The National Council Licensure Examination is a prerequisite for becoming a nurse, and with increased nursing school applicants, we thought it would be worthwhile to offer tips on how best to pass the NCLEX. We each tried our techniques and utilized similar options to help us pass the exam in May of this year. With some guidance from our parents, we also have plenty of tips to help others pass this challenging exam with much more confidence than you otherwise might have exhibited.
Watch Tips and Tutorials on YouTube
YouTube has tons of great material on every subject, including the NCLEX. We recommend finding some tutorials and tips to help you pass. Shannon, in particular, used this study method for subjects she didn’t fully understand. It enables you to gain knowledge in areas where you’re lacking and is just a fun, easy way to gain more information and help you feel more confident with that material.
Allot Yourself So Many NCLEX Questions Per Day
Don’t try to push yourself to get through hundreds of practice questions when you don’t have the mental capacity. Instead, give yourself a few months to take your time and practice until you feel comfortable. It’s best to allot yourself so many questions daily and only focus on getting through one set at a time. Shannon stuck with the 75 questions per day rule, and it helped.
You can also go with Kristyn’s technique and allot yourself so many daily topics. Then, pick two or three and work on the material until you feel like you’ve nailed it. She spent one month working this way until she felt confident she could pass the test.
Study and Correct Your Incorrect Answers
By only focusing on so many questions each day, you have time to go back over the answers. You can correct anything you got wrong and take the time to understand why it was wrong. Then, use your results to help you study better and refocus on the problems you’re having trouble tackling.
Let Your Family Help
You don’t have to do this alone. Sure, you’ll be the only one taking the test, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get help practicing and preparing in the meantime. Let your family help you in any way they can—we both did. Kristyn’s mom helped her by being a pretend patient. Her aunt and uncle let her stay with them while in college to help save on costs. Shannon’s dad tried to help keep their dog occupied, so he wasn’t in her way or disturbing her studies.
Be Sure to Eat Healthily
Speaking of Shannon’s dad, Mark stresses the importance of eating well. It’s important to eat something healthy and keep your body full and your brain working to the best of its ability while studying and before you have a big exam. So, eat something healthy and keep your body full and your brain working to the best of its ability. That will go a long way toward ensuring you can pass your NCLEX without the pangs of hunger interrupting your thought process.
Also, Enjoy a Snack
You don’t have to eat all the time healthily, however. Sometimes, it’s good to get your favorite snack and reward yourself a little for the hard work you’ve been doing. So, grab your favorite candy bar and savor every bite before you get back to the work at hand. That little bit of goodness in your day can be a huge motivator and help when feeling down.
Add Vitamin D to Your Day
It’s also essential to make sure you’re staying healthy overall. Adding Vitamin D to your day, especially by soaking it up outside, is beneficial for how you feel mentally. Don’t just sit and study for the entire day. Get outside. Enjoy the fresh air. Take the break you need and deserve. It will help give you mental clarity so you can return to your study routine afterward.
One of the best things you can do for yourself (or a family member) is to purchase a pretest system that allows you to see how well you would do on your NCLEX. It’s excellent practice and shows you the areas where you need additional guidance before you take the actual test. We used UWorld, and it offers options for both RNs and PNs. It helped us gain the information and experience necessary to help us feel genuinely prepared for the exam in real life. In addition, the UWorld NCLEX-RNⓇ provides more than 2,000 questions to help prepare for your impending. If you want easy-to-understand information, this program is for you.
Take Your Time During the NCLEX
Our final piece of advice is to take your time. It isn’t necessary to feel rushed during the NCLEX because you get five total hours for the entirety of it. Don’t rush through any questions. Please read it thoroughly so that you’re entirely comprehending what it’s asking. Some questions can be tricky, and you’ll misinterpret what it’s asking for if you don’t read them all the way through and give yourself time to sort through the possible answers.
Why Preparing to Be a Nurse Is So Important
It takes a village to support nursing students and current nurses, particularly given the added stress of the pandemic. In addition, as current nurses are exiting the profession due to burnout or attrition in large numbers, student nurses must find the resources they need to support their academic and career goals. A family and friends support network can also help make all the difference in reaching your goal of being a nurse with a healthy work-life balance.
This article written by Shannon Rosen and Kristyn Smith was published in the September 2022 issue of Minority Nurse.
About the authors
Shannon Rosen graduated from Nova Southeastern University, passed the NCLEX in May 2022, and is an Operating Room Nurse at Naples Community Hospital in Naples, Florida.
Kristyn Smith graduated from Chamberlain University, passed the NCLEX in May 2022, and is a Pediatric ER Nurse at a hospital in Houston, Texas.
Joanne Campbell, RN, PHN passed away peacefully on June 21 after a 5-year battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 91.
Joanne Marilyn Ross Campbell:
June 11, 1931 – June 21, 2022.
