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Posts Tagged ‘NCLEX Review’


Gauging Your NCLEX Readiness

Written by The NCLEX Team. Posted in NCLEX Nursing Articles

How do you know if you are ready to take the NCLEX-RN?  You have worked so hard to get where you are, you’ve studied until your eyes burn, you’ve obsessively asked every nurse you see about his or her experience with the test, and you still doubt that you are prepared.  Your main goal in life at this moment is to pass the NCLEX.  Period.  Yet there’s a little voice in your head telling you that you need just a little more time to study, a few more study guides, or a few more textbooks before you take the plunge and make that appointment to take the test.  Now you are wondering if there’s any way at all to know for sure that you’re ready to take this test and be successful.

The first thing you need to realize is that every person is different and there is no one list of criteria you need to meet that will guarantee your success on the test.  There are, however, certain things you can do to build up your confidence to the point where you are ready to go.

1. Take practice exams with feedback and rationales.

One of the best ways to determine your readiness is to take NCLEX style practice exams that give you not only feedback but also the rationale behind every possible answer.  These tests will generally score the test to give you an idea of where you stand, and they will help you to study as you read why each answer is either right or wrong.  This is, by far, one of the best ways to prepare for the test.

2. Know the nursing process and how to apply it.

If you know the steps of the nursing process and how to use those steps to determine which answer is correct, you are well on your way to being ready.  Using this process can help you correctly answer questions which you at first thought to be beyond your capabilities.

3. Complete a good, reputable review.

This speaks for itself.  The key here is to complete the review, not just look over the material when the mood strikes and hope you glean some knowledge in the process.  Choosing a good review and completing it is a vital step in ensuring that you pass the NCLEX.

4. Know basic values and facts.

Even though the NCLEX-RN is more about critical thinking skills and the application of the nursing process, there are still some hard facts you will need to know.  Normal ranges for basic lab values, major drug classifications and indications, and normal vital sign ranges are just a few of the facts and figures you probably want to memorize.  You will then use this knowledge as the foundation on which you apply the nursing process to answer questions about basic nursing scenarios.

5. Make sure you application for licensure is complete.

Each state has its own list of requirements for RN licensure, and there are usually a number of forms you need to file or continuing education credits you need to have before your application will be accepted.  Having all of this done before you take the exam will ensure that you get your license as soon as you pass the test.  Imagine how disappointed you will be if you find that your license is going to be delayed by several days or weeks.  Completing the application process beforehand will eliminate any unforeseen obstacles and rid you of unwanted stress.

Once you have accomplished these five things, chances are you will find that you feel a lot better prepared to take the NCLEX.  Remember, the key to it all is to find a good review program that will not only prepare you for the test but will also give you the confidence you need to pass the NCLEX and start your new career.


How Much Studying Is Too Much?

Written by The NCLEX Team. Posted in NCLEX Nursing Articles

Believe it or not, it is possible to study too much.  The human brain is like any other organ in your body – it’s built to work hard, but it also needs to rest.  Periods of rest between periods of studying your NCLEX review will boost your ability to retain information as your brain works behind the scenes, assimilating data and storing it into retrievable memory files.  If you are continuously concentrating on facts and figures while consciously trying to memorize things, your brain’s primary focus will be on what you are currently doing and older information will be lost.

The question then becomes “How can I tell if I’m studying too much?”  Here are a few questions to assess whether or not you’re off track in your study habits.

1. When was the last time you even saw the great outdoors?

Fresh air and exercise are a great way to energize your body while giving your brain a chance to file, store, and recharge.  If you can’t even remember where your front door is located, chances are good you’re hitting the books a little too hard.

2. Do you recite normal lab values in your sleep?

You’re probably thinking you wish you could do that!  If you do find yourself talking in your sleep, having extreme insomnia, or having poor sleep quality, you may be studying too much and putting too much stress on your brain.  If you’re looking for NCLEX tips, here’s a good one: Get enough sleep!  If you are having sleeping difficulties that don’t resolve, you may want to consider a visit your doctor.  It’s that important.

3. Does the pizza delivery guy have your address permanently programmed into his GPS?

As nurses and nursing students, we all know the importance of good nutrition.  And here comes another NCLEX tip: pizza does not qualify as good nutrition.  While you’re taking a necessary study break, make yourself a high-quality, nutrient dense meal.  The benefits to your body, you brain, and your overall attitude toward life are well worth it.

