEX, you should only be doing practicing questions and reviewing your areas of weakness. Waiting at the doctor’s office? Practice some questions! In line at the grocery store? Practice some questions! Waiting on your ex to text you back? Practice some questions!
5. RELAX Girl, You Got This!
The day before the exam, I took one sheet of paper and put everything that I still didn’t know (but thought would be vital) on ONE side of that sheet of paper. The morning of my exam, I drilled those last minute things into my head. I walked into the exam feeling like a champion and I walked out feeling like the dumbest human to ever roam the planet. When the computer cut off at 75 questions, I KNEW I FAILED! I instantly started thinking of how I would explain this to my parents, how disappointed I was in myself, and how I would loose the job I had lined up. A few days later, I was browsing the Board of Nursing website and my heart sank when I stumbled upon the words: TANISHA TERRY, REGISTERED NURSE! Looking back, I regret all the anxiety and pressure I put on myself. The best advice I could give young Tanish is, “Relax girl, you got this!”
I hope you find these tips helpful. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to comment below or contact me directly. Please know that I am sincerely praying for each and everyone of you. Congratulations in advance, I can’t wait to celebrate with you!