Joanne was born at home in Lakeport, California, on June 11, 1931, to Joseph and Anna (Santos) Ross. Soon after, Joanne and family moved to their beloved ranch on Big Valley Road in Finley, California. It was a place where she fondly remembered growing up in the family’s orchards surrounded by siblings Kenneth, Leona (Newman), Lois (Thorne), and Judith (Davidson). She and her sisters also comprised the entire choir at St. Mary’s Church in Lakeport with Joanne eventually taking over piano duties as well.
Joanne, always the stellar student, graduated school in Lakeport at the top of her class receiving a Doyle Scholarship to attend Santa Rosa Junior College. It was there she started her career with a pre-nursing program, graduating in 1952. Upon graduation, she was accepted at both Stanford University and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) nursing schools, choosing UCSF for practical reasons — she would graduate 6 months earlier than the Stanford program with both RN and PHN (Public Health Nurse) degrees. She graduated in 1955. At the end of her nursing internship, she attended a 6-month position at the Queen’s Hospital of Nervous Diseases in London, which began in 1958. This would lead to her lifetime passion for traveling. After the internship, she joined three of her eventual lifelong friends in a Volkswagen bug and toured Europe for 6 months—it was the trip of her life. Upon her return, she turned down a nursing position in Connecticut and accepted a position with the City and County of San Francisco as a Public Health Nurse in 1960. She would make San Francisco her home for the rest of her life.
It was during this time she met her future husband, James (Jim) Campbell, a third-generation San Franciscan. They married in December, 1961. The next chapter of her life began when she gave birth to her oldest son Timothy in 1962, Brian in 1964 (a short move south to Daly City in 1965), and Robert in 1967. Her boys were her pride and joy in life and became her sole focus after the untimely death of Jim in 1973. She raised the three boys by herself in Daly City attending as many baseball, basketball, and band concerts as humanly possible, eventually putting all of them through college. She retired from nursing in 1992, but she did not stay idle for long.
As a tribal citizen of Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, she was elected to the Tribal Council in 1998 where she served multiple terms over 18 years, retiring in 2016 to spend more time with the second love of her life, Young Smith. While serving on the Tribal Council she was passionate about the tribe’s federal restoration, cultural revitalization projects including tribal language learning programs (Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo) and sharing traditional basketry skills.
She served on the initial boards of directors for the California Indian Basketweavers’ Association (CIBA) and the San Francisco Quilting Guild. She was an avid quilter as well as a Giants, 49ers, and Warriors fan throughout her entire life. She was also a great friend, aunt, mother, and grandmother. She never stopped being a nurse and continued to look after and help many families and friends right up until her passing.
She is survived by her three sons, Timothy (Bonnie), Brian (Carla), and Robert (Tina), her sister Leona Newman of Oak Harbor, Washington, as well as her 6 grandchildren (James, Ethan, Kayla, Miles, Emily, Chase), numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and close friends. A funeral Mass was held at Church of the Good Shepherd in Pacifica, CA on July 7. Private burial will follow at a later date. A Celebration of Life gathering in Sonoma County will be held later this year.
Memorial donations may be made in her name to St. Vincent de Paul Society of San Mateo County at www.svdpsm.org, or 50 North B Street, San Mateo, CA 94401, 650-373-0622.
When he is not treating kids as a pediatric Transitional Care Unit (TCU) nurse at VCU Health in Richmond, VA, Ren Capucao, MSN traces the rich heritage of Filipino nurses in the US.
As a nurse historian (Capucao’s first article was published in 2019 in the Nursing History Review), he focuses on studying the fascinating story of Filipino American nurses. Capucao is working toward a PhD at the University of Virginia School of Nursing, and his scholarship has shown so much promise that he has been named a Fulbright Scholar for 2022-23 and will be a Fellow at the University of the Philippines, Manila.
“Seeing through my mother’s lens as a nurse,” Capucao says, brought home to him “the sacrifices she made to care for her loved ones. For all the trailblazing nurses that immigrated to the U.S., I can only imagine the struggles they faced on top of caring for patients often culturally dissimilar, so I am humbled to have these nurses invite me into their homes and openly share their memories.”
Capucao will use the Fulbright grant to travel to the Philippines during the 2022-23 academic year to continue his investigations into Filipino nurses’ histories, conducting interviews, collecting oral histories, and diving into historical archives. He is also an editor for the nursing and medical history blog Nursing Clio, and his dissertation study “Pressed into Starched Whites: Nursing Identity in Filipino American History” has already earned him grants and accolades from the Virginia Humanities, the Philippine Nurses Association of America, the Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry and the Barbara Bates Center for the Studying of the History of Nursing.
In this video, “A Culture to Care,” Ren shares some background on the history of Filipino nurses in the US and his own very personal links to nursing and the tradition of nursing among Filipinos.
