‘N’ is for
‘N’ is for Nurse, ‘N’ is for NCLEX. ‘N’ is also for Nausea, Nervous, and Not wanting to study. I know I am on vacation right now, but vacation means a lot of down time, which is something us nursing students aren’t very familiar with. And even though I don’t take the NCLEX for another 9 months, it’s still lurking around in the back of my mind. Sometimes the thought of it makes me really excited in a ready-for-anything sort of way, and other times it makes me want to bury the thought deeper and further away, as I am not entirely convinced I am ready to take on the challenge.
My school has us take the ATI exams as our standardized testing method, and so, to graduate, we have to take an ATI exit exam, which is supposedly modeled to be similar to the NCLEX. It’s one way for our school to prepare us (great, if you feel like the questions are, in fact, NCLEX style. I don’t). This coming quarter, we will be taking the ATI “predictor” test – which is similar to the exit exam. It is meant to show us what areas we need to study more and which topics we’re stronger in. It’s also not graded. BUT, if you score high enough, you can choose where you want to do your final quarter preceptorship. If you don’t get to pick where you precept, you are assigned to a general med-surg floor. I don’t want to do med-surg if I can help it (I know, this takes us back to our med-surg debate, too). So if I can, I want to do my very best on this test A) so I can pick where I precept, and B) so I can get a head start on studying for the NCLEX and not have to scramble to do it when graduation gets closer.
Now the big question remains, HOW? One of my back-to-school must haves is an NCLEX study book. The only problem now is, it’s been my study book all along, and I am familiar with the questions. I have the CD with extra questions, and just bought an “exam cram” book with just practice tests and rationales, which I am actually taking with me on my trip next week ::sigh:: yes, I am studying on vacation. It’s all questions and rationales though, and my biggest way of learning is through taking notes, so I am still trying to figure out the best way to translate what I am learning from the questions to and register them as bits of information in my brain. I am not looking to take any NCLEX study courses yet, but probably will in the near future. Nursing students: Do you have any ideas or study tips? Recent-grads: What methods worked best for you?
I'm a brand new, full-fledged, fresh-out-of-school RN! And better yet, I landed the job of my dreams working with children. I love what I do, and while everyday on the job is a new (and sometimes scary) experience, I'm taking it all in - absorbing everything I can about this amazing profession we all fell in love with.
By Ani Burr, RN