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Posted by: | July 24, 2012 | 52 Comments |


NCLEX prep:  do you have a plan? All of you need to have a plan as to how you are going to prepare for the NCLEX.

  • Think about when you are going to take your test……3,4, or 6 weeks after graduation?
  • Do you have a study plan? What has worked best for you so far?
  • Do you plan on taking a NCLEX prep course such as Kaplan and/or Hurts?
  • Are you going to wait to get your RN license before looking for jobs?
  • What have previous graduates told you about how to study and how they were successful?
under: Journals


  1. By: julia on July 24, 2012 at 8:50 PM      Reply

    I plan to take the NCLEX as soon as I can. I feel like the longer I wait, the more knowledge I may lose. Plus, it makes me anxious to wait. I don’t plan on using any type of remedial / tutoring to prep for it, as I feel the ATI has me pretty much burned out on that. In fact, I don’t really plan on studying much at all before the test. I will, of course, review pharmacology as much as possible, and important lab values. My study plan always consists of studying only what I don’t know, and I don’t plan on changing that since it works for me. I also don’t study the day before a big test because I need that time to rest my brain and relax. I have almost always done it that way, so I don’t plan on changing. I don’t plan to wait to apply for jobs after NCLEX. I haven’t heard too much about the NCLEX other than a few people I know have told me that it wasn’t as hard as they thought it would be. I think it’s really hard to gauge what the test will be like since everyone’s test is unique. I also never like to listen to anyone tell me that it’s awful, hard, etc. because what is hard to one person can be easy for another, and visa versa. I am just ready to do it and get it over with. !!!

    • By: Pandora on July 25, 2012 at 11:07 AM      Reply

      I agree with you Julia,
      Cut the cat and mouse chase and just do it and get over with it.

    • By: Shanna on July 25, 2012 at 1:14 PM      Reply

      Jules- if it aint broke, dont fix it. You consistently do well and your plan hasnt let you down yet- right before the NCLEX isnt the best time to change it on up. Pretty soon you can add R.N. to the list of the other 209 other things you do well. Jack of all trades.

      • By: julia on July 26, 2012 at 8:58 PM      Reply

        Thanks for the “shout out” :) I agree with you ladies, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. This can be applied to everyone. I also believe there is a direct correllation between brain stimulation during lecture and during recall. By that I mean, do the same thing when you are in lecture/ learning mode that you do when you are tested on that material. If you have a vanilla cappucino or mountain dew every morning in lecture, have one when you are tested. If you drink wine when you study, drink wine when you test. I think the sense of smell has a large part in this, as smell is strongly linked to memory. I ramble on, but the point is, keep your brain chemicals the same when you study and when you recall, whatever that is for you.

    • By: Angela on July 25, 2012 at 1:58 PM      Reply

      I agree 100% if it ain’t broken don’t fix it! I plan on just studying what I feel I lack education in and taking my test ASAP!

    • By: Kira on July 28, 2012 at 10:52 PM      Reply

      I agree that we should focus on what we don’t know and that we shouldn’t study the day before the exam. We should relax and try to have fun to reduce our stress level. The day before the exam you aren’t really going to learn much more and you might just make yourself more anxious.

  2. By: Pandora on July 25, 2012 at 11:06 AM      Reply

    I plan to take my NCLEX exam soon as I am cleared to sit for my boards. The plan is to study a 3-4 hours a day and refresh my memory from the subjects of Fundamentals to Leadership. I do not plan to take Kaplan, it is a lot of money for the course. It is like you either know it or you don’t. I am already employed and in no rush to find more jobs, but I do want to expland my knowledge by working on a PCU or ICU unit; maybe ORMC, that was my first choice of employment. I will start putting in my applications while still working at my present job which is rehabilitation nursing. I have heard some people have done Kaplan, a friend of mine who just finsihed BCC and passed her RN boards did HURST online review. Some people need the extra support. I plan to just read and practice answering questions to make sure I sufficiently am able to respond correctly on what is being asked. I am not going to be overly nervous; I am taking the calm approach: I can do this, I worked hard from beginning to the end; I got this.

    • By: Shanna on July 25, 2012 at 1:11 PM      Reply

      Pandora, you got this. Between your years of experience on the floor and all the practice questions and ATI prep, you will do great. You know what you are comfortable with and what areas you want to look over, and that will help guide you and your studying. I’ve got faith in you boo.