Higher education is evolving. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, distance education in master’s nursing programs has been steadily rising since 2015, offering improved access, flexibility, and student advancement. In fact, a recent survey reports that a primary target demographic for online programs is adults returning to school.
Distance education opens opportunities for non-traditional students to advance their careers under different circumstances. A recent report by Deloitte showed that 26% of higher education students hold full-time jobs while attending school, and 44% are 24 or older. A virtual learning experience is a good fit for professionals juggling work and home responsibilities along with their post-graduate education.
A roundup of data on higher learning noted that, among graduate students in the United States, 52% felt their online courses were a “better learning experience” than their onsite classes. The flexibility of online learning accommodates the schedules of busy professionals, while the constant technological evolution of distance learning provides a more customizable experience than traditional classroom learning.
Early distance education was similar to the one-dimensional lecture style of in-person learning. From the original mail-based correspondence courses and televised classes to the first fully online degree programs in 1989, the concept largely remained the same—you read, watched, or listened to an educator lecture.
This model may be familiar, but it’s an inflexible learning environment that is only optimal for some students, while others struggle to adapt their learning needs to fit. In recent years, this approach has begun to evolve, leveraging more innovations in technology.
The Harvard Business Review reports that colleges allocate only 5% of their budget to IT, but that is expected to quickly change. Global impact intelligence platform HolonIQ predicts that EdTech venture capital will nearly triple over the next decade.
As distance education shifts from simple remote learning to next-generation technologies and as non-traditional students become the new normal, it’s time to set aside the old one-dimensional learning tools and engage your graduate students in a learning experience that empowers them to reach their next-level goals.
Digital Test Prep Is the Next Step
The growing momentum in the digital learning environment has created new ways to reach different types of learners. Online learning has gone from static to interactive, using innovations such as virtual simulations, virtual and augmented reality, mobile devices, and cloud technology.
As education evolves with technology, educators are finding modern ways to adapt the one-size-fits-all lecture style to accommodate different learning needs.
Interactive exam preparation is the natural next step for today’s nursing and social work graduate students. One tool has everything you need to connect your faculty and students for a powerful learning experience. Using technology and analytics, ExamPrepConnect University Solutions creates a personalized interactive learning experience to prepare your students for the culmination of their post-graduate education—their certification and licensure exams.
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While other exam prep tools leave students to prepare on their own, ExamPrepConnect University Solutions brings your faculty into the process to provide students with support to achieve passing scores. Increase engagement and identify the unique needs of your students’ by assigning curricula backed by a powerful metric dashboard to prepare them to pass their certification or licensure exam.
ExamPrepConnect for Faculty:
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Interactive content is designed to boost student performance through customizable study plans, optimized to support personal learning styles. Students can review content any time, on any device, that accommodates their preferred learning styles.
Whether they learn best through visual, auditory, reading/writing, or hands-on means, ExamPrepConnect University Solutions has the tools to support their learning process and ensure they’re certification or licensure ready.
ExamPrepConnect for students:
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Q&A with rationales.
Seeing Is Believing
Meet with an ExamPrepConnect expert for a demonstration of how ExamPrepConnect University Solutionsprepares your students for high stakes exams, such as FNP, PMHNP, and AGNP certifications in nursing and ASWB, master’s, and bachelor’s licensure in social work. The demonstration is customized to your needs, just as ExamPrepConnect University Solutions is customized to your faculty and student needs. Click Request Demo to send a message to our demo team.
Evidence-based practice is at the heart of nursing—and most of that evidence is based on quantitative research. For nurses who are merely competent in math, though, interpreting the numbers can be a challenge. And if your own facility with statistics is middling, trying to mentor semi-numerate DNP students may leave you feeling helpless at times.
Help is on the way. On May 19, data analysis expert James Lani, Ph.D., MS is hosting a free webinar specifically aimed at faculty members who mentor graduate students for dissertation, thesis, or scholarly projects and are seeking to take their command of statistics to the next level to better guide those students.
Dr. Lani, the CEO of Intellectus Statistics, has been helping faculty and graduate students with their quantitative research for over two decades.
In his upcoming webinar session, Dr. Lani will use mock data to work through faculty and students’ research questions, prepare and graph data, select and conduct the correct statistical analyses, and demonstrate how to appropriately present results. He will also cover sample size and power analysis, data management, and visualization techniques, and at the end of the presentation, he can even provide faculty with project-specific help.
James Lani holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, an MS in Psychology with an emphasis in Experimental Methods from California State University Long Beach, a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, and minors in Mathematics and Human Services from California State University, Fullerton.
Who can attend: Faculty members in nursing, social work, counseling, public health, psychology, and health administration at any stage of their research or faculty who mentor students’ research as they pursue their degree (i.e., Dissertations, DNP Project for Nurses, Fieldwork and Supervision for Behavior Analysts, etc.)