4. Does your family have to wear name tags so you can remember who they are?

Perhaps this is a bit of an exaggeration, but you know what I mean.  Even though you are working hard, studying that NCLEX review material until you know it inside and out, you still need to spend quality time with your family.  Studies show that hugging your significant other, spouse, children or even your dog or cat causes your brain to release endorphins that improve your mood and help to reduce stress.  I do not, however, recommend hugging your goldfish.  They’re slimy, they don’t hug back, and neither of you will enjoy the experience.

Work hard, study hard, but don’t forget to give your brain the rest it needs to relax and bit and recover from all of the studying you are doing.  Take an honest look at your schedule and your study habits and see if you may be studying too much.


Taking the NCLEX a Second Time

Written by The NCLEX Team. Posted in NCLEX Nursing Articles

Nobody wants to take the NCLEX-RN more than once.  In a perfect world, every candidate who took the test would pass with flying colors the first time around; in the real world that is not the case.  If you have already taken the test once and were unsuccessful, take heart.  You are definitely not alone. There are plenty of good nurses who will tell you that they, too, had to take the test more than once.

Knowing you are in good company, though, may be of little consolation as you try to work through your disappointment.  You may find yourself confused, unsettled, and even doubting your career choice.  However, before you start practicing your “Do you want fries with that?” speech, take a minute to reflect on your past testing experience.  Focus on your goals, work through your disappointment, and figure out what went wrong so, on your next attempt, you will be triumphant.

1.  Know the content.

That seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?  Yet we all know that the NCLEX-RN covers such a broad range of material that it is nearly impossible to know every detail about every organ system, disease process, and medication.  Perhaps the best you can do is to trust the knowledge you already have, study those areas where you know you are weakest, and find a good NCLEX review that covers it all.  Make sure your review has NCLEX type questions and a varied format to increase your retention.

2. Know the format.

In the past, the NCLEX-RN was strictly multiple choice.  In today’s testing centers, there are a variety of question types with different answer formats.  If you are not familiar with these, now is the time to get acquainted.  A good NCLEX review will cover not only the content of the test but also the various question and answer formats you will find on the test to give you the practice you need.

3. Know the rationale.

As you study practice questions, take the time to read the rationale for each and every possible answer.  Reading these rationales will broaden your scope of knowledge about that particular subject and will help to shape your thinking process.  Knowing how to think through a question plays a key role in passing the test.

4. Know the steps of the nursing process.

I cannot over-emphasize the importance of this.  We all know the steps of the nursing process are Assessment, Diagnosis, Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation.  When looking at various scenarios, ask yourself if the assessment process is complete.  Then, what is the nursing diagnosis for this patient?  What are the possible interventions for this condition?  If you can apply this type of thinking to those questions you find to be most difficult, you can think your way through to a correct response.

5. Know that you are not a failure.

Never let discouragement convince you that you cannot do this.  You have studied hard, worked harder, and are capable and ready to meet this challenge.  Don’t give up, believe in yourself, and study.

Taking the NCLEX for a second time can be a daunting task, but if you arm yourself with the right tools, you can succeed.  Take a deep breath, pull out those books, find a great NCLEX review, and stay in the game.


Finding the Motivation To Study

Written by The NCLEX Team. Posted in NCLEX Nursing Articles

School is over and it’s time to celebrate – right?  Not quite.  We all know how difficult and time-consuming school turned out to be, and we all know that giant feeling of relief when it is finally over.  But we also know there is one more thing standing in the way of you and your total success.  You still have to pass the NCLEX.

If you’re like me, the last thing you want to do after graduating nursing school is pick up another book and start studying.  But I knew I had to do it because my entire future was riding on me passing that test.  Talk about pressure!  Unfortunately, sometimes pressure isn’t enough to motivate me when I need to study and, since I don’t think I’m all that unusual, chances are good you’re in a similar situation.

So, what do we do?  How do we find the motivation to study long after our energy stores are totally depleted?  As usual, I don’t have all the answers, but I think I can give you a few tips to help you get back in the groove, start your NCLEX review, and stay on the road to success.