  3. By: Shanna on July 25, 2012 at 1:21 PM      Reply

    I plan to take the NCLEX pretty soon after pinning. I have always found comfort in knowledge and I will probably take Kaplan. I think at this point, I know more than I think I do, so I will continue to use the books and take as many questions- specifically about topics I struggle with. I will probably take the test a few hours away, get a hotel and just relax- taking the test with people I know will be too distracting. I have been doing a lot of research and looking for jobs, and my search is pretty broad because I am willing and able to pick up and go somewhere. Each person has a different opinion about NCLEX, and it doesnt really help because our tests are individualized. I am just going to study and do what I do- hopefully figure out diabetes once and for all, and trust that I have done enough these past 16 months that I am prepared. Right now I am not anxious, but as that test date approaches, I am sure I will be. But we will see how it goes…

    • By: Angela on July 25, 2012 at 1:56 PM      Reply

      I agree with you, I think I might get a hotel room the night before and just sit back and relax. There is no reason to cram the day before a huge test like this and stress yourself out!

    • By: Melissa on July 25, 2012 at 4:31 PM      Reply

      Shanna, I love the idea about getting a hotel, and relaxing. I will probably do the same thing, because if I am at home I will study like crazy, which will overwhelm me and increase my anxiety.

    • By: Sandy on July 29, 2012 at 5:40 AM      Reply

      Never thought about taking boards with someone I know, but now that you mention it, it could be very distracting. I also agree that a hotel located close to the testing site is something to consider.
      P.S. no more iamnotabot and 5nospamplease! Last blog, sorry I know your going to miss it!

  4. By: Angela on July 25, 2012 at 1:55 PM      Reply

    I plan on taking the nclex as soon as possible. I feel that if I wait too long I will become more and more anxious and I will not retain as much information as I want. I plan to study out of the books I have and continue to take NCLEX style questions to help me study. I am signed up to take the Hurst review and I feel that this will help me out quite a bit. I plan on studying in the areas that I am lacking in and not doing too much at once. I have talked to many different people about the NCLEX and every answer I get is different. Some people have felt that it was the hardest test they have ever taken and some have felt that the test wasn’t too bad. Every single person taking this test is different, so everyone will have a different answer. I just know that I need to have confidence in myself to get through this and I believe I will ;]

    • By: Melissa on July 25, 2012 at 4:24 PM      Reply

      Angela, I agree with you about how every person you ask about the NCLEX is different. I have had the same experience. I know you will do great. Confidence is key. You got this.

    • By: Lucinda on July 26, 2012 at 2:39 PM      Reply

      I agree that we all need confidence! I think that is the most important thing. We have all worked very hard to finally get to this point.

    • By: Sandy on July 29, 2012 at 5:32 AM      Reply

      I agree, everyone has a different opion as far as the NCLEX whether it was easy or hard. Confidence, no worries you will own the NCLEX! YOu got this Rebel!

    • By: Dianna on August 1, 2012 at 1:22 PM      Reply

      I agree with you, everyone seems to have their own horror stories about NCLEX. I think we need to just relax, and take it. We are awesome as a class, and everyone knows their stuff. We will rock it!

  5. By: Melissa on July 25, 2012 at 4:21 PM      Reply

    I would like to take the NCLEX as soon as I get the card to test, I will call and make an appointment, as soon as possible would be best for me. I’m going to review topics I know I need to brush up on. I will also use the topics to review from my Predictor scores. I am also signed up to take the Hurst review. I need the extra review because to me it is worth it, and makes me more confident. I will start looking for jobs after I get my RN license so the organization doesn’t have to wait for my RN number and we will be ready to go. I haven’t really talked to previous graduates about NCLEX because each and every person is so different. Some say it was a breeze, and others say it was so hard. So I’m going to do what I can to prepare and not stress, because stressing out is my flaw. I’m ready for this amazing journey to begin. :)

    • By: Lucinda on July 26, 2012 at 2:37 PM      Reply

      I feel it is a good idea to review the material from my predictor test that I didn’t do as well on. I think the live ATI review was also very helpful. She gave us a lot of useful information.

      • By: julia on July 26, 2012 at 8:43 PM      Reply

        As much as I groaned and moaned about having to sit in ATI live for 3 days, I have to admit that I did get some useful information. For example, the fact that there will never be all of the select all that apply questions. There was a few little tips like that that made it worth it. Well, not 3 whole days worth it, but at least one day!

    • By: Irene on July 28, 2012 at 7:22 PM      Reply

      I agree I plan on using the predictor topics as well. That shows everything we need to brush up on. You will do great just stay focused! Think future and happy thoughts!!

