Was offered my first RN position here in town at the hospital I did my clinical rotations in.
I originally had my foot in the door with our county health system, but due to an influx of applicants, they closed their entry level RN application (which is normally always open) by the time I passed boards.
I have to admit, I was bummed. It really is as tough out there for new grad RN’s as they say. I applied to countless places (out of town even) and received countless rejection letters. Finally I decided, what the heck? I’m going to call these units and ask for managers. One in particular scheduled me an interview on the spot. She actually told me during my interview that she had no plans on coming in that day, but was impressed with my forwardness in calling her. She wanted to see what I had to offer, and obviously she liked what she saw!
I consider myself very blessed to have only graduated about 3 months ago to happen upon a job so quickly, especially out here in California.
I guess that’s it with this blog then? Perhaps I’ll start up a new one about a newbie RN? ;)
Drove out to the city I was testing in the night prior with my fiancé. Before checking in to our hotel room, he took me out for dinner at one of our favorite Filipino spots and he let me buy out the entire stock of junk food from the Filipino market adjacent to the restaurant. It was about 2100 when we finally got to the hotel room. Without hesitation I took off my clothes, threw on an oversized shirt, and collapsed in to bed with my dried mangos, mochis, and Yan-Yans (Strawberry AND chocolate, thank you very much!). I was adamant that I was NOT going to study. My brain needed to rest! So instead, I vegged out with my snacks whilst absent-mindedly flipping through channels. I was aware that I wouldn’t get much sleep and I was right. Slumber didn’t hit me until about 0200, but luckily my exam wasn’t scheduled until 1200 that afternoon.
I woke up at about 0900, showered, had breakfast (a banana nut muffin), and got ready to test. I know they say to eat protein, but I did not have the stomach for anything really and as much as I love muffins, it tasted like cardboard thanks to my nerves. Pro tip, dress in layers! I wore leggings; a v-neck tee layered over a cami, and threw a crew neck sweater on for warmth. Unfortunately hooded sweaters are not allowed in the testing center, which is sad since hoodies make up a bulk of my wardrobe (I blame nursing school for that!). I’m very prone to being cold so I just had to make do with what I had. Point is I dressed for comfort. I dressed assuming I would be there for the entire 6 hours of allotted time. In fact, I dressed as if I was going to class lol. I also packed snacks as if I was dedicating my entire day to the testing facility. My purse’s seams were practically bursting from carrying bottled waters, a plethora of granola bars, and muffins. I was going to battle; I needed the appropriate sustenance.
I arrived at the testing center (around the corner from my hotel, woohoo!) about an hour earlier. I figured it would give me ample time to check in and collect myself. It didn’t exactly work out that way. I was pretty much thrown to the lions as soon as I checked in. I arrived at 1100 and began the exam at 1106. One hour later and after my 75th question, my screen just went….blue. It was done.
Now I know most people walk out on the verge of tears or feeling as if they failed, but I felt…apathetic? I didn’t know how to feel really. I sat in my car in a daze just trying to reflect and collect my thoughts. About 10 minutes later when the status of my test was updated to ‘Delivery Successful’ on the Pearsonvue website, I attempted the ‘trick’ on my phone and got the good pop-up. Huge sigh of relief, but there was still that nagging pessimist at the back of my head assuming I’d be the one person that the trick didn’t work for.
I stalked my state’s BRN website, but as of an hour ago, my name and license number is posted. Thanks for the support, everyone. I am officially an unemployed REGISTERED nurse. *fist bump*
LaCharity says nursing assistants CANNOT perform blood glucose tests. Kaplan says they CAN.
Well then. WELLL then.
I get these bouts of confidence when I’m just like, “NCLEX aint nothing, bro! Totally gonna pass it. TOTALLY!”
And then 5 minutes later I’m in a fetal position and crying.
This is so stressful! I’ve done a live Kaplan review (it was part of my nursing program) and I really don’t know if it did more harm than good?
People never told me that nursing school exams were different from regular biology exams. People also never told me that these NCLEX questions are a completely different beast compared to those nursing school exams.
Somebody hold me.
Just a little update.
As the title says, I’m a fourth of the way through with my final semester of nursing school! I now have a general understanding as to why it is considered the ‘make it or break it’ semester. First of all, it’s a 30 hour work week consisting of one 6 hour lecture and two 12 hour shifts. Secondly, in our past med surg 1 course, we were introduced one major body system at a time. We just had our first exam a week ago and it consisted of the renal system, the cardiovascular system, AND the respiratory system. Obviously, that’s A LOT of studying. And while on the topic of exams, they’re pretty lengthy at 100 questions each with the question styles more on the ‘application’ side of things. You need to KNOW your info and know how to APPLY it.
I’m normally a loner when it comes to studying, but I decided to try something new this semester and hook up with two other nursing buddies and start a study group of sorts. We meet once a week at our local Panera and just mull through objectives and PowerPoints. It has been helpful in that we are able to split tasks up. For instance, we each assigned ourselves a system and made disease/med charts accordingly and shared them with one another. Also, explaining information that one of my study buddy’s might not understand only further solidifies the info in my own knowledge base. We are also able to explain things in a way that’s more easily understood.
