In hindsight there are a few things I would definitely do differently if I lived my life over again.
This is a post regarding a 180 degree turn in how I study, my thoughts on nursing and how I view the seriousness and importance of my profession.
Also, why spending $40,000 for nursing school means
nothing when taking the NCLEX. Read How I Failed the NCLEX
After I graduated with my BSN in Dec. 2009, I was ready to be making the big nursing bucks. Unfortunately, one very large obstacle loomed in the distance. The NCLEX. My thoughts after graduation were
I just spent 40,000 on Nursing school, why do I need to study for the NCLEX?
I did not study for the NCLEX at all. The year previous I attended the Hurst review. I thought, (stupidly, I might add) with all the experiences I’ve had, getting my BSN and already having taken the Hurst review, I was ready to slaughter the NCLEX.
I sure was mistaken, I sat down for the test and anxiety set in, I didn’t know 90% of the questions. The test shut off on question 125 after asking me some low level questions, for example “List the steps to start an IV” or “What is the most important thing about hand-washing”.
I walked out of the test KNOWING I failed, and sure enough, 2 days later I was stricken with the real bummer news. The sad news set me for a whirlwind.
This experience threw me into a pretty depressing spiral. Forty grand was spent on nursing school and it felt as though it was for nothing. While my nursing school buddies were already starting their jobs, I was left jobless, wondering if I was going to pass the test the next time I was eligible to take it.
A vow was made after failing the NCLEX, the next time I was to take it, I was going to slaughter the test and drag it back to my cave . I religiously went into studying for the NCLEX. I signed up for the Hurst review (again) and then took the study guide home and memorized it whole. I’d then have my then girlfriend, (now wife) test me randomly on any questions in the book. Every day I would practice approximately 150 NCLEX questions. That April when I was to take the test again, I was ready.
When I sat down for the test, I was still anxious, but excited to be finished with the test. Going through the questions I stayed in the higher level questions, quite confident I was going to pass. The test shut off around 75 questions and I was overjoyed.
2 days later, after looking at the AZ State Board of nursing site 30+ times, my nursing license showed up. I cannot express how much more it meant to me passing the test that time around.
Having taken the NCLEX 2 times has taught me the importance of being very intentional about everything I do in nursing. We are given such a special calling in our field… to take care of the sick and dying. I cannot and will not be mediocre. My goal is to strive for excellence in all that I do, and I now know that excellence in nursing is obtainable.
If you are in the middle of studying for the NCLEX, shoot me an email, I’d love to encourage you and give you some study tips that I learned on my own personal journey. Thank you for reading.
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