    • By: Kim P. on July 29, 2012 at 8:01 PM      Reply

      I don’t usually get nervous about tests but I think the NCLEX is different. I think it’s harder, because it’s adaptive. It gives you as may questions about things you don’t know as possible. It finds your weak points and exploits them. That freaks me out a little, but I have to think positive. You know this. You can do it. Slay the dragon.

    • By: Kayla on July 30, 2012 at 9:52 AM      Reply

      I think most of us want to take the NCLEX as soon as possible while it is fresh in our minds. And I agree with you that everyone is so different so it isn’t always helpful to hear from other people on what they thought or did.

  6. By: Lucinda on July 26, 2012 at 2:34 PM      Reply

    I plan to take the NCLEX as soon as possible. I want to make sure all the material I learned during nursing school is still fresh in my mind. I also feel that waiting to take the test would only cause me to have anxiety. The one thing I have learned about myself during nursing school is that I have severe test anxiety. I need to learn how to control my anxiety so that it doesn’t hinder my performance. I need to build up confidence and realize that I know more than what I give myself credit for. It is hard for me because not only do I want to be a great nurse, but my family is counting on me. I don’t want to let my husband, or children down. I plan to study a few hours every day and try to focus on learning how to relax during the test.

    • By: Kim P. on July 29, 2012 at 7:33 PM      Reply

      I plan on taking the NCLEX as soon as humanly possible. I will try to follow the study plan from the ATI NCLEX live review. I hope to be done studying before pinning, and not studying at all thereafter. For me, there is such thing as overstudying, which makes me question everything on multiple choice tests. I definitely do not want to spend more money on a review. If I don’t know it by now, what am I paying Keiser for? I think if I took the NCLEX today, I would probably pass, so I just want to take it before knowledge falls out of my head. I want to get a job as soon as possible, but I heard from previous graduates that they will not hire you until you get your license. They also said that you should go and spend the night in Orlando before the test, but I don’t see that happening with my family.

      • By: Kim P. on July 29, 2012 at 7:36 PM      Reply

        that was supposed to be my main post.

    • By: Kim P. on July 29, 2012 at 7:48 PM      Reply

      I sympathize with you having your family depending on you. While I was writing my entry, my husband figured out that I will not get to take the NCEX right away, then I have to wait have to get my license, then once I get a job I will have a couple weeks of work before I can get paid. I just have to have faith that we’ll get through these few weeks of hardship just fine and get a job quickly.

    • By: Veronica on July 30, 2012 at 8:26 AM      Reply

      Lucinda you are a smart cookie and try not to stress about who all is counting on you. Take a deep breath and go into this knowing you have aquired the skills you need to move on in your nursing career. You will be a great NURSE.

    • By: Dianna on August 1, 2012 at 1:21 PM      Reply

      You are right, you have text anxiety, but you know everything you are supposed to but get so flustered you forget or read the question wrong. You need to take deep breathes, relax, and take it one question at a time. You will do great…just REXLAX.

  7. By: Irene on July 28, 2012 at 7:19 PM      Reply

    I’m going to take NCLEX as soon as possible! There is no point in waiting any longer. I’m a firm believer in “If you don’t use it, you loose it!” It’s best to just get the test over and done with instead of taking of chance of your memory getting rusty and also the nerves and anxiety kicking in. My plan is to study a few hours each day over the material I struggle with, definitely gong over pharm each day. When it comes to tests I have learned it is best to study 2-3 hours each day over anything I don’t fully understand. I have no intentions of taking any review course. I study better by myself and they are costly too. Yes I am going to wait until I have my lisence to apply for jobs. I don’t want my application to get brushed to the side because I did’t have my lisence yet. The stories I have heard from previous grads vary, some had no issues at all and others had the worst experience. I don’t feed into what all took place during their testing because everyone has a different experience. I just gotta do it for myself! Useful tips are to be prepared: study, go over what you need to learn not what you already know, and don’t over stress!

    • By: Kira on July 28, 2012 at 10:42 PM      Reply

      I agree that you should go over want you need to know and not what you know. The NCLEX is designed to test you based on weakness and not your strengths. I also like the idea of studying only a couple of hours a day. I will give your mind a rest and time to process what you have learned.

  8. By: Irene on July 28, 2012 at 7:53 PM      Reply

    I know what you mean about not wanting to let your family down. I chose nursing because I know they are always hiring and I could work anywhere. Being a single mom I make it my top priority to make sure I do anything and everything I can to support Manny to the fullest. That desire is what motivates me to do the best I can. There is nothing like family! They will always love you and support you through thick and thin!!

