If you are enrolled in a nursing program, whether it is at a physical institution, or it is a convenient online program, the ultimate goal remains the same: To successfully take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. Sooner or later, most nursing students consult an NCLEX guide for insights into what to expect during the big exam.
Virtually all students find that the specter of the NCLEX looms over nursing school like a vaguely threatening shadow. And like any shadow, the threat is all the more acute for its indistinct nature. You cannot quite make out its edges or features, so it seems scarier than it really is. As with most fears, the more you know about the object of your fear, the less likely it is to hold sway over your imagination.
The best way to surmount your fear is to familiarize yourself with the beast. And the best way to do that is to study—and carefully check items off a preparation checklist. Preparation conquers trepidation. The first step to managing your fear is to recognize that not everyone passes the exam on their first go.
While this may not sound particularly reassuring, this realization can actually be liberating. Even good nurses with many years of experience were once in your position. Even some of those excellent nurses failed to earn their RN on the first try. It is not the end of the world. Just a minor, temporary setback.
The NCLEX Checklist
The following action items require your attention.
1) Apply for licensure (consult your state’s Board of Nursing (BON)). This should be done in the month that you anticipate graduating from nursing school.
2) Register for the NCLEX, and pay the registration fee online, by visiting Pearson VUE.
3) Obtain your Authorization to Test. You will need to apply through your state BON, and register/pay through Pearson VUE, in order to obtain this authorization. It will arrive by email only after your state BON receives notification from your college that you have completed your studies and graduated.
4) Sign up for your selected testing date.
5) Determine your specific testing location.
6) Have your fingerprints taken. Find out where you can have this done nearby by visiting this locator tool.
7) Prepare for the day of the test. Eat a wholesome, filling breakfast. Your brain burns significant energy; the most of any organ, in fact. Plan accordingly. Pack a snack, some water, some dark chocolate for enhanced mental focus, and an acceptable form of photo identification (e.g. a state-issued driver’s license or a passport). Pack these items in a very small bag that can fit into a small locker. Note that if you choose to bring your phone, it will be sealed away and turned off.
For more information, click this link to visit the NursingLicensure.org site. Obviously, study and preparation are the keys to taking and passing the NCLEX. Study as you go; do not try to fit it all in in a few days, or even weeks. Study as you go wins the race.After you obtain the time and place of your test, visit the site in order to ensure that you will not encounter any unanticipated hurdles on the day of the test. Take the route, park where you will need to park, and walk to the testing hall. Do it all at the assigned time of day of the actual test, so you can experience likely traffic conditions beforehand. And then plan accordingly. You want to arrive on time, if not early, so you can relax beforehand and clear you mind.