The first thing you may want to do is set a reasonable deadline for yourself.  I have a special talent for procrastination and without a deadline looming, I had absolutely no incentive to hit the books.  Knowing how long I had to study really helped me to focus my attention on the things I had to do, and I’m pretty sure it can work for you, too.  For example, if you decide to give yourself four weeks to study before you actually take the test, you can create a study schedule that has a lot of flexibility to take into account those days when you’re just not feeling it.  And, if you decide to devote, say, two hours a day to studying, you’ll know that you will have studied a minimum of 56 hours by test time.

The next thing is to make sure you reward yourself.  Once I finally got into the groove of regular studying, I found small ways to reward myself periodically for reaching my goals.  If I stuck to my study times all week long it would earn me a two-hour trip to the antique mall.  Studying hard for two hours at night would get me a favorite 30 minute TV show or an hour to read or soak in a bubble bath before bedtime.  The important thing is to find time for yourself and not cut out all the things you enjoy doing.  If you look at these little treats as rewards for studying, it can really help to motivate you.

Some people enjoy studying in a group or with a partner.  Bringing in a friend to help you with your NCLEX review can help keep you accountable, especially if it’s someone who won’t let you off the hook.  Even a once a week study date can keep you motivated, especially if you work out a study schedule with your partner before you begin.  Also, it can give you someone to celebrate with after you both pass with flying colors (notice the seamless use of positive thinking here!).

Perhaps the biggest motivation of all is to remember why you’re studying.  Since you’re already in the medical field, you know how rewarding and exciting a career it can be.  You also know that, once you pass the NCLEX, your earning potential increases dramatically which means you’ll have a lot more resources to do all those things you’ve wanted to do but never had the means.  That’s a lot of motivation!

So, take a deep breath, start your NCLEX review, and let’s get started!  Your total success is right around the next bend.


Become a Successful Nurse Entrepreneur

Written by The NCLEX Team. Posted in NCLEX Nursing Articles

Entrepreneurialism is growing in all segments of work, and nursing is no exception. Registered nursing is a field that is experiencing high growth due to the aging population living longer and the technology that is improving and saving lives. Qualified nurses are highly sought after for employment, but the work can be demanding and stressful.  Nurses work in hospitals, nursing homes, medical offices and other medical facilities. The hours are often long and working nights and week-ends are required. The demands on personal time and home life can be stressful which is why some nurses are seeking self-employment. Some of the rewards of self-employment include:

  • Being in charge of your own work life
  • Being able to set work days and hours around personal needs and schedule
  • Determining types of clients and patients most comfortable working with
  • Setting fees for work
  • Working for enjoyment instead of just a paycheck.

Self-employed nurses must develop a business model and establish a business, which means getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS just like any other business. The business must pay all applicable taxes, and the nurse should get business insurance to protect against any liabilities that may arise.

Other than that, all the nurse has to do is begin marketing the independent nursing business, and clients should not be hard to find. There are several types of work the nurse entrepreneur could pursue.

Private Duty Nursing – with the aging population and people who are ill but want to stay in their homes, a registered nurse can work with private-pay clients. Families may need nursing care for loved ones 24 hours a day, but do not want to put the person in a skilled nursing facility away from family.

Medical Consultant – many companies find it is less expensive to hire consultants for projects rather than permanent staff. Nurses can use their medical background to consult with all types of companies including hospitals, insurance companies, medical billing companies and even research facilities.

Wellness Coach – the focus of many organizations is keeping people healthy rather than incurring serious medical expenses managing illnesses. Companies are hiring wellness coaches as a benefit to employees in an effort to steer employees to activities that encourage healthy lifestyles. Nurses are contracted to develop and institute programs and counsel on wellness.

Case Managers – a nurse entrepreneur can work as patient advocates, care managers and area-specific case managers for medical facilities, advocacy groups and even individual private-pay clients.

Advanced Nursing – some nurses are obtaining Master’s Degrees and training as nurse midwives, nurse practitioners and other specialized fields and opening their own medical practices. They are generally in high demand as many people prefer the caring, more holistic approach of these medical providers.

