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Failed the NCLEX? 4 Strategies That Will Put You Back on Track

Failed the NCLEX? 4 Strategies That Will Put You Back on Track

Have you checked out the NCLEX Study Center on NursingLink?

Megan Malugani | Monster Contributing Writer

You’ve completed your nursing education but didn’t pass the test that signifies you’re ready to become a full-fledged nurse: The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). How do you bounce back after failing? Nurses who’ve been there, as well as experts, say it takes inspiration, dedication and diligence.

“Don’t give up,” advises Cheryl, a South Carolina RN who passed the NCLEX-RN in June 2005 on her second try. “You persisted until you graduated from nursing school, and you will also have to persist and apply yourself until you pass the state boards.”

These tips will help you bounce back and recharge for your next try at the NCLEX:

Would You Pass the NCLEX?

1. As a Nurse Manager, DMLM enjoys her staff of talented and self motivated individuals. She knew that the leadership style to suit the needs of this kind of people is called:

Laissez Faire

Realize You’re Not Alone

“It’s not necessarily something nurses talk about, but you might be surprised by how many people have failed [the NCLEX] once or even twice and gotten their careers on track anyway,” says Donna Cardillo, RN, a Sea Girt, New Jersey-based career coach and author of Your First Year as a Nurse. In fact, about 14.5 percent of US-educated and 48 percent of internationally educated RN candidates failed the NCLEX-RN on their first attempt in 2007, according to statistics from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Also in 2007, about 12 percent of US-educated and 51 percent of internationally educated LPN/LVN candidates failed the NCLEX-PN on their first try.

Analyze Your Failure

Figuring out where you went wrong can help you avoid similar mistakes next time. Cheryl knew she was failing while at the computer taking the exam. “My stomach was in knots,” she says. “I was miserable when I left.”

Cheryl immediately recognized the cause of her difficulties: Because she had taken several years to complete her RN education while working as an LPN, she had learned some of the concepts she was expected to know long ago, and she didn’t use them in her everyday practice.

Other reasons new graduates fail the NCLEX the first time include illness, lack of sleep, a family crisis, disorganized post-graduation study or being distracted in the test setting, according to Patricia S. Yoder-Wise, RN, EdD, a professor in the School of Nursing at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

Next: Overcome Stumbling Blocks >>

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    26 days ago


    I went to Nursing school at ITT Technical Institute in South Bend. They assured me that my school was going to be accredited once my class, which was the first nursing class at this particular school, passed the NCLEX. Well, here I am with an Associate Degree in nursing from a non-accredited school and unable to pass my boards after 5 attempts. I am not sure how to go forward from here. Do I go back to school and have more student loans? My school charged me $50,000 and for what? A degree that a I can't use. I am frustrated to the point of tears because I feel like I have been scammed.

    Any advice out there?

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    2 months ago

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    3 months ago


    I graduated in 2011 with my bsn. I did good in school but have no medical experience. I have taken the nclex test 5 times now. I have so anxiety built up. I don't know what to do. I can still take it but I afraid that I will not pass again. We're do I start? What can I do? My job right now is with the airlines. I make good money but it is not my dream.

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  • A_max50


    over 1 year ago


    Today is 5/23/13 I am a 25 yr old who graduated from LVN program in 2009. I am originally from TX and was studing in San Diego CA while living with my sister. Half way though the program my sister moved back to TX and I stayed by my self to complete my course. 1 day after Graduation I packed my and took the road trip back to TX. My mistake was not sticking around for the review courses :( I waited about 6 months before taking the exam and in that time I got pregnant so during the test i struggle though nausea and urinating every 15 min and FAILED :(.. then I by the time I took my test a 2nd time my son was 1 month old I left him over night with my husband watching him and went up north about 3 hours away to take the exam and FAILED it again. I took my exam 2 more times and have not been able to overcome this exam these last 2 attempt I went through 2 legal issues my husband had, family issues makeing me have to take a drastic move into a hotel were I lived for 1 wk, Immigration process for my spouse, and now currently being fired from my job for absentees due to taking annual leave for legal responsablilities with my spouse. Now I have some time to look for new employment and try to prep as best for my 5th attempt to take the NCLEX-PN. Please advise and suggestions on how to prep better for this exam. I am not in the best financial situation to continue throwing away $350 for application and test expensses.!!! HELP PLEASE!!!!!!


  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 1 year ago


    Im a 2009 lvn graduate, ive taken the nclex 3 time and not yet have pass. its been 4ys and my deadline has passed to be able to take it again. I need to obtain a new diploma or affidavit of graduation to test again. I cant afford to go back and redo the whole program, but i dont want to give up all my hard work. Is there other options out there?

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  • Humpback_whale_max50


    about 3 years ago


    This is a worthwhile article that helps with letting you know that passing the NLEX-PN/RN can be done!!!!

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    about 3 years ago


    Very Inspiring & Supportive article, Thanks for posting

  • 150x150-3-8-4-38463-chinese-dragons_max50


    about 3 years ago


    i completed a nursing program in 1994, sat the nclex then and failed, never took it again, its been 17 years, have worked as a graduated nurse for 5 years and enjoyed it, but its killing me cause i have so much experienced but haven't tried to retake the test, thinking of retaking the whole nursing course again and start from scratch, just wanted to know what can i do at this point, i can go back and study and retake the test again,or am i out of that cause i don't know how long you can stay out not sitting the text and if i am eliigible to sit the nclex regardless of the time i completed. please, i know i can do it, just that i need to know if i can retake the test even if i had completed the nursing program 17 years ago? please, advise me of what to do, cause i can study and retake it again
    Thank you

  • J0427703_max50


    about 3 years ago


    After teaching LPN school for 9 years, I have learned a few things about those who fail NCLEX....The students often don't fully understand the nursing process...many questions are based on one specific step...assessment, diagnosis, planning, intervention, evaluation. Understanding nursing diagnoses and the nursing process can help you decide what is the best choice for a particular question. Also, a lot of people have told me that all the answers seemed right - in that case, you choose the 'most right' or most critical action. Another thought is to go back and study common diseases....Diabetes is a complicated, but it is one of the most prevalent diseases today. Every student I have ever had (there have been hundreds) has had questions about Diabetes. Other common things to study - MI, CVA, HTN, COPD. I also tell my students to come back to me if they fail - I will tutor them, let them borrow books, and let them do computerized testing programs to practice - at no cost to them. You are not alone!!!! There is help out there for you! Your school wants and needs you to pass NCLEX - check with them to see what they offer! Good luck, and God Bless!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    I have been an LPN for six years, I just graduated RN school. I took the nclex last week and failed! I had many of the "select all that apply" questions. They were killers! I hated them. Those are so unfair. You get no partial credit. I hate them. Well, I failed the exam. I have been depressed and my self esteem went out the window. I realize I need to snap out of it, and get back on the horse. I had a job pending. I hate the current one I have. So all this adds to my depression. I studied so much and honestly dont feel that studying another 100 hours would have made a difference. I dont know what to do from here. The questions are so ridiculous. I am frustrated. I need to figure out a different approach to beating this nclex nightmare.

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