    • By: Irene on July 28, 2012 at 7:54 PM      Reply

      Ooooops! That was for Lucinda’s comment!

  9. By: Kira on July 28, 2012 at 10:36 PM      Reply

    I would like to take the NCLEX 4 weeks after we graduate. I don’t want to wait too long because I wouldn’t want to procrastinate and stop studying because I have too much time on my hands. My study plan is to focus is study the topics I’m weak on and focus on the topics that are tested more on the NCLEX. I think the more questions we do the better. I plan on applying after I get my license. I think it’s better to take one set at a time. Pass the NCLEX is my main focus right now. I don’t plan on taking a prep course. I think that the ATI prep was great, but it’s time for me to study on my own and focus on what I need to learn. I really don’t really listen to previous graduates when they talk about how they felt about the exam because everyone has their own experience. All I can is my best. The information I like to get is more about how many questions they had to answer to give me and idea of how long the exam is. Also I was interested to see if a prep course helped them.

    • By: Emily on July 29, 2012 at 9:18 PM      Reply

      Kira, I also want to take my test 4 weeks from graduation. I feel like that is the perfect amount of time to study without allowing yourself to slack off like you said. I like your plan of working on your weak areas and also the areas heavily tested on the NCLEX. I am going to use the ATI review sheets to figure out which areas are heavily tested.

    • By: Veronica on July 30, 2012 at 8:23 AM      Reply

      Kira, focusing on the heavily tested areas is a good Idea I too plan on making sure those areas become my strong points.

  10. By: Sandy on July 29, 2012 at 5:52 AM      Reply

    I plan on scheduling the NCLEX as soon as I receive my ATT for the first available date at the first available location no matter where it is located in Florida. As far as a study plan, I hope to dedicate a minimum of 3 hours a day to study and review everything possible. I registered for the Hurst but considering the Kaplan. Everyone that I have talked to that has taken the NCLEX all have a different version as to whether it was easy or excruciatingly painful, the only thing in common is that they all survived.

    • By: Emily on July 29, 2012 at 9:15 PM      Reply

      Sandy, I like that you are giving yourself a minimum number of hours a day that you will study. I feel like that is the only way you can stay on top of a good schedule.

    • By: Shay on July 29, 2012 at 9:48 PM      Reply

      So true some nurses say it was easy however I would have to say the top comment I have heard is “it is the hardest test I have ever taken”

  11. By: Emily on July 29, 2012 at 9:13 PM      Reply

    In a perfect world, I would take my test 4 weeks from the day we graduate. I want to take a week to do the ATI live review and the individual study plan. So far, I have learned the best through practice tests so I feel that would benefit me greatly. I am doing the Hurst review August 27-29th. After that, I want a full two weeks to do the online Hurst CD’s. Then I would feel confident taking the test. I have already started applying to jobs, but I know a lot of facilities do not look at your application until you pass your NCLEX. I just want to get my name out there and then I will reapply once I pass. Previous graduates have told me that the quicker you take your test, the better you will do.

    • By: Shay on July 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM      Reply

      I agree Emily taking the test promptly is more than likely the best bet! It is so nerve racking!

    • By: Lisa on July 30, 2012 at 9:09 AM      Reply

      I also want to take my test as soon as possible. It’s awesome that you are already applying, I dont tthink you will have any rtrouble finding a job.

  12. By: Shay on July 29, 2012 at 9:45 PM      Reply

    Yes I have a plan that I received from the woman that taught the ATI lecture for three days. I will hopefully take the test ASAP. What worked for me thus far is staying dedicated at least four days a week for 2-3 hrs. I am still undecided between Kaplan and Hurst or if I should just go take NCLEX with the abundant Nursing knowledge that Keiser University has instilled into me between staffing changes. No I am already looking. I rarely get the chance to talk to graduates with being a full time nursing student and having three children.

    • By: Lisa on July 30, 2012 at 9:07 AM      Reply

      Sounds like a good plan. I think you should stay with your original plan, its worked for you this far. I think the staff changes have prepared you perfectly for the abundent adversities you will facea as a nurse.

  13. By: Veronica on July 30, 2012 at 8:21 AM      Reply

    I plan on taking my NCLEX as soon as possible. Two days prior to my test date I plan on getting a hotel room near my testing facility to be able to have complete focus away from the everyday life of family responsibility. I am going to focus on all the areas I am weak on and not bother studying the areas I have been strong in. I also have registered to take the Hurts review. I purchased and NCLEX bulleted facts book and have been slowly reading through that and marking off the things I know verses the things I need to brush up on. As far as looking for a job I am going to try and get my name out there and let people know I soon will be graduating, but a lot of places will not look at you until you have graduated. The only advice I have really recieved about NCLEX is to take your time and not rush through the test. I plan on making sure I take breaks and try not to overthink the question.