The study group has been really helpful, but it takes a great deal of discipline. It’s too easy to get off track and start venting, gossipping, etc..lol.
Oh, I forgot to mention the random assignments! We no longer have assigned major care plans this semester, but we do have a mini care plan and a journal entry due every week based off of clinical. Also, we need to do case studies and there are POP QUIZES! Who does that?!?! Their basic purpose is to make sure we, as students, stay on top of our reading prior to lectures. Unfortunately, I can’t do that. I do reading AFTER I’ve been lectured on the info. Ah, thus is life.
ANYWHOOOOO, I’m often creeping on tumblr, so don’t be afraid to hit the ask box for anything!! Hope everyone is doing well!!
Somebody asked so I deliver. It wasn’t much of a plan really. lol
I graduated 12/8/2012. Took live Kaplan review 12/10-12/13. Received my ATT early January, scheduled NCLEX for 1/24, and began studying 1/5. As you can see I had a very slow start lol. It took having my actual exam date to kick me into gear.
Now the live review was helpful. It wasn’t content review, more like teaching you strategies on how to answer NCLEX style questions. We sat for 6 hours a day answering questions. The Kaplan instructor also gave us little pearls of wisdom along the way. He had us take the Kaplan Diagnostic exam prior to beginning the review. I took it the night after pinning (12/9) so I was in no mood, but I managed a 57.2%. On Thursday, the last day of the live review, he made us take the Kaplan Readiness test. He said the ideal score was 60%, anything less would require intervention. Well, I just barely made that score at 61.7%.
So after all that I went on a hiatus and hibernated for about a month before really hitting the books. I did 150 questions a day. From Kaplan’s question bank and question trainers. If I did a question trainer, I would count those towards my 150 q’s a day.
Now I know some people say that 65% is the ideal Kaplan score, but my Kaplan instructor was confident that 60% was just as good. So that’s what I aimed for. It was a slow start. At first my scores ranged in the 50’s and that scared the crap out of me! I can’t really explain it, but one day something just clicked and I was able to answer questions more confidently. This reflected in my scores. I began scoring between 60-70%.
I didn’t really do much content review. The most review I did was when reviewing rationale of questions I got wrong and questions I was unsure of. If I still felt like I needed more fine tuning regarding the topic at hand, I’d crack open my Saunders NCLEX review book.
I finished 100% of Kaplan’s question bank averaging at 63%. They say that question trainer 6 & 7 are closest to NCLEX and that’s where scores mattered most. I got a 64% on QT6 (200 questions) and a 68% on QT7 (265). I tried not to get too hung up on scores since I’ve learned that people with great scores with Kaplan have failed NCLEX, and people with poor scores with Kaplan have passed! I just focused on reviewing rationale and getting comfortable with answering questions.
I also studied from a book called, ‘Prioritization, Delegation, & Assignments’ by LaCharity. It helped me with learning how to appropriately delegate tasks, assign patients, and what was within a tech and LVN’s scope of practice. I highly recommend this book as a good portion of my actual NCLEX exam had to do with prioritizing.
From all the practice I learned that my brain needs a break after a set of 50 straight questions. So that’s what I’d do. I’d step away from my laptop and just veg for about 10 minutes. For the times that I didn’t, it showed in my results— runs of red check marks! And for those familiar with NCLEX, you want to avoid runs of incorrect answers like the plague!! (It will bring you below the ‘passing line’ to lower level questions that are considered not passing.)
It’s funny though. When I went to take my actual exam, I decided I’d take a break at 75 if my computer didn’t shut off. Lucky me it did!
Oh, I also utilized the following ‘cram sheet.’ It has all the labs in one section which made devoting them to memorization easier.
Hope this helped somewhat. Good luck, guys.
So yes, it’s true. The most preparation you can do for NCLEX is by answering questions on a daily basis. I know some people who read books w/ content review from front to back, but seriously, that is just erring towards the side of doing too much. AND AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!
Keep it simple. Avoid using too many resources to study with. You’ve graduated your nursing program. All the information you need is in your noggin! Some might be a bit dusty, but it’s there. And according to statistics, 86% of US nursing graduates pass the NCLEX on their first try. Odds are in your favor.
On the day of..
-Expect to sit for 265 questions.
-READ QUESTIONS CAREFULLY.
Tried the Pearson Vue trick and got the good pop-up.
It helps with the anxiety a smidge. I won’t completely breathe a sigh of relief until I see my name and license number on the BON.
Will update in a few days with my very own NCLEX story. Keep look out!
Oh gosh, I just got the nervous shits typing out that title.
AAANNNDDDDD…it’s done. Thanks to all of you who have stuck with me through this hectic ride and empathized with my long drawn bouts of blogging inactivity. I really appreciate it all and I’m glad I had this place as an outlet and had a few people interested in my journey.You guys rock. ON TO NCLEX!
Getting my binder ready for my 4th and FINAL semester. (!!!)