NCLEX! The infamous word that you hear EVERY day throughout nursing school! It’s pretty much the be-all-end-all! You can survive nursing school and pass with flying colors, but you NEED your license in order to practice. And Passing the NCLEX is the key!
Some Common Questions
So where do you start? What program do you do? How much do you study? When do you register? Can you apply to jobs before you pass? These are all of the questions that I had and all of the questions that many of you getting ready to take NCLEX have! I wanted to write the blog to equip you with answers and confidence going into taking boards and the world of real life nursing!
When do you register for the NCLEX?
You have to wait for your authorization. Typically your nursing schools will take care of that for you and you will get an email with a confirmation number. Once you have that authorization, you can register for boards! I would recommend making a date about a month to a month and a half away from registration. Unless you have already done a study course or personal prep class, I would give yourself AT LEAST 3 weeks to study for it! Waiting too long to register boards will wash away all of the fresh knowledge you have acquired from exit exams and such! Yes, you can relearn, but the earlier the better in my book !
Can you apply for jobs before you take Boards?
Yes and No. It depends on the hospital. If I were you, and you were wanting to apply to a position before taking boards, I would reach out to their Human Resources and inquire if you can apply before passing your boards? Some will consider you and offer you a position conditionally (meaning the job is yours if you pass). Others won’t even consider the application without a license number. Applications can be lengthy and time consuming. I would want to know before taking all of that time to apply if I was going to be considered or not!
I don’t think it’s a bad idea to apply before passing boards, though. Just make sure you check with HR first. I think getting ahead of the game and applying/interviewing is a great idea and will get you an interview that you might not be able to get if you wait until you pass! If they say you can apply before passing boards, then do it! It will give you more incentive to study harder and that first job as a Nurse becomes more tangible 😉
Studying For Boards
I would highly encourage you to take a prep course or buy a reputable NCLEX study program! I say repeatable because I know there are a ton out there that people have found NOT helpful! That’s a waste of time and money! Make sure you read the reviews! Some programs offer personal help services if you don’t pass the first time or money back guarantee. Those are things you want to look into! Just make sure it’s reputable and has a good “pass rate” with people who have used it!
(Click the picture above to link Hurst Review site!)
I personally used the Hurst Review!I studied that program like it was my job for an entire month! It was kind of pricey, but it had amazing reviews and I didn’t hear of one person who didn’t pass that took the review! It made studying less painful with its enthusiastic and funny instructors! I understood concepts so clearly that I never grasped during school! Sometimes I wish I knew where my papers went because I could even use a review today on certain topics! 😉 I went over EVERY bit of material at least 10 times (in depth)! I woke up every day and studied 9-5pm! I invested all of that money in the review and registering for the NCLEX, that I NEEDED to pass! I had to start working to bring home the Benjamins! It was completely worth it. I passed in 75 questions and felt very confident going in! Scared, but prepared!
Commitment is Key!
Committing to a study program is the only way you are going to succeed! Most of the program’s know the in’s and outs of NCLEX, and they have shaped their programs to mimic the structure and question types of the NCLEX! Getting up and devoting time to studying every day and repeating the information and material is the way you are going to succeed!
You WILL conquer boards if you can understand and implement these tips! For those of you out there taking boards a second, third, or even fourth time, don’t be discouraged. I know many people who didn’t pass first time around and are GREAT nurses! I highly encourage you to get a program like the one I mentioned above! I swear by it! Make sure you aren’t doing the same thing to prepare for the next time you retake! There’s a reason you might not have passed with that plan!
A Small Part Of the Big Journey
The NCLEX was such a small part of my life when I look back, but in the moment, it felt like a giant T-Rex was staring me in the eyes with its mouth wide open! RELAX! You WILL make it! You WILL pass! It may not be in your timing, but you WILL PASS! What your GPA in nursing school was or how many times it took you to pass boards is no indication of how you will be as a nurse! How you choose to prepare and fight back, is! PREPARE, STUDY HARD, and…
YOU WILL PASS!
Your Heart Is Mine,
(Disclaimer: I do get a small percenatge of any purchases made from Hurst Reivew from the picture link above. Not only did I personally use and succeed first time with the Hurst Review, but I firmly stand behind their company and their devotion to helping nursing students! The income I make from these types of partnerships allows me to devote more time to blogging and sharing useful information with you! Thank you so much!)