    • By: Kayla on July 30, 2012 at 9:49 AM      Reply

      That is a good idea for you to get a hotel room, that way you can get away for the family responsibilities and distractions while trying to prepare. I also have heard that they have pretty much gone away from the GN programs and they look at people who are already license so I plan to wait and apply then.

  14. By: Lisa on July 30, 2012 at 9:04 AM      Reply

    I don’t know if you could really say I have “a plan” to study for the NCLEX, which scares me a little bit. I want to take my exam as soon as possible after graduation, in my perfect world that would be mid September. My study plan is to study the same way I have been studying throughout nursing school, it obviously has worked since I have gotten this far. I have thought about an NCLEX prep class, and I currently have a seat reserved for the Hurst review at the end of August, but I’m not 100% if I want to attend it after speaking with the lady from ATI. I’m going to start LOOKING for jobs as soon as I am able too. I don’t think it hurts to be optimistic about passing NCLEX. That way once I have my license I will be able to put the finishing touches on my application or let my future employer know and be good to go. I haven’t talked to many previous graduates, as I don’t know too many previous graduates, but from what I have heard its best not to change your study routine too much and try not to over study. You know more than you think you do.

    • By: Emily Killingsworth on July 30, 2012 at 1:52 PM      Reply

      I was going to take the prep class as well but from what the previous graduates told us in class the day they came to talk to us and from what the ATI lady said as well, I decided not to. I think all of us are in the same boat as wanting to take the NCLEX as soon as we can. And I agree with you 100% on we know more that what we think we do.

  15. By: Kayla on July 30, 2012 at 9:46 AM      Reply

    I plan to take the test within 2 to 3 weeks after graduating or as soon as I can. I do want to study over some stuff before hand but I don’t want to wait too long since it is all fresh in my mind now. I will continue to study the way I have been studying since it has worked for me so far. I take lots of practice questions and for the NCLEX I will review the topics I did weakest on on the predictor. I do not plan on taking a prep course. I have glanced online at some RNs jobs here and there and most of them require a good standing license, I have not seen any GN opportunities and I have also heard they have pretty much done away with GN programs but I could be completely wrong. Therefore, I had planned on waiting until I was licensed to start applying for jobs.

    • By: Emily Killingsworth on July 30, 2012 at 1:49 PM      Reply

      I agree with you Kayla on not waiting too long to take the NCLEX. Take it while all the material is still fresh on your mind. I know that Holmes does a required GN program for all new nurses regardless if you have your RN license. But again, that is what I heard. I would prefer to wait until I have passed the NCLEX to obtain a job.

  16. By: Emily Killingsworth on July 30, 2012 at 1:47 PM      Reply

    I plan on taking the NCLEX 2 to 3 weeks after graduation with 4 weeks being the max. I would rather take it sooner than later. I believe and have been told that the longer you wait, the chance of passing it the first time around decreases. I don’t really have a study plan just yet. I know I will study out of the NCLEX book we received in the beginning of this semester/take sample test questions and definitely continue to study pharmacology. I would like to study a couple of hours a day. I won’t be studying the day before I take it because I want to take that day to relax and get mentally prepared. I don’t plan on taking an NCLEX prep course. I feel that we have had enough material and study/test taking tips the last 16 months to prepare me for the NCLEX. I would prefer to wait and get my RN before I obtain a job but if I have the opportunity to get a job before then and it’s available then I will definitely take it. Previous graduates have said to take the NCLEX as soon as possible. I have also been told that the NCLEX prep courses have not really helped the ones that have taken it.

  17. By: Dianna on August 1, 2012 at 1:16 PM      Reply

    I plan on taking the NCLEX asap, 2 to 3 weeks after graduation. I want to take it while review is fresh in my mind, and everything else we have learned also. I plan on using the comprehensive NCLEX book we go to use to study. I plan on readining it every day a couple of hours a day, split up. I have been most successful when I do my studying in bits and pieces rather than for long periods of time. I am not going to take any prep courses. I don’t feel that I need to spend the money on one at this time. I am going to start applying for jobs as soon as I graduate. I am giving my resume to the floor I am doing practicum this Monday before I leave. I have talked to the nurses on the floor and got mixed messages. Some say they took a prep course, and others just studied with the books they had and passed.

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