Healthcare is a growing field, and the opportunities are there to help shape the next phase of healthcare delivery. Programs are available to help nurses gain extra skills and certifications that put them on the road to independence and success as RN entrepreneurs.  So once you pass the NCLEX you can decide for yourself if being a nurse entrepreneur is for you or not.  At least you’ll have the option.


Knowing the NCLEX Format

Written by The NCLEX Team. Posted in NCLEX Test Taking Tips

When beginning your preparations for the NCLEX-RN examination, knowing what to expect during the examination will help to put your mind at ease.  When studying for the NCLEX-RN examination, there are many important factors to consider, including time limitations, how to sign up for the exam, eligibility requirements, cost of the examination and where the examination is conducted.

NCLEX-RN Eligibility Requirements
In order to apply to take the NCLEX-RN examination, you must first contact your state board of nursing and apply for licensure and eligibility to take the exam. The nursing board will contact the institution where you have studied nursing and confirm your credentials and eligibility for the examination. Once eligibility is granted by your state board of nursing, you then receive authorization to test. Once your authorization has been received, you may then register to take the test with Pearson VUE and pay the testing fee.

Cost of the NCLEX-RN Examination
The testing fee for the NCLEX-RN examination is $200, which you may pay online using a credit card. If you need to repeat the examination, you will need to pay the fee each time you take the test. Your state board of nursing may charge separate fees for the other components of your licensure, which you are obligated to pay in order to obtain a license to practice nursing in your state.

NCLEX-RN Examination Locations
To find the nearest NCLEX-RN examination location, visit the Pearson VUE website to locate a testing center. You will need to input your address and a radius to find a testing location. The default settings will display the nearest 5 testing centers from the address you entered into the system.

Signing Up for the NCLEX-RN Examination
Once you receive your eligibility confirmation from your state board of nursing and your authorization to test, do not hesitate in signing up for a seat to take the NCLEX-RN examination. Your eligibility has an expiration date and you must complete your examination before your authorization and eligibility expire. After you have registered with Pearson VUE and paid your examination fee, schedule your examination date and location. You may do this by registering online with Pearson VUE. Once you have a login identification and password, you may schedule your examination on their website.

Time Limitations on the NCLEX-RN Examination
You will have up to six hours to complete the NCLEX-RN examination, which can be anywhere from 75 to 265 questions, with two optional breaks. Pace yourself accordingly, as the computerized testing system does not allow you to go back to questions you have already completed.

Are you ready to start studying?  Check out our NCLEX-RN Review.


The NCLEX Review (TNR) in the News

Written by The NCLEX Team. Posted in NCLEX Review News


NCLEX Authorities Predict Diminished First Time Pass Rate on State Standardized Nursing Exam-

The National Council Nursing Program has experienced a decline in the passing rates of students due to the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for RNs. This computerized nursing exam, provides certification for trained graduates under the nursing training of colleges and other healthcare education institutions. April 1, 2010 marked the first day of heightened difficulty for the NCLEX. Those who take the NCLEX now will encounter a test that is more difficult to pass than the one students took three years ago. In response to the falling pass rates, (TNR) has launched an online NCLEX review that promises to help restore the national pass rate.

Click to read the full press release on the NCLEX review.


NCLEX Review Contest Going Strong

Written by The NCLEX Team. Posted in NCLEX Review News

Our NCLEX review contest is still going strong but it’s not too late!  Get in while you can and help spread the word about You’ll have a chance to win great prizes like the 16 Gigabite Apple Ipad, the Apple Ipod Touch or the Apple Nano. You can also win free access to our members area. We want this NCLEX review program to be buzzing all over the Internet so that you can network more, learn more and be a part of a thriving online community.  Share the NCLEX Review with your family, friends and coworkers. Post on your Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and anywhere you can think of. We challenge you to win big and benefit others in your industry. It’s time to make a difference. Remember the contest ends on November 20, 2011, so get started today to win an ipad!

Keep checking our NCLEX review blog where we will be announcing the winners!


Registering to Take Your NCLEX

Written by The NCLEX Team. Posted in NCLEX Test Taking Tips

There are several steps that you will want to take when going through the NCLEX process. Below will outline the most important things that you’ll need to know in order to have a successful NCLEX experience.

Step 1. Apply for licensure with your board of nursing.

