This blog was originally Published on Calling All Nurses – No matter how far along within their nursing program, students are often very interested in learning more about the process of taking the NCLEX-RN licensure examination. They are eager to hear about the experiences of others, and will seek out stories, tips and advices provided by NCLEX-RN veterans. Unfortunately, there is a lot of unhelpful subjective data floating around that may confuse, or even distract the students from focusing on the most important components of the NCLEX-RN exam. To help prevent student distraction from some of the horror stories and urban legends that seem to resurface every semester, I have created a list of the 3 most important things to know about the RN license exam:
- The NCLEX-RN is designed to challenge your ability critically think through information provided to make safe and sound judgements about patient care.
If you are a student that focuses primarily on memorizing every drug, every nursing intervention, and every disease process, then you may miss the mark. However, if you are a student that can identify potential and actual risks for patient harm, can analyze trends in lab values and vital signs, and can plan to intervene when you recognize something as abnormal, then you are likely to pass on the first attempt.
- The questions within the NCLEX-RN are leveled and will continue to get harder as you answer them correctly.
Major Tip: If you feel that the questions in the exam are getting easier as you are going along, you should STOP, take a deep breath and focus because you are probably not doing well. You should feel that the exam is challenging from beginning to end. The first question of the exam is leveled right at the passing line, and if you answer it correctly, then the next question will be more challenging. The harder the questions get, the better you are doing!
- You do not have to remember everything from nursing school in order to pass the NCLEX-RN.
If I told you that I remembered every medication, every disease process, and every nursing diagnosis when I sat for my NCLEX-RN licensure exam, I would be telling a very big lie. The truth is that you do not need to rely on recall to correctly answer the NCLEX-RN questions. However, you must be comfortable in your knowledge of the basic components of nursing, especially when it’s concerning the focus areas of: prioritization, delegation, effective communication, medication administration, nursing scope of practice, and the nursing process.
These tips have certainly helped my students in relieving some fears and misconceptions regarding the NCLEX-RN, and I hope they help you as well! Good Luck!