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“Stop stressing and don’t cram”: 5 tips for passing the NCLEX


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Brittney from The Nerdy Nurse knows all too well the trials and tribulations of passing the NCLEX. And she’s got some great advice for nurses getting ready to take the exam! Read on for her tried-and-true methods:

If you’ve stumbled onto this page in a nervous effort to find any tips or advice you possibly can in order to do well on the NCLEX, then you’ve come to right place. If you’re worried about your NCLEX test preparation, you are not alone. You wouldn’t be a good nurse if you didn’t think things through. But since you’re already thinking like a nurse, then I’m sure you’ll do fine, but here are a few things that might give you a little extra confidence.

Below you will find advice to help you pass the NCLEX on the very first attempt.

Stop Stressing

The hard part is over. You’ve completed nursing school and put in the time and effort needed in order to be worth of taking your state boards. The tests you take in nursing school are meant to mimic the types of questions you will see on the NCLEX. You passed those, right?

Don’t Cram

By now you know what you’re going to know. Attempting to go over every detail you’ve learned in the last two years in a month are not going to get you anywhere. Retouch areas you had difficulty during school, but only briefly. Do not attempt to memorize your entire drug book!

Review Questions and Take Practice Tests

Don’t spend every waking hour of every day with your nose in a book or computer screen taking practice tests. But do spend some time keeping your testing skills in peak performance. There are several good resources online for practice NCLEX questions as well as books.

Go with Your Gut and Don’t Doubt Yourself

I cannot tell you the number of times I thought to myself, “It’s supposed to be harder than this,” while I was taking the NCLEX. I found myself in doubt that I knew the answers, but I had to tell myself to stop doubting. If I knew the answer, then why would I try and tell myself I didn’t? You have to be confident in your decisions on the test. Read all the answers, but go with your gut.

Do Your Best and Forget the Rest

Do your very best and have confidence in yourself. There is no use trying to incorporate any and all what-ifs. You know this stuff, and you can and will pass the NCLEX and practice as a nurse.

Use your critical thinking skills you’ve developed in nursing school. Trust me when I say, if won’t be the last time you use your brain.

Hang on tight, this nursing ride can be a crazy one, but we are thrilled to have you!

To see the rest of her advice, head on over to The Nerdy Nurse. Then, in the comments, tell us about your top advice for acing the NCLEX!

The Nerdy Nurse
Brittney Wilson, RN, BSN, also known as The Nerdy Nurse, is a Clinical Informatics Specialist practicing in Georgia. In her day job she gets to do what she loves every day: Combine technology and healthcare to improve patient outcomes. She can best be described as a patient, nurse and technology advocate, and has a passion for using technology to innovate, improve and simplify lives, especially in healthcare. Brittney blogs about nursing issues, technology, healthcare, parenting and various lifestyle topics at

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