Monday, January 21, 2013

My NCLEX Chronicles

In my last post, I mentioned that my NCLEX Day was January 15th. Looking at the calendar and seeing that it's January 21st, it's obviously past my NCLEX Day. So...? Pass? Fail? Loved it? Hated it? Is my signature now Kendra, RN? Answers coming up...

December 31st: Study Day #1. I had intended to start studying during the day...but I ended up getting other stuff done, so I started later that evening. I grabbed a notebook and the borrowed Hurst book and just started reading and writing. Over the next week(ish), I literally wrote notes on the whole Hurst book, pretty much copied it word for word. A few nights I went to the local college and studied in the student center for several hours, other nights I just made my space at the kitchen table at home.  My opinion on Hurst, based on just the book, not actually taking the review course or having access to the online materials - not bad. It was a pretty decent comprehensive review of content.

January 9th: Study Day #10. Started working through my Kaplan book. I read the chapters on how to interpret and answer different types of questions, then did the practice questions at the end of each chapter. My opinion on Kaplan, based on just the book, not actually taking the review course - not bad. It was good for strategy and teaching a different way to look at the questions.

January 10th and 11th: Study Day #11 and #12. I met up with my study buddy/partner in crime from school and we studied together.  He had a Saunders book, I had my Kaplan book. Over 2 nights, we went over probably 100 or so questions - 1 from Kaplan, 1 from Saunders. We'd each read the question out loud, read the answers out loud, then discuss rationale for answering together, then check the answer. Thankfully, we were getting more right than wrong...GOOD SIGN! We went our separate ways after those 2 nights and I spent the next couple of nights just doing practice questions in the Kaplan book, reviewing some of the Hurst notes, then doing more questions.

January 13th: Study Day #14. My final night to study, just spent hours going over practice questions, 10 at a time. Answer 10, check answers for 10, answer 10 more. Still getting more right than wrong.

January 14th: Mental Break Day, no studying. I spent the day doing my own thing...I went for a run (despite the temps being in the low 20's with a windchill of 12 degrees), ran a few errands, relaxed...then went to my parents' house for the night. They live 15-20 minutes away from the testing site where I was registered as opposed to living a good hour away, so I stayed with them. I didn't look at a single book or question that whole night - just watched some Duck Dynasty re-runs and relaxed.

January 15th: NCLEX DAY. Woke up early enough to get a good shower and eat a snacky breakfast before it was time to head to my testing center. I got there a little earlier than my 8:00 testing time and met up with the 2 classmates who had the same test date scheduled.  We got all checked in - including fingerprint scans, palm vein scans, picture taken (yowza!) - and along with the 3-4 other people there who were taking exams, we waited until we were called back to get testing instructions. Exam started before 8:00 am (not sure of exact time). Questions...yes, there were questions, I answered a few...question 1, question 2...question 25...question 38...question 68...OMG, getting close to 75...question 74...OMG NEXT QUESTION IS 75...question 75...*clicks Next, holds breath*...BLUE SCREEN...OMG IT SHUT OFF AT 75, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN, DID I PASS OR DID I FAIL?!?!?  AAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!

Did my exit stuff and left the testing center...only to wait by the elevators for my 2 classmates who were still taking the exam. One classmate walked out about 5-10 minutes later...she had 75 questions as well...and we were both thinking not-so-great thoughts about our futures in nursing. We decided to try the Pearson Vue trick on our phones while we waited for our other classmate to come out...and after a small amount of panic at exactly how the whole trick works, we both got the pop-up saying that we couldn't register at this time. PROMISING NEWS! Other classmate came out  - 75 questions as well - and we had him do the trick...same results. Looks like we all passed, but we were all waiting until we got official results before we could really relax and believe it.

Fast forward about 24 hours...I was furiously checking the Kentucky BON website to see if my license had changed from a provisional license to an RN license. The 9ish AM check showed provisional still...but then I decided to check at 9:40 AM....OMG, IT SAYS RN! DOES THAT REALLY SAY RN?!?! AM I REALLY AN RN?!?! OMG, I'M AN RN!!! I PASSED! I PASSED NCLEX! Later that afternoon, I got the official e-mail from KBN stating the same, that my RN license had been issued. KENDRA PASSED NCLEX, KENDRA IS NOW AN RN!

So there is my NCLEX adventure in a nutshell, from studying like it was a full-time job to the absolute WORST STRESS EVAR waiting for my results. But it's over, it's behind me, and I never have to do that again.

BUT...I passed. With 75 questions. Without having taken a formal review. I did it on my own, studying on my own. It can be done!

Kendra, RN  <----this is so cool. I'm really a nurse. All my hard work has paid off  :-)


  1. I have been waiting for this!!! My test is in 3 days!

  2. I'm so excited and happy and thrilled for you all at once! How awesome, that makes my heart soar! I start my first day of class for my last semester tomorrow, and I feel like I could throw up because I'm so nervous. Either way, I'm so happy you passed and are now an official RN! Good job Kendra, I knew you could do it!

  3. Congratulations ! For those before the NCLEX -
    Make sure you compare prices for your books before you buy! e.g. Saunders (9781437708257) or Kaplan (9781609788919) before you buy !

  4. Wow, congratulations! I'm also wanting to pass my exam! I am so busy in my self study review using different materials like mobile apps , kindle ebook , and other practice tests I found online.