Step 2. Register and pay $200 with Pearson VUE. You can do this via the Internet, phone or by mail. Use the exact name that is on your ID. Using an e-mail address ensures that all further communication, such as letters from Pearson VUE will come via e-mail. If an emailed address is not supplied, the regular US mail will be used. You must be made eligible by the board of nursing within one year of your registration and payment. Third-party payments must only be sent to the address listed at Please be sure to note that there are no refunds of NCLEX fees for any reason.

Step 3. Receive Receipt of Registration from Pearson VUE.

Step 4. Receive eligibility from the board of nursing.

Step 5. Receive a letter from Pearson VUE Authorization to Test (ATT) letter. You will be given validity dates and you must test within these dates. Extensions will not be allowed. Check that your name matches your ID.

Step 6. Set up an appointment via the Internet or use the telephone for scheduling international appointments. If you need to change your appointment, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday appointments must be rescheduled 24 hours in advance of the original date and time. Saturday, Sunday, or Monday appointments must be rescheduled no later than Friday, at least 1 full business day in advance of the original date and time.

Step 7. Get to your exam appointment and present your Authorization to Test letter and a valid ID.  In U.S., American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands test centers, the only acceptable forms of ID are: U.S. Drivers license from the Department of Motor Vehicles. If expired, a renewal slip that includes a photograph and a signature must be presented as well.

Step 8.  Stay confident in what you learned from your NCLEX review and pass the NCLEX!


Why Video Learning Might Be Better for You

Written by The NCLEX Team. Posted in NCLEX Test Taking Tips

If individuals exhibit frustration due to not being able to retain information solely from reading, there is a good chance that they are learning the wrong way. Anecdotal evidence suggests that people recall 80 percent from seeing and doing. Supportive to this finding, the U.S. Federal Government recently discovered that 83 percent of what humans learn is from visual stimulation. Combined with this knowledge, individuals, as a whole, retain knowledge six times greater through this presentation versus instruction through spoken or written words.

What are “Visual Learners”?

Visual, or spatial, individuals learn through what they see, preferring an all-encompassed “big picture” through various pictorial means. An astonishing sixty-five percent of the population are defined as “visual learners”, a statistic reported within “Understanding Your Learning Styles”.[1]

Visual students learn best through models, books, printouts, demonstrations, charts, timelines, maps, color-coded graphs and electronic media, such as video. Essentially, visually appealing material presented within a lecture or other learning environment will capture the interest of a visual learner.

Facts and Characteristics Concerning the Visual Learner

All-encompassed facts about these individuals suggest they are naturals at the following:

• Remembering colors, printed names and details
• Memorizing people’s faces yet forgetting names
• Spelling, reading and proofreading
• Appreciating quiet surroundings
• Creating a well-matched ensemble
• Establishing mental pictures

The visual learner exhibits certain characteristics shared with other visually inspired peers. As a whole, they tend to read for pleasure, doing so rapidly. These persons require a quiet atmosphere for study, avoiding excessive movement and noise. Study sessions tend to extend into long sessions. Individuals also typically exhibit the following characteristics:

• Pay close attention to detail
• Maintain organized and tidy surroundings
• Experience difficulty with following long lectures
• Preference to personal note-taking versus printed information containing the same material
• Ability to recall information location on a page or in a book
• Frustration with the inability to take notes
• Extreme interest in reading material, including books and magazines

Visual Learners Seeking Licensure

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) has developed two examinations for nurses seeking licensure as either a registered nurse (RN) or practical nurse (PN). Although different in nature, the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN), both require some amount of NCLEX review prior to undertaking the exam.

Traditionally, textbooks have been the preferred means of presenting review material to students. However, because over half of the population are visual learners, potential RNs and PNs require an alternative to textbooks. To accommodate these learners, video lessons for NCLEX review are an ideal way to prepare oneself for the examination.


Aultman College. “Understanding Your Learning Styles” (2008). Retrieved from October 6, 2011.[1]

I cannot say enough wonderful things about you!! I tend to learn and retain material better by visual aids and then re-inforcing what I I've learned. - Nicholas Loukas
Kudos to You! All of your videos are very professional and ever so helpful!- Kim Erickson
Awesome instructor and sticks with you to the end. (and after!!) - Kim Huggins

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