Studying for the NCLEX

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Almost every day since nursing school graduation I have woken up, gotten my bags together, and headed out to Starbucks, Coffee Bean, or someplace of the like.  I’ve even gone from place to place to make sure I can find a spot with a good table, wifi, and an outlet to plug my computer in. And then I spend a few hours completing NCLEX questions, break for lunch, then off the library to review.  It was a pretty good plan, though not very cost-effective, but it was working. And I was getting a lot done.

With my test date drawing near, I thought I should spend a day going through THE BIG ONE. The massive 265 question practice test, just to see how I was doing.  And because it was such a big test, I thought, “there is no way I can sit still in a coffee shop for all those questions!”  So I decided to stay home to study for the first time since school got out.

What a mistake!  I’ve been splitting the NCLEX practice test up into sections of 53 questions with what were supposed to be small breaks… but have turned out to be much longer than anticipated.  This is no way to prepare for an exam.  Also, in taking my final break before finishing, I decided to heat up some lunch (mistake 1), which involved turning on the TV (mistake 2), and realizing that (500)Days of Summer was on, a movie I had been dying to see since it came out (mistake 2.5); and so I left it on (mistake 3).

So, in retrospect, I have learned, albeit a little too late, that I’ve been going to coffee shops for a reason. And that after one month straight of study while on summer vacation, it’s probably a good thing that I am taking this test soon, my concentrating is waning by the day!

All of you experienced nurses, where did you study for the NCLEX, and what worked best for you?

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Ani Burr, RN

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.

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6 Responses to Studying for the NCLEX

  1. Mercedes

    Sanders NCLEX flash cards. Take a handful daily and study until I completed all 1000 questions, then do it again. Great when on the go for lunch breaks, long commutes, waiting rooms and such.

    • C_araneta

      8 hours a day like a fulltime job for 2 months. 3 hrs at night reading 2 chapters of the book, 5 hrs in the morning anwering questions in a non-busy coffee shop. Zerwekh’s illustrated nclex review is the book. Studying for NCLEX is a fulltime job:)

  2. Debra

    I’ve been a nurse for 12 years now, but remember studying for the NCLEX like it was yesterday! There was a Lone Star Bar & Grill just 2 blocks from my college. In the bar – that’s where I studied. In a booth where I could put my feet up & no one bothered me. I just kept ordering Iced tea & nachos. It was great!

  3. The Nursing Exam Test is simple and direct. The questions are not only helpful in bolstering students’ critical thinking, but also in giving the student some insight into what may be expected from them when taking the nclex

  4. Nikki

    Haven’t taken the RN-NCLEX yet, I’m still in school. When I took the PN-NCLEX I used the Kaplan review book and finished it in 3 days and took the test 2 days after. All of this took place within a week to a week and a half after LPN school. Hopefully I can do the same for the RN-NCLEX.

  5. Nurse Rene

    The NCLEX exams on Scrubs website are excellent review activities. Part of any test, including NCLEX is learning the format style of the test and having a few ‘practice runs’ with it.
    In MY day it was a 3 day experience with pencil and paper, called State Boards, which was given in 5 different parts: Medical, Surgical, Peds, OB/GYN and Psych. If one did not pass one or two sections it was only necessary to take those over again and not the full Monty.
    I suggest this: review the Peds growth and development and the different Psych neuroses and psychoses.
    If you have made the grade so far in school you will do all right on the NCLEX. And, besides, if you don’